30 December 2010

Double Take: Beef Stroganoff

Are you ready for a bowl of comfort?

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, you know that my all-time comfort food is beef stroganoff. Full of mushrooms, onions, beef, and sour cream, how can you go wrong? When I first saw a recipe for beef
stroganoff in the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, I was excited. Until I actually read the recipe. It called for beef tips instead of ground beef. I don’t dislike beef tips, but I just prefer my comfort food to be the way I grew up eating it: with ground beef.

The more I looked at the recipe, the more I didn’t want to make it. Bender doesn’t like mushrooms, so I knew I’d have to make two dinners when I did make it. And it doesn’t make a small amount. I spoke with Tabitha about it, making sure she really wanted to make it, but didn’t really tell her I was having doubts because she had picked the recipe and I didn’t want to shoot down another one of her ideas. She insisted she wanted to make it, so when I found out The Dude would be coming over for dinner one weekend, I decided to make it then.

Whilst it was cooking on the stove, I got the email from Tabitha. She had started really looking at the recipe and was unsure and didn’t want to make it. I laughed out loud. What else could I do? I went ahead and served the stroganoff and told Tabitha she didn’t have to make it if she didn’t want to. Of course, by the time I replied, she’d already gone to the store and bought everything for it. Ah, the trials and tribulations of transatlantic communication.

The pot was way too full for the mushrooms and onions tsauté

I gave The Dude and Bender an option for the veggie to be served alongside the stroganoff: broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Guess what they picked. Brussels sprouts! So while the beef was stewing away for an hour, I got The Dude to trim the Brussels sprouts for me (he’s a great soux chef! I love it!). I split them, sprinkled them with garlic powder, salt, and pepper, bathed them in a little olive oil, and then put them in a hot (maybe 375° F) oven for half an hour. Right after they went in the oven, I got my water on to boil (my big pot takes a crazy long time to reach a boil). Overall, this meal is quite relaxing to prepare because you have plenty of time to do everything. Of course, you need a while to do it so it’s not a quick weeknight supper. But that’s okay, I love the weekends because I can take all the time I need to cook (Yes, I do realize that a lack of small feet running around makes this weekend cooking time possible). It’s really nice.

Beef concoction stewing away... I should have treated it more like a stew. 

Beef Stroganoff
from the all-new ultimate Southern Living Cookbook (p. 299), also available online here

1 1/2 pounds sirloin beef tips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium-size sweet onions, diced (I used one large non-sweet onion)
2 (8-ounce) packages fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used one package of button mushrooms and one gourmet mix package)
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 (16-ounce) package egg noodles
1/2 cup sherry
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley

Sprinkle beef tips evenly with salt and pepper.
Brown beef in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add onions and mushrooms, and saute, 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir broth, tomato paste, and mustard into beef mixture. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 1 hour or until beef is tender.

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Combine sherry and flour; stir into beef mixture, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in sour cream. Serve over hot egg noodles; sprinkle with parsley.

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! I’d never had beef stroganoff with mustard and tomato paste (that I’m aware of at least), but it did not detract from the flavor of the stroganoff. I do, however, think that the flavor of the beef could be enhanced by putting a little more effort into this dish. Since you are taking it up a notch from ground beef to begin with, why not spend a little bit more prep time on it and treat it like a stew? Instead of browning all the beef at once, why not cover it with flour and then brown it, in batches in the hot oil. Once it’s browned on all sides, remove it and add the onions and mushrooms. Cook until the onion is translucent, then deglaze the pan with a little beef broth, scraping all the brown bits off the bottom (don’t use non-stick!). Add the rest of the beef broth and return the beef to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer (partially) for one hour (or two), preparing the noodles per usual. You may or may not need extra flour to thicken the sauce once the beef is fully cooked, but add the sherry and cook for a few minutes either way. Serve as indicated above.

My sour cream was a little old... probably why it didn't totally "melt" into solution. 

Make-again: 1 vote!
I-don’t-like-mushrooms-but-the-beef-was-okay: 1 vote
Still-undecided-two-weeks-later: 1 vote

For Tabitha's first experience with homemade Beef Stroganoff, check out Double the Garlic!

PS: Happy Birthday, Bender!


  1. I'm now very glad you didn't tell me you wanted to back out on this. Our thoughts of backing out on it are kind of hilarious though. Do you typically coat and brown the meat and make a gravy with your standard stroganoff recipe?

  2. My standard recipe is ground beef. So, no.

  3. I have an Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook but it's a different version. My recipe had a typo in it!! :-( I wasted time and money making my recipe from the Ultimate Southern Living cookbook. Yours sounds better. MINE CALLED FOR 1 1/2 CUPS OF BUTTER - THAT'S THREE STICKS!!! SEE THIS BLOG POST TO COMMENT: http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2011/12/too-much-butter.html


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