Rainy Day Recipe: Traditional Beef Stroganoff

There's something about a rainy day--or hell, a tropical storm parked in the Gulf--that always brings this particular dish to mind. Perhaps it has something to do with our Eastern European ancestry, but when it comes to pasta dishes there are few that can sate our stormy weather cravings better than a traditional Russian stroganoff. If your only experience with the dish is through box-mix varieties, we encourage you to try this one out. We cringed the first time we added the Dijon mustard (an ingredient we don't particularly love on its own), but the flavor it added was pitch-perfect. The fresh dill is nothing less than a revelation.

Traditional Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 2 1/2-pound piece beef tenderloin, well trimmed, meat cut into 2x1x1/2 inch strips (substitute: 1 pound ground sirloin or 1 pound ground turkey)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 pound small button mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 cup canned beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons cognac (substitute: Worchester sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cup crème fraîche or whipping cream (substitute: light sour cream)
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles
  • Paprika (optional)

Pat meat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot. Working in batches, add meat in single layer and cook just until brown on outside, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet. (If using ground beef or turkey, season meat and cook until just slightly pink, then drain and transfer to large bowl.)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped shallots and sauté until tender, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes. Add button mushrooms. Sprinkle with pepper and sauté until liquid evaporates, about 12 minutes.

Add beef broth, then cognac. Simmer until liquid thickens and just coats mushrooms, about 14 minutes.

Stir in crème fraîche and Dijon mustard. Add meat and any accumulated juices from baking sheet. Simmer over medium-low heat until meat is heated through but still medium-rare, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer to bowl. Add remaining 4 tablespoons butter and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide noodles among plates. Top with beef and sauce. Add a dash of paprika to taste.

Yields 4 Servings

Recipe adapted from epicurious.com.

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