Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

While my DB and I can just about agree on everything regarding food, beef is not one of them (he loves it, I don't care for it). Thus, I tend to lean towards recipes that we both enjoy- poultry, pork, and fish. The interesting thing is- while I don't care for beef/steak products, I do love the flavor that beef imparts. Since it has recently become quite chilly, I have been longing to make warm, comfort foods. I love beef stroganoff (minus the beef- I'll use it but will pick around it) for its delicious mushroom-beef sauce that it comes in. We haven't had any red meat in our rotation recently, so I wanted to try a recipe. This recipe includes creme fraiche, which is similar to sour cream but milder, sweeter, and thicker in texture. Creme fraiche is ideal since it will not break down ("curdle") when simmered in sauces. (I purchased this at Trader Joe's for $3.59.) My DB loved this dish- I just gave him all my beef, and he gave me all his mushrooms- a fair trade, if you ask me. The sauce was FANTASTIC!!!! So flavorful, rich, and warmed our souls. While egg noodles are widely used in this recipe, I prefer rice or crusty bread since it absorbs the sauce so well.

3 Tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 lb. top sirloin, cut into thin strips about 1" wide and 2" long
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 leeks, white and light green portions only, cleaned and finely chopped (Used 2 medium onions)
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced (Used baby bellas)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups beef stock
1/3 cup crème fraîche
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

1. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbsp of the olive oil.
2. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add half of the beef strips (do not overcrowd the pan) and sauté until nicely browned but still a little pinkish on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 Tbsp of the oil and the remaining meat.
4. In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil.
5. Add the leeks and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the mushrooms and sauté until nicely browned, about 5 minutes more.
7. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until blended in, about 1 minute.
9. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to incorporate.
10. Add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium. 11. Add the crème fraîche, mustard and lemon juice and cook for 1 minute more to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
12. Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook just until the beef is heated through, about 2 minutes.
13. Garnish with parsley and a dollop of creme fraiche (or sour cream), and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Serving Tip: Stroganoff, though not technically a braise, has a similar consistency when finished. It is traditionally served over wide egg noodles.

Source: Williams-Sonoma


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