I do not remember my Mother making beef stroganoff, when I was growing up; I cannot actually imagine it might have been a dish that my Father would have eaten.
What I do remember is my Russian language professor, taking our class on a field trip to Los Angeles, which included dinner at a Russian restaurant with a floor show of musicians and dancers. I was fascinated by the stroganoff part of beef stroganoff, and given the chance, that is what I ordered at the restaurant.
I also remember the first time Melody invited me to her apartment, when we were in college; she prepared a variation of the dish, which I believe she called hamburger stroganoff. It was, if my memory serves, a dish one of her teachers from Junior High had taught her, and it was quite good. It used ground beef, much more affordable on a college student budget, and Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup; which I thought was brilliant.
Needless to say, I like beef stroganoff and while I do not make it often, when I do, it is always appreciated.
Back in the day, when I first began to make such exotic dishes, I of course stuck to the true and tried methods of the experts. Thus I would season and flour chunks of beef, and pan fry them, to create the base from which I would make the sauce. The results are excellent. However, I have adapted the traditional recipe, to suite my style of cooking; and it comes out quite good.
1 small Beef Roast – 3-4 pounds works very well, but the meat is not the main dish. You can add a lot of flavor to the dish with a small amount of meat.
Powered Bay Leaf
1 pound of Egg Noodles
½ cup of Butter
1 large Onion, finely diced
3-4 cloves of Garlic finely diced or crushed – optional
1 – 2 cups of Red Wine
1 cup of Beef Broth
1 pound of Sour Cream
1 pound of sliced Mushrooms, unless you live with someone who hates them.
Yes, I wash my roast, but it is your choice; place roast in a roaster, sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and pour about a cup of red wine into the bottom of the roaster.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, and then turn down the heat to 250 for two to three hours, until it is fork tender. You may want to do this the day or night ahead. I will often put a beef or pork roast to cook, at a very low temperature, overnight. What matters is that the meat literally pulls apart with a fork and that you do not discard those pan drippings!
In the time it takes to cook the egg noodles, according to the package directions, you can assemble the rest of this meal. When the egg noodles are cooked, after they are drained, I coat them in about half of the butter, and will lightly salt them. I cook them al dente, so they will hold up well to the thick sauce.
In a large skillet sauté the diced onion until translucent, in the rest of the butter, and then add the garlic cloves. If you are adding mushrooms to your sauce, place them in the skillet with the onion and garlic, and sauté until soft. You may salt your sauce lightly, as this is the best time for the mushrooms to absorb flavor, but remember the pan drippings and broth will both be salted.
After this mixture is tender, add about a half cup of red wine, let it come to a boil and then turn down the heat. Add the pan drippings and broth, as well as the meat which should be cut into bite size pieces.
Taste, correct seasonings, and after it has simmered about 5-7minutes, with the taste being fully incorporated, turn off the heat, and add the sour cream, which serve as that thickening agent, as opposed to the flour.
Serve the sauce over the egg noodles, and a dollop of sour cream!