My take on the classic beef stroganoff is deliciously juicy and is created in 30 minutes. Learn my simple tips and techniques to creating the juiciest and most flavorful beef stroganoff yet! Plus I will teach how to turn this into a one pot meal…Noodles and all!
I am a stickler for the classics. However, let’s be frank here, there are times that the classics come with a few kinks and glitches. And naturally I feel that my job as a chef is to make these classics relevant, simple and most importantly delicious.
Beef stroganoff is a dish that I have been making for years. Yet despite the numerous attempts at perfection, my beef stroganoff was never quite perfect. And the times that it came close to being perfect (in my eyes at least) it took too long and was too labor intensive for me to consider making this one of my winning weekly meals.
Sorry beef stroganoff your deliciousness is just not worth the hour long preparation.
That was of course until I had that “aha” moment. I was sitting next to the munchkin at dinner one night leafing through my favorite of magazines, “Cooks Illustrated“.
Cooks Illustrated is incredible because it only publishes the recipes that they have perfected in their test kitchens. And a true food nerd like me appreciates the intense research that they put into creating the ideal recipe that will make all their readers happy.
Beef stroganoff happened to be one of those dishes that they perfected. I read and re-read their piece on the glorious beef stroganoff and I realized that a delicious and easy beef stroganoff was in my reach in just a few steps.
- The Meat:
- The cut of meat is extremely important to consider (duh). Traditionally, beef stroganoff used the tenderloin cut, or as many may know it frequently referred to as filet mignon. Filet may have the tenderness and juiciness but it does not have the flavor. Sirloin cuts however do. Sirloin (whether it is the tips or a sirloin roast) happen to be extremely flavorful and if treated correctly will be tender and delicious.
- The treatment of the meat is just as important. The meat was punctured several times with a fork and then placed in a solution of soy sauce to brine. The little incisions made in the meat by the fork will allow for the soy sauce to penetrate the meat deeper and increase the juiciness and flavor. In as little as 15 minutes, the meat will be significantly more tender and juicy. Plus the umami flavor of the soy sauce really enhances the flavor of the meat.
- Traditionally the meat is sliced into bite size pieces and seared off in small batches. However, this can lead to the meat drying out, plus it is significantly more labor intensive. Instead of slicing up the meat into bite size pieces and then searing them this recipe calls for searing the entire pieces of meat and only after letting it rest is the meat sliced up and then it is added to the rest of the ingredients. This ensures massive flavor and perfect texture.
- The Mushrooms:
- Mushrooms are mainly water. And if you are cooking with mushrooms and waiting for them to caramelize, you first have to wait until the water sweats out and the mushrooms eventually caramelize. However, if you are creating a 30 minute meal, sometimes this does not play into the plans. So the brilliant folks at Cooks Illustrated figured out an extremely simple trick: They microwaved the mushrooms while the meat seared. And in just a few minutes those mushrooms sweated out all their water and were ready to be seared off for maximum caramelization in minimum time.
- I then added that water to the broth which made it significantly more shroomy tasting and a greatly deeper flavor as well. Wins all around!
- The Flavors:
- Traditionally, beef stroganoff is full of simple and very Russian flavors of sour cream and mustard. However, both myself and the good people and Cook’s Illustrated felt the recipe needed a new pick me up. So the addition of tomato paste is used to really deepen the flavor of the sauce. I also added some nice dry white wine to brighten up the flavors of this classic.
So while munchkin created a multitude of figures and shapes out of Play-Doh using my cookie cutters, I ran into the freezer and placed the sirloin roast I received from Crestwood Farms into the sink defrost.
Want to know how to defrost without having to wait hours? Submerge the meat completely in water that is as hot as your hands can handle it. Depending on the size this should take 15-45 minutes. My 2.5 pound roast took about 30 minutes.
And so began my beef stroganoff process. I marinated/brined our meat, seared it off, let it rest and then sliced through this beauty.
In the meantime I made a delicious sauce featuring some onions, mushrooms, dry white wine and tomato paste. I grabbed a container of fresh egg noodles from the refrigerated area in the grocery store (I chose fettucini) and boiled them off really quickly.
- If you are using fresh noodles as I did, you can actually cook them in the exact same pot with the stroganoff. Once you add in about 1.5 cups of liquid into the pot, add the noodles and let them cook right in there for about 2-3 minutes. And you have yourself a 1 pot meal!!! I have done this method many times in the past and it worked perfectly as well. I would just ensure that you plan on eating it all in one sitting because otherwise the noodles will fall apart in the sauce if left in overnight and it can be a gummy mess.
- I kept the sauce pretty true to form. It is the classic stroganoff mustard and sour cream combination. Traditionally dill is added as well, however I decided to keep it simple and just add in some pretty chopped parsley at the very end. It gave the sauce a nice pop of freshness and some great color.
I paired this beauty with a nice glass of cold beer for the hubs and some apple juice for the munchkin. They sat and ate side by side slurping up noodles and mopping up the sauce and entertaining each other with random funnies.
Classics may not always be perfect…but classic moments like this most definitely are 🙂
- 2.5 pounds sirloin steak tips, trimmed of excess fat and cut lengthwise (with grain) into 4 equal pieces
- 1 tbsp soy saue
- 2 pound crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup dry white wine
- 1.5 cups beef broth
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- kosher salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound of egg noodles (see note above on how to cook everything in one pot)
- With a fork, poke each piece of steak 10 to 12 times.
- Place in baking dish or any container that has high sides.
- Rub both sides evenly with the soy sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- While meat marinates, place the mushrooms into a microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until mushrooms have decreased in volume by half, this should take about 4 to 5 minutes (there should be as much as ½ a cup of liquid in bowl).
- Drain mushrooms and set aside; add the liquid to the beef broth.
- Pat steak pieces dry with paper towels and season heavily with salt with pepper.
- Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking.
- Place steak pieces in skillet and cook until browned on all side 6 to 9 minutes.
- If the pan starts to burn reduce the heat. All those bits on the bottom will be used as our flavor booster so try and not burn them.. Transfer meat to large plate and set aside while preparing the sauce.
- Add mushrooms, onion, and salt to skillet and cook until vegetables begin to brown and dark bits form on bottom of pan. This will take about 6-9 minutes..
- Add tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until onions and mushrooms are coated, about 1 minute.
- Stir in ⅓ cup wine, beef broth, and mustard, sugar and bring to simmer.
- Make sure to scrape the bottom of pan with wooden spoon or spatula (deglazing) to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce has reduced slightly and begun to thicken this will take about 4 to 6 minutes.
- While sauce is reducing, cut steak pieces across grain into ¼-inch-thick slices.
- Stir meat and any accumulated juices into thickened sauce and cook until beef has warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let any bubbles subside.
- At this point add in the noodles if using fresh noodles. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until noodles are al dente.
- Stir in sour cream and extra wine if necessary to thin out; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
2. Want to know how to defrost without having to wait hours? Submerge the meat completely in water that is as hot as your hands can handle it. Depending on the size this should take 15-45 minutes. My 2.5 pound roast took about 30 minutes.
Adapted fromCooks Illustrated