If you're a new cook and the thought of making Beef Stroganoff scares you out of the kitchen, fear not, this recipe is beginner-friendly. Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with sour cream. From its origins in 19th-century Russia, it became a beloved dish in America in the fifties with considerable variation to the actual recipe. One of Jim's favorite dinners, this rendition features top sirloin, button mushrooms and a cream sauce spiked with cognac and seasoned with caraway and nutmeg.
1 pound of beef top sirloin
Kosher salt and pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 pound small button mushrooms, sliced or diced to your preference (Jim and I both share a "thing" with mushroom texture so I dice mushrooms very small)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cup beef broth (I like Better than Bouillon mixed with water)
2 tablespoons Cognac
2 tablespoons red wine
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon paprika
*I have to be honest about the serving size here. If you or your spouse love beef stroganoff like my husband does, then this recipe makes 2-3 servings. I boil extra egg noodles to serve the kids and they eat just a few strips of meat each, after I wipe off the sauce of course. Even still, I usually have just one small serving left for Jim to enjoy for lunch the next week.
Prep and sear meat
Place the sirloin in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to make it easier to slice thin. First, trim the excess fat off the sirloin. Using a sharp knife, slice into thin bite-size strips, about 1/2 inch thick and one inch wide. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a heavy Dutch oven over high heat until very hot. Working in batches as to not crowd the pan, add meat in single layer and cook just until brown on the outside, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate as they finish cooking. There should be lots of brown bits stuck to the bottom of the Dutch oven, this is a good thing! Fond = flavor.
Create the most luscious sauce
Turn heat down to medium and add 2 tablespoons of butter and the shallot, sauteeing until tender, but not brown, about 2 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the Dutch oven.
Add mushrooms and garlic, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and sauté until liquid evaporates about 8 minutes.
Pour in the brandy and broth and allow to simmer for 8 to 10 minutes until it reduces slightly. Add the wine and simmer for another 2 minutes.
Stir in whipping cream, dijon mustard, caraway, and nutmeg.
Add back the plate of meat along with any juices that may have accumulated on the plate. Turn heat to low and cover until ready to serve.
Boil noodles and finish meal
While the sauce reduces, put a large pot of water to boil and salt heavily until it tastes like the sea. Boil egg noodles until al dente according to the package directions. Strain and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Divide noodles into four bowls.
Taste the sauce one more time and add salt and pepper as needed.
Ladle the beef and sauce over each bowl of noodles and sprinkle with paprika before serving.