We know what you must be thinking: a hefty stew recipe? In July? Well, friends, we at YRH believe it’s never too early to prepare for the colder months. While the world suns itself, I want to take a brief moment appreciate the times where we feel a brisk chill in the air—if, for no other reason, virtual escapism. Enter: our recipe for a hearty Beef Stroganoff.
If you’re unfamiliar, Beef Stroganoff is widely considered to be a distinctly Russian dish. Growing up, my paternal grandmother had an *excellent* recipe for the old-world meal. She made it for us grandkids frequently; I’ve come to believe that her devotion to the dish came from her desire to prove that European recipes were more than just boiled cabbage and potatoes. Over the years, she updated her list of ingredients, and by the time my mom learned how to replicate it… let’s just say, it’s an entirely modernized version—Tabasco sauce and all.
As for its origins; many believe Beef Stroganoff to be a purely Russian thing. However, it was important for my grandmother to remind us that the dish was, in fact, invented by a French chef in the late 1800s (important because we have heritage in both countries). The chef, like many professional Frenchmen at the time, worked for an aristocratic family in Saint Petersburg, Russia. As the ingredients were all quite common for rich folks of Russia, it was quickly adopted and adapted. At some point, it made its way west. Today, many Americans enjoy preparing this hearty stew during the winter months—though, my family enjoyed it year-round. Enjoy my families’ modified Beef Stroganoff recipe! (FYI: this serves four)
What You’ll Need
- Deep, oven-friendly, cast-iron skillet (with lid)
- Second, smaller frying pan
Ingredients & Prep
- 1 ½ lbs. of beef tips (each cut in half/bite-sized)
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 ¼ cans of cream of mushroom soup
- ½ of a white onion, diced
- 1 cup of halved mushrooms
- 1 cup of water
- Tabasco/hot sauce (amount will depend on your preference)
- ¾ of a can of diced green chilis
- 1 cup of red wine (we use a cheaper Merlot)
- 1 cup of sour cream
- Pasta (your preference—we love Fettuccini noodles)
- Parsley/cilantro (optional)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
What You’ll Do
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (F)
Put the big cast-iron on your stovetop and let 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil melt on medium heat. Once melted, add your beef tips, salt them, and then cook on medium until fully brown.
Take the meat off the heat (what a rhyme!) and pour the cream of mushroom over the top of the beef (enough to cover *most* of the meat)—don’t mix it!
In your second pan, heat another tablespoon of butter on medium heat—then, add your diced onions and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are translucent. Pour this mixture over the top of the cream of mushroom soup—again, don’t mix it! If you couldn’t tell; we’re doing layers, folks!
In that second pan (probably with some onion/mushroom remnants), toss in 1 cup of water, a few shakes of salt, and as much Tabasco/hot sauce as your family enjoys (those of us with a low spice tolerance: approximately 5 shakes of the bottle should work nicely!) to give it a little kick.
Bring this liquid mixture to a boil. After it’s boiling, use a spoon or fork to remove the bits of onion/mushroom still in the liquid mixture. Pour the liquid mixture over the onions/mushrooms in the cast iron. Yet another layer—don’t mix it!
Add the green chilis on top of your other ingredients—I know it sounds weird, but trust me: don’t mix it!
Put the lid on your cast-iron and pop it in the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove it from the oven—don’t turn it off just yet—and take off the lid. Pour in your cup of red wine and your sour cream. Now (finally) mix everything in the cast-iron together. Salt and pepper to taste. Pop it back into the oven, without the lid, for 20 minutes.
While its cooking, whip up your family’s favorite noodles.
Remove from the oven. If it’s still a bit too “soup-y” for your liking, mix a little less than a ¼ cup of flour and water in a bowl, then mix it in. Finally, serve it over your pasta! You can also sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and fresh, chopped parsley/cilantro over the top to bring out the flavor. We loved to paid our Beef Stroganoff with bread rolls and French wine (ahem, sparkling cider for the kids).
Et Voilà! And, I suppose, Priyatnogo Appetita! (pree-YAHT-nah-vah ah-peh-TEE-tah). That’s right; Russians use a direct translation of the French phrase “bon appetit!”