Beef Stroganoff or Beef Stroganov is a Russian dish that consist of sautéed slices of beef served in a sauce with sour cream. From its origins in 19th-century Russia, it has become popular around the world, with much variation from the original recipe.
Some will argue that “Beef Stroganoff’s” origins are clearly French, and most culinary historians, will agree that it was Count Pavel Stroganoff’s French chef who adapted a textbook French beef fricassee to the palate of his Russian employer by adding sour cream for the Count. By the mid-19th Century, Beef Stroganoff was firmly established in the 1861 first edition of the classic Russian pre-revolutionary culinary bible, “A Gift To Young Housewives,” by Elena Molokhovets.’ It made its way into L’Art Culinaire in 1891, and shortly after into Larousse Gastronomique, where it has remained.
But it wasn’t until around the forties that it became very popular in the United States and found its way onto the dinner table of our parents/grandparents. I remember this dish as a child that my mom would make, and smelling the beef cooking over a low simmering heat. I can still smell and taste my mom’s version of beef stroganoff simmering away and finished with silky sour cream and ladled over noodles. A true classic that one should never consider skimping on when it comes to the main ingredients, and using canned goods.
That is one thing about cooking that just kills me the most is the American passion for time-saving methods which introduced a rather unfortunate mix of canned cream of mushroom soup and ketchup as the sauce, and not using sour cream, mustard, and the sautéed mushroom combination that had won over Count Pavel.
This is my take on this “classic weeknight dinner” that pays tribute to the “gourmet chafing-dinner party dish” and/or “office potluck favorite”. Either way beef stroganoff is a good hearty dish to cook in front of a small crowd.
I like to add shallots and half an onion and serve this over whole wheat noodles or white rice.
2 pounds beef chuck roast, 1/2 inch thick
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
3 shallots, sliced thinly
3 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups beef flavored broth
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tsp prepared mustard
2 bay leafs
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
Cut 2 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into thin slices about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches long, place in large bowl and season with salt & pepper
Chop garlic and slice onion and shallots and place aside.
Wipe mushrooms down of any residual dirt and slice about 1/4 inch thick, and place aside.
Using a large skillet heat about 2 teaspoons of oil and sear beef for about 3-5 minutes in batches.
In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker,add beef that has been seared along with the onion and shallots.
When you sear the meat before adding to slow cooker, what you do is lock in a lot of the beefs natural flavors. I also feel the cooking time is shortened as well.
Add Worcestershire sauce to slow cooker
Once all the beef has been seared, deglaze skillet with wine and beef broth, add garlic to soften in liquid, and mustard.
After a couple of minutes add liquid to slow cooker and add bay leafs.
Cover, and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours).
When there is about 90 minutes remaining add mushrooms to slow cooker, or sauté and add to individual dishes. ( for the picky eater)
In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Ladle 1 cup cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture, than sour cream.
Serve beef over noodles or white rice; sprinkle with green onion or dill, if desired.
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