Beef Stroganoff How To
This is one of my favorite things to cook during the winter, so I squeezed in one more dinner of it on a rainy night in April. I started making this several years ago when we still lived in Hoboken and tweaked various recipe versions until this evolved as my own. And might I just mention that this is how I discovered an obsessive love for whole grain mustard? I could eat it right out of the jar.
Serves: 2 big meals, 3-4 smaller ones
Prep time: About 20 minutes
Cooking time: About an hour
1 lb. lean beef stew meat (or chuck, cubed into 1-2
4 cups beef broth or stock
1 tablespoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brandy
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1/2 bag wide egg noodles
Handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
1. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper and cook until browned on all sides, 4-5 minutes.
2. While the meat browns, heat the beef stock, thyme, and bay leaf in a large saucepan over high heat until it boils.
3. When the meat is browned, pour it into the saucepan with the stock. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer.
4. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet with the beef drippings.
5. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the garlic and cook until it smells garlicky, about 15-30 seconds. Add the brandy (this is where things get exciting if it ignites) and cook until you no longer smell the alcohol, about 2 minutes.
7. Pour the onion mixture into the saucepan with the beef and simmer the whole thing until the meat is tender and the stock has reduced down, 45 minutes-1 hour. I just keep an eye on this until it looks done, but the longer the better.
8. About 15-20 minutes before the beef is done, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the egg noodles according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the remaining butter and season with salt and pepper. Add half the chopped parsley and combine.
9. Add the sour cream and whole grain mustard to the beef when it’s done simmering. Stir to combine well, breaking up any little sour cream lumps that may remain. Add the remaining parsley. **Note: I’ve experimented with this recipe leaving out most of the butter, or replacing it with olive oil. When it comes time to add the sour cream it never breaks up as well as when I use butter. No idea what the science behind this is, but butter just works best.
10. Serve on a plate with the noodles. **Note: I’ve served this in bowls with the beef over the noodles, but it makes the noodles saucy and hard to pick up without making a mess. Noodles on the side stay dry and easy to eat with a fork.