Beef Stroganoff

dsc_0210RECIPE #419, DAY #589


ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Beef Stroganoff,” from Cook’s Illustrated, January/February 2002*

TIMING: A good 30 minutes of careful cooking

DIFFICULTY: Almost easy

TOOLS: A deep, wide saute pan, a soup pot for boiling noodles, whisk, etc.

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: While many would consider a beefy pasta with sour cream to be an indulgence, this is a fine meal for your active family. The beef and veggies are full of vitamins and nutrients, as well as the alliums. Pair this with a kraut and roasted beets and you can feel satiated and well-dined.dsc_0209

EXPERIENCE: When I was a kid, when asked my favorite food, I responded, “The three s’s. Spaghetti, shrimp, and stroganoff.” I loved stroganoff, which in our house was a random cut of beef, chopped and cooked with onion, a can of cream of mushroom soup, beef broth, canned mushrooms, and sour cream delivered off the stove and with a heavy hand. Over egg noodles, of course. Despite my diminutive size, I could out-eat anyone around the table, that night.

This, my friends, is a whole different ballpark of stroganoffs. While more difficult to prepare than the Midwestern original of my childhood, it’s still not difficult, but the result is light-years more sophisticated, deep, and luxurious. Served over egg noodles, there is no reason to look any further for a stroganoff recipe.

NOTES: For the meat, you can use (in order of best to not-best): Filet Mignon, top sirloin, top blade, prime rib, or even skirt steak.


  1. Cook 8 ounces extra wide egg noodles in salted water according to package directions. When done, drain and toss with butter and optional chopped dill.
  2. In a wide, deep saute pan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon safflower oil. Add 12 ounces quartered button mushrooms and don’t stir for 2 minutes. Then stir until softened and a bit browned. Salt and remove to a small bowl.
  3. Raise heat to high and add 1/2 tablespoon safflower oil. Add 3/4 pound thinly-sliced beef tenderloin. Spread out and cook 2 minutes. Turn over and cook 1 minute. Salt and pepper and remove to the bowl with the mushrooms.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and add 1/2 cup beef broth to the pan, scraping up the bottom. Bring to a simmer and simmer until broth has reduced. Pour into the bowl with the meat.
  5. Melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in the pan. Add 1 minced onion, 1 teaspoon tomato paste, and 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar and stir until onion is golden. Whisk in 1 tablespoon all purpose flour for 1 minute, then whisk in 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup dry white wine, and the juices from the beef and mushrooms. Simmer until it thickens.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup sour cream with 1/2 cup of your hot onion sauce, to temper. Now, add the sour cream into the pan along with the beef and mushrooms. Cook about 1 minute, until hot.
  7. Serve the whole lovely mess over the egg noodles.


Serve with a pink kraut and some dill-roasted beets. And a heavy German beer or red wine.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: Just eat it. Or reheat it and eat it. Or send it to me, for the love of Pete.

*Recipe changed from the original.


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