Beef Stroganoff

Man oh man, I really wish we had a grill.  When the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, something just makes people what to cook their food outside on a fiery hot grill.

I will admit to being one of these people, minus owning a grill.  Our downstairs neighbors have one outside their door, and I’ve been tempted to ask to borrow use of it, but then I remember that I’ve never owned, operated, nor cleaned a grill and wouldn’t want to leave it in poor condition, nor have to pitifully ask them to help me through every step of using it.

So I tried to find some middle ground, i.e. a grill pan.  It worked wonderfully, despite the fact that I cut the meat too thickly in some cases and that I smoked up the majority of the apartment, even with three windows open.  (My kitchen has no hood, so I had to remove the closest fire detector because I’d set it off stir-frying mushrooms)

Anyway, the grill pan was great…until it came time to clean the darn thing.  Half an hour later, Luke and I had resorted to scouring it with SOS, as I had given up on preserving any of the seasoning while scrubbing away char bits.  Eventually, we got it to a manageable level, and now I have grime under all of my fingernails that won’t go away.  At this point, since we’re moving to a house with a real yard in a few months, I’ll hold off on grilling until we have an actual grill.  It was worth a try though.

Beef stroganoff does not require grilling, thank goodness.  It’s one of those stick-to-your-bones meals that always brings a smile to my face.  I remember my mom making this dish with cream of mushroom soup back when I was younger.  Since Luke is a lover of both beef and mushrooms, I feel like I should have made this sooner!

One more thing before you go.  I wrote a little piece elsewhere on the internets about how to master Chinese.  Click here if you’d like to check it out!

Beef Stroganoff

Adapted from What’s Cookin’ Chicago

Makes 4-6 servings

1 1/4 lbs sirloin steak tips (trimmed of excess fat and cut lengthwise with grain into 4 equal pieces)
2 tsp soy sauce
1 lb white mushrooms, quartered
2 tsp hot water
1 Tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp sugar
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tsp tomato paste
4 tsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp white wine
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Using a fork, poke each piece of steak a couple times. Place in baking dish; rub both sides evenly with soy sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

While meat marinates, place mushrooms in medium microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until mushrooms have decreased by volume by half, 4-5 minutes (should be as much as 1/4 cup liquid in bowl). Drain mushrooms and set aside; discard liquid. Combine water, dry mustard, sugar, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl until smooth paste forms; set aside.

Pat steak pieces dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place steak pieces in skillet and cook until browned on all sides and internal temperature registers 125 to 130 degrees, 6-9 minutes, reducing heat if the outside begins to burn. Transfer meat to large plate and set aside while cooking sauce.
Add mushrooms, onion, and 1/2 tsp salt to skillet and cook until vegetables begin to brown and dark bits form on bottom of pan, 6-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring constantly, until onions and mushrooms are coated, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/3 cup wine, beef broth and mustard paste and bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce has reduced slightly and begun to thicken, 4-6 minutes.

While sauce is reducing, cut steak pieces across grain into 1/4″ thick slices. Stir in meat and any accumulated juices into thickened sauce and cook until beef has warmed through, 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let any bubbles subside. Stir in sour cream and remaining tablespoons wine; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley to garnish and serve with egg noodles.

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