Thursday, December 2, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

With the snow flurries coming down, comfort food is all I can think of and crave right now. One dish that just gets me all warm inside is Beef Stroganoff. Tender, marinated steak tips are tossed in a rich sauce with mushrooms and nestled on top of a bed of buttery egg noodles. It's so good, you won't be too shy to ask for seconds (or thirds). This dish may taste like it took hours to make but you don't have to let anyone know it took you just a little over 30 minutes to whip it up. It can be our little secret...

This recipe deconstructs the dish in two parts - steak and mushroom sauce. The steak is marinated in soy sauce and pan seared on the stovetop. Once the steaks are done and removed from the pan, onions and mushrooms are thrown in to sauté, picking up any leftover fond from the steak. A simple sauce is made in the same pan with tomato paste, flour, wine, beef broth and a mustard paste.  The steak is sliced and reintroduced into the pan to simmer in the rich gravy. Just before serving, a touch of sour cream and wine are mixed in to give it a nice depth of flavor and creamy texture. Seriously, it's comfort food at it's finest!

Beef Stroganoff
recipe from Cooks Illustrated

1 1/4 lbs sirloin steaks, tips ( trimmed of excess fat and cut lengthwise with grain into 4 equal pieces)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 lb white mushrooms, quartered
2 teaspoons hot water
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onions, finely chopped
table salt
2 teaspoons tomato paste
4 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. white wine or 1/3 cup dry vermouth
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

Using fork, poke each piece of steak 10-12 times. Place in baking dish; rub both sides evenly with soy sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

While meat marinates, place mushrooms in medium microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until mushrooms have decreased by volume by half, 4-5 minutes (should be as much as 1/4 cup liquid in bowl). Drain mushrooms and set aside; discard liquid. Combine water, dry mustard, sugar, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl until smooth paste forms; set aside.

Pat steak pieces dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Heat oil in 12" skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place steak pieces in skillet and cook until browned on all sides and internal temperature registers 125 to 130 degrees, 6-9 minutes, reducing heat if fond begins to burn. Transfer meat to large plate and set aside while cooking sauce.

Add mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 tsp salt to skillet and cook until vegetables begin to brown and dark bits form on bottom of pan, 6-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until onions and mushrooms are coated, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/3 cup wine, beef broth and mustard paste and bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce has reduced slightly and begun to thicken, 4-6 minutes.

While sauce is reducing, cut steak pieces across grain into 1/4" thick slices. Stir in meat and any accumulated juices into thickened sauce and cook until beef has warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let any bubbles subside. Stir in sour cream and remaining tablespoons wine; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley to garnish.


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