Beef Stroganoff

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Beef stroganoff is one of those meals that has it all, meat, noodles and yummy sauce/gravy.  What’s not to love, really?  It’s not difficult to make, can pretty much be done in one pot and doesn’t take any crazy culinary skills to achieve success.  Winning!!  I pretty much stick to the same recipe every time I make it, however, I do change out the meat sometimes.  I mostly use beef tenderloin (fillet mignon) since it produces the most tender meat and it’s quick, but you can also use sirloin, chuck or pretty much whatever you have.  The only consideration to make would be cooking time, some cuts you will need to let cook a little longer in order to achieve a nice tender result.

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Also, I use crème fraiche, but that too is optional.  You can be a purist and use just sour cream or you could make kind of a mock crème fraiche with sour cream and cream cheese.  To be honest, all are really delicious, so it’s not a big deal what you use.  The other optional ingredient is cognac, I just love the flavor it gives, but understandably, you can choose to omit.

For the Recipe:

a few tablespoons of oil (canola, avocado, grapeseed), this can vary since it depends on size of pan you use

2 lbs beef tenderloin (or meat of your choice), cut into bite size chunks

1/4 c. flour

salt and pepper (you will need about 1 1/2 tbsp. total of salt and 1 tbsp. of pepper throughout the recipe)

1 1/2 tbsp. butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 c. mushrooms, sliced (I use crimini, but you could also use shitake or any other you prefer)

2/3 c. cognac (optional)

3 c. beef stock, homemade preferred

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 container of crème fraiche, they are usually around 8 oz.  (or substitute sour cream or a combo of sour cream and cream cheese)

1 pound noodles of choice

In a large pan heat the oil.  While the oil is heating, coat the meat with flour.  Season with salt and pepper.  Next you want to brown the meat.  This part can be tedious but don’t skip it!!  Place each piece in the pan and let brown on each side, don’t crowd the pan or it will not brown it will steam.  You will probably have to do this in batches, just be patient.  Once the meat has been browned set it aside.  To the same pan add the butter and onions, approximately 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper, let cook until starting to brown a bit then add the mushrooms and a little more salt and pepper.  Cook for another 10 or so minutes until the mushrooms also start to brown.  Next, TURN OFF THE HEAT!!  Time to add the cognac and unless you are truly going for the flambé action you need the flame OFF.  You will use the cognac to deglaze the pan and make sure all the brown goodness is coming and becoming part of your sauce.

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Now you can turn the flame back on and add the beef broth and beef.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes (depending on how large you cut the meat).  Now would be a good time to make the noodles, according to the package.  Lastly, add the Dijon mustard, crème fraiche, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over noodles and you are ready to enjoy this retro yumminess.

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Enjoy

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