Teeth totally aside, I can't believe I never thought to try this out before. Anyone who reads my blogs would know that I prefer never to use shortcuts. As it happened, when I thought of making a Stroganoff out of hamburger meat, all the recipes I saw online started off with a can of cream of mushroom (or other creamy) soup. Yikes! I prefer to deal with salt on my own terms, so canned soups are definitely out. I like creating my own flavors. I came then to this list of ingredients that made a dish so elegant in its flavors that we both nearly cried.
Usually, a Beef Stroganoff is made with a kind of steak that will cook quickly. It is sliced thinly to this effect. The creamy sauce can be given all sorts of great flavors. Some years ago I created a Beef Stroganoff with Sirloin steak, and it was totally delightful. I will post that recipe here first, so you can see that flavor comes from great ingredients in either case, and none of them are so "out there" that the ingredients are difficult to find or buy. Maybe Sherry wine is not in everyone's household, and I do admit, it gives amazing flavor. But it is not essential, and the rest of the ingredients are simple.
½ - 1 pound of sliced fresh mushrooms, OR 2 ounces of dried, OR 1 - 2 small cans sliced mushrooms, drained
1 pound sirloin steak, partially frozen
1 large onion, sliced thinly, rings quartered
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil or other cooking oil
½ cup dry Sherry (not "cooking Sherry"), or white wine
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons paprika
3 cups water, stock or mushroom water (from soaking)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste
1½ teaspoons salt
few grinds of the pepper mill
¾ cup sour cream
If using dried mushrooms, place them in a bowl and cover them with boiling water and allow to reconstitute while continuing on with the recipe. Once softened, slice and set aside. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter and reserve as part of the cooking liquid.) If using fresh mushrooms, slice and set aside. If using canned mushrooms, drain and set aside.
Partial freezing makes for easy work slicing the meat thinly. Slice the steak thinly and across the grain. Cut each slice into 2 to 3-inch lengths and set on paper toweling to dry.
In a large skillet over medium high heat saute the onion in the 2 tablespoons each of butter and oil. Do not brown the onions. When the onions are limp, add the garlic and continue to saute until very fragrant. Remove onions and garlic to a large plate, reserving as much of the butter and oil as possible in the pan. Return to heat and fry the meat in 2 or 3 batches, browning well on both sides. As meat is browned, remove it to the plate with the onions.
Once meat is done, add the mushrooms to the pan with more butter and oil if needed and saute until browned. Add the Sherry and cook until it evaporates. Return the meat and onions to the pan. Sprinkle the flour and paprika over the mixture and toss to combine. Add in 3 cups of water, stock or mushroom water (if you are using soaked dried mushrooms) and stir, bringing to a boil, until the mixture has thickened. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper and add the Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste, stirring to combine. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve over egg noodles.
The Beef Stroganoff recipe and the new Hamburger Stroganoff recipe are quite similar. I rearranged the ingredient order a bit, but the outcome was amazing.
Serves 4 to 6
6 dried shiitake mushrooms or 1 - 2 cans sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups unsalted beef broth
2 tablespoons dry Sherry wine (not "cooking Sherry")
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
¾ cup sour cream
If using dried mushrooms, set them in a bowl or measuring cup and cover them with boiling water. Set another bowl on top of the mushrooms to keep them submerged. Meanwhile, begin with the recipe:
Heat a large skillet and add in the olive oil. Brown the hamburger meat thoroughly on medium to medium high heat, ensuring it does actually get browned and not just lose its pinkness. Once browned, remove the meat to a plate. Lower heat to medium low and add in the butter to the skillet and begin cooking the onions, tossing often until they are soft and translucent.
While onions are cooking, mash the garlic and salt together until it becomes a paste, then add to the cooked onions and stir for a few minutes. If using canned mushrooms, drain and add them to the skillet. If using soaked dry mushrooms, remove the mushrooms from their soaking water and remove tough stems to discard. Slice the mushroom caps into thin strips, adding them to the skillet. Return the meat and any juices to the skillet and in the flour, stirring until all the white flour is absorbed. Stir in the mustard powder, Worcestershire, tomato paste and pepper, then stir in the 2 cups of beef broth, substituting some of the broth with strained mushroom soaking liquid if desired. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the skillet where it will have left lots of browned bits. Bring to boiling, stirring, then lower heat to low and cook the mixture for about 15 minutes to meld flavors and cook out any raw flour taste. Add in the Sherry and paprika and stir well. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream and serve, preferably over egg noodles. Enjoy!
My passion is teaching people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and passing along my love and joy of food, both simple or exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own. Join me also at A Harmony of Flavors on Facebook, and Pinterest and sign up for my Newsletter.