Stroganoff consists of beef cut into strips, spiced with paprika, sautéed with onions and mushrooms, in a pan sauce that includes either sour cream or crème fraiche. I first cooked this dish long ago using the recipe in Pierre Franey’s 60 Minute Gourmet, which I previously mentioned was my textbook when learning to cook. But, Beef Stroganoff allows a wide variation in the selection of ingredients and the sequence of preparation. The version here bears little resemblance to Franey’s.
Variables include cuts of beef, choice of spices and components of the pan sauce. Spices can include thyme, paprika, dill, mustard or any combination of these. The sauce, in addition to the requisite sour cream, can include butter, wine, cognac, broth, tomato paste, fresh tomatoes, capers, cornichons or any combination of these. The cut of beef can be sirloin, tenderloin, slow-cooked chuck, flank or hanger. Finally, Stroganoff can be served with, or over any starch including rice, noodles or potatoes.
I picked up a nice hanger steak on the way home tonight, so that will the starting point for a Stroganoff. For mushrooms, I have a couple of King Trumpets. These can stand up to braising and have great texture. Spices will definitely include paprika. Cognac will be used to deglaze and a pan sauce of reduced chicken broth finished with capers, butter and sour cream are on deck.
The first step is to sauté onions, garlic and mushrooms together with a few sprigs of thyme. Set these aside when done. Sliced hanger steak is browned in the same pan and when done set aside with the onions and mushrooms.
A classic pan sauce is made with the addition of the signature sour cream associated with Beef Stroganoff. This recipe serves two, or three. While the ingredient list is a bit long, the dish comes together quickly and as promised by Franey, can be on the table in less than 60 minutes.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- ½ yellow onion sliced thinly
- 2 King Trumpet Mushrooms sliced in half lengthwise and then sliced 1/8” moons
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 3 sprigs thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound hanger steak sliced crosswise into bite sized pieces
- 1 heaping tablespoon of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of mild or hot paprika plus extra for garnish
- 2 tablespoons of everyday olive oil
- ½ cup cognac or brandy
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ pound of wide egg noodles cooked to package directions and drained
- 4 sprigs of chives.
- Bring a sauté pan to medium high heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. When the butter has melted add onions, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over high heat until the mushrooms have absorbed the butter and the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Place in a bowl, remove thyme sprigs and set aside.
- Wipe the sauté pan clean and return to the heat. In a bowl toss the sliced hanger steak with salt, pepper, flour and pimento powder. Add two tablespoons butter and two tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the steak and cook turning until browned, about ten minutes. Place the steak in the same bowl as the onions and mushrooms and set aside.
- Empty most of the fat from the sauté pan and return to the heat. Deglaze with Cognac or brandy and let cook down until reduced to ½ of its starting volume. Add chicken broth and continue cook until reduced by about ½. Add the beef, onion and mushroom mixture.
- Lower the heat to a simmer while adding 1 tablespoon of butter and the capers. Check seasoning and add 1 tablespoon of vinegar. When the stroganoff has stopped boiling add sour cream. The sour cream will curdle if it is added to the sauce while boiling. Adjust seasonings and continue to simmer until serving.
- When the egg noodles are done, immediately drain and place in a bowl. Add two tablespoons of butter to the hot noodles and toss to combine.
- To serve, place noodles and stroganoff on a bowl, or plate. Garnish with a sprinkle of paprika and little stalks of chive.