Dish of the Week: Beef Stroganoff

beefstroganoff.jpg
Photo by Kim Mc.
The dish is often served over wide egg noodles, but any variety of pasta or rice will do.
From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. See the complete list of recipes at the end of this post.

As we bid the Sochi Olympics a hearty "do svidaniya" just yesterday, we're sharing one final memento from our time in Mother Russia. This week's recipe is the classic dish Beef Stroganoff.

Its name likely derived from the highly successful Stroganov family, the dish has its origins in mid-19th-century Russia. The first known written recipe -- for Govjadina po-strogonovski, s gorchitseju (Beef à la Stroganov, with mustard) -- was printed in the classic Russian cookbook A Gift to Young Housewives in 1861.

Made with sautéed beef and a smetana (sour cream) sauce, the original recipe used beef cubes as opposed to beef strips and was prepared without mushrooms and onions, all of which are common in beef stroganoff today.

The dish's popularity extends all over the world, from Sweden's korv-stroganoff (sausage stroganoff) to Brazil's version, often made using strips of chicken, tomatoes and heavy cream. Commonly served over rice or egg noodles, the dish became popular in the United States after it was brought over by Russian and Chinese immigrants, as well as American servicemen stationed in pre-Communist China, before the start of World War II.

This classic recipe from Tyler Florence employs a low-temperature braise that imparts a deeply rich, intense flavor to the beef. A hint of cognac and Dijon give the dish a bright zing.

Beef Stroganoff over Egg Noodles

Ingredients

  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 lbs chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes*
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cognac
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sour cream, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 (1-lb) package wide egg noodles
  • Optional garnish: A dollop of sour cream, chopped fresh parsley, parmesan cheese.

    *Like the original recipe, this one calls for cubes of beef. If desired, thin strips of beef (about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches long) can be used instead.

    Directions

    Heat the beef stock, chopped carrot, 3 sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf in a medium pot. Pat the beef dry and season generously with salt and pepper.

    In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 3 tbsp oil over high heat. Add the meat, sautéing in batches so that each piece can brown nicely on all sides. Once browned, return all the meat to the skillet and lower the head to medium. Stir in the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in the cognac and cook until the alcohol has burned off, about 5 minutes.

    Strain the carrot, thyme and bay leaf from the beef stock and add the stock to the beef mixture. Reduce heat to low and braise, partially covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

    Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp butter and the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic and the remaining 3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

    When the meat is done and beautifully tender, remove the skillet from the heat and fold in the mushrooms, sour cream, mustard and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

    Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just done. Drain well, toss with the remaining 2 tbsp butter and season with salt and pepper.

    Ladle the stroganoff over the noodles and serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh parsley. For added bite, sprinkle on nutty grated parmesan cheese.

    See more Recipes of the Week:

    Recipe of the Week: Coq Au Vin
    Recipe of the Week: Argentine Chimichurri
    Recipe of the Week: Flourless Chocolate Cake
    Recipe of the Week: New England Clam Chowder


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