Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Life-Changing Beef Stroganoff

I am very excited to finally be sharing this recipe!

I know I promised I would share this awhile ago back at week 19!

Now, this recipe is probably not going to actually change your life, but it just might change your opinion on beef stroganoff.

Growing up, my memory of beef stroganoff was that it was a warm, hearty dish that I loved and my sister hated. But I also remember it being sort of...traditional. I began to search for the recipe (as I did not have my childhood recipe) and stumbled across a recipe that intrigued me. Of course, at the time, I was missing like half the ingredients it called for, and so I tried to think of what I had in the house that could be good substitutes. 

And I came up with a dang good recipe!!

Let's begin.

Begin by putting a big pot of water on to boil and getting a large sauté pan on medium heat with 2 tablespoons of butter in it.

Here are the 3 ingredients that I think make this dish so special:

White wine, smoked paprika, and beef bullion granules.

I'm no food expert, but I'm pretty sure that typically red wine is paired with beef and white wine goes with chicken and fish. But I like the white wine in it because it gives it a brightness that I really enjoy! I'm sure a red wine would make it delicious as well with the depth it would give. I used a pinot grigio. I think I've also used a chardonnay. Just use whatever you've got!

The smoked paprika was a last-minute substitution that I did the first time I made this recipe, and I've never looked back! It is really hard to find. I got mine from World Market for $3.99 and it comes in a very nice glass spice jar! You can get it online or in store. We checked stores just outside St. Louis and in Nashville during our last trip home from Kansas and only found 1 bottle. I originally bought it in the Lawrence, KS store. So online might be the way to go!

And as for the beef bullion granules...not such a special ingredient by itself, but I prefer the granules instead of the cubes because I can dump in however much I need.

Moving on!

The recipe calls for raw beef that you slice into bite-sized strips and then coat in flour and sauté in butter. But we grilled this past weekend and we had so much leftover steak that I decided to cut a corner this time and use it instead. It will be more flavorful if you don't use pre-cooked meat, but I hate wasting food and wanted to use our leftovers.

Lookit this hunk of meat! We usually buy the family pack of skirt steak from the commissary. Super economical and cooks quick!

So typically this is the point where you would throw in the raw beef to cook with onions and garlic in the butter. But since my meat is already cooked and simply needs to be heated through, I skipped ahead to adding the wine.

Of course, I don't measure, but I probably use a good cup of wine. A really good trick is to buy those four-packs of mini wine bottles and just use one whole bottle each time you cook this. But if you use a large bottle, then you can always pour yourself a glass while you cook! :)

I love cooking with wine. It smells so good! Let the wine cook for a few minutes and reduce a bit.

Since I did not have flour coated beef, I need to add the flour anyway to thicken the sauce. I used a tablespoon after the wine had reduced. Stir it in; it will absorb remaining liquid. If it doesn't look exactly like this, no big deal:

I promise it will still taste SO good!

Next, I added probably 2 cups of hot water and a heaping tablespoon or so of the beef granules. And I added my beef strips. TIP: use kitchen shears to slice the meat - much easier than using a knife!

Now for my favorite part: adding the smoked paprika. There is no smell like it! I think I ended up using about 2 teaspoons. You know what I'm going to say...I don't measure! I think I measure with my nose. I frequently smell my dish and judge that way. Weird, I know.

Bring the meat and sauce back up to heat until the meat is heated. Remember, you are not re-cooking the meat, just giving it a little heat.

Next, take your pan off the heat. You are going to add the sour cream in next. You do not want your sauce to be bubbling while adding this dairy.

By this time your noodles should be cooked, so this is a good time to tend to them.

Look at how the smoked paprika has deepened the color of the sauce!

Stir in 8 ounces of sour cream until it is blended:

Dump in your egg noodles and toss until they are coated.

I added some dried parsley and then separated it into 2 square aluminum pans for my post-baby freezer meal stash for hubby and I!

Beef Stroganoff

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced

skirt steak, sliced into thin, bite-sized strips
2 tablespoons flour

1 cup white wine
2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon beef granules
2 teaspoons smoked paprika

8 ounces sour cream

1 pkg whole wheat egg noodles

dried parsley, optional

1. Prepare noodles following package directions. 
*If you are going to freeze this dish, I recommend using the lowest cooking time to prevent soggy noodles.

2. Melt butter on medium heat in a large saucepan.

3. Add onions and garlic.

4. Meanwhile, toss beef strips in the flour to coat (I use a ziplock bag) and add to butter, onions, and garlic.

5. Cook until meat has reached your preferred doneness. This just takes a few minutes.

6. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan; reduce for 1-2 minutes.

7. Add the water, beef granules, and smoked paprika. Stir and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

8. Remove from heat and add sour cream once the sauce is no longer bubbling.

9. Stir until smooth; add in cooked noodles.

10. Toss until noodles are well coated; top with dried parsley, if desired.

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