Monday, January 7, 2008

Stroganoff Variation

Beef stroganoff is a standard, favorite meal of mine. I enjoyed it as a child -- in fact it is the first meal I remember cooking for the family by myself. I was probably 12 or 13 at the time. Growing up beef stroganoff meant beef with cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, and Worcestershire sauce. As my palette has aged, the campbell's cream of mushroom soup has been removed, but Worcestershire sauce remained a constant.

So having mushrooms and sour cream in the fridge and some defrosted stew meat, I naturally decided to make stroganoff. However, since I've already blogged about making stroganoff once, I decided to try a bit of variation. Even though Worcestershire sauce was a key ingredient in my mind, it wasn't in any of the stroganoff recipes I've encountered on the web. Those recipes often have mustard or dill in them, which I decided to try this time.

Here's the quick and dirty summary of what I did:
-Brown the beef in batches in a bit of oil
-Briefly saute a chopped onion, then add sliced mushrooms and cook for a while.
-Deglaze the pan with beef broth. Add back the meat, along with some dried mushrooms, black pepper, and enough broth to cover.
-Simmer for a while to get the meat tender and reduce the liquid.
-Add some sour cream (1 to 1.5 cups). Salt to taste.
-Add a tsp of dijon mustard and 1/4 tsp dill.
-Served on white rice.

It was okay. I liked the mustard addition, though I'd use slightly less next time. The dill didn't do much for me here.

I served this with Balsamic Brusslesprouts, using a recipe from Serious Eats that I had been meaning to try. I very nearly followed the recipe! I stirred in a bit of cold butter to finish the sauce at the end. The result: well it depends on how you feel about brussle sprouts and Balsamic vinegar. If you don't like sprouts, this recipe might be for you, since you couldn't really taste them. If you don't like balsamic vinegar, this recipe is definitely not for you, as that was all you could taste. While I like balsamic vinegar, I don't like it *that* much. I'm currently trying to learn to like brussle spouts. (I've read that it can take 10 exposures to learn to like a vegetable. This is my 5th attempt at brussle sprouts since I've read that.)

I also served it with some roast squash mixed with butter, salt, and a bit a cardamom. (Yes the flavors don't go together, but I like cardamom!)

Over all, edible but not fantastic.

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