Beef Stroganoff

beef-stroganoff

My wife’s birthday was yesterday and she requested beef stroganoff. She couldn’t have just any beef stroganoff. She wanted the one just like her dad used to make. Yeah, the one with no recipe written down. She helped me recreate it, and now hopefully I have a recipe I can follow next time.

Ingredients

1¼ lbs beef (sirloin, we bought sirloin strips from Wegmans)
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
12oz pack of white mushrooms
3 cups beef stock
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup sour cream
3 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
Olive oil
White pepper
1½ packages egg noodles
Red wine (optional – set aside another ¼ cup beef stock if you aren’t using wine)

Instructions

Dice onions, mince garlic, & slice mushrooms.

Cut beef into thin strips. If you bought sirloin strips, go through the pieces and cut them so they’re all approximately the same size. Put the pieces in a bowl, season with salt & pepper, and coat in approx. 2 tbsp flour.

Heat olive oil (enough to coat the bottom) in one large skillet and one dutch oven over medium heat. If you don’t have a dutch oven, use two skillets instead. Put the beef in the skillet and onions + garlic in the dutch oven. Brown the beef. (Continue to the next step while the beef continues to brown)

Once the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms. Stir. Add beef stock, stir. Slowly add heavy cream, stirring the whole time. Add sour cream, also stirring the whole time. Stir until it’s well-mixed.

By now, the beef should be browned. Now is a good time to start the pasta water. Salt your pasta water!

Remove beef to a plate. Deglaze the pan with some red wine, or ¼ cup beef stock if you don’t have wine. Because of he flour coating on the beef, it will be pastier than a typical deglazed pan. Add beef to the dutch oven (or pan #2).

Melt the 3 tbsp butter in the pan. Add 2 tbsp flour and stir to make a roux. Normally I would use a 1:1 ratio of butter:flour, but

Once you roux is roux-tastic, ladle some of your liquid from the dutch oven (or pan #2) into the roux. Stir while you’re adding. It’s ok if beef and mushrooms come over in the liquid. It should thicken nicely. I think we did 3 ladles of liquid in total.

Add the liquid with the roux into the other pan and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce, and simmer. Taste it. It’s going to need more seasoning. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Continue to let it simmer while you make the egg noodles.

Hopefully by now your pasta water is boiling. Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles. Don’t rinse them! Transfer the noodles to the dutch oven and stir. Let them cook together (on low) for a couple of minutes. If you used a pan instead of a dutch oven, put your noodles back in the pasta pot and transfer everything else to the noodles.

Snow Day Chili-Stew

snow-day-chili-stew

We had a blizzard last year, and I wanted to make something warm for us to eat while taking breaks from shoveling feet of snow. I’ll be making this again for sure during the next mega-snow! I call it a chili-stew because it has some elements of a chili and other elements of a stew. I didn’t think it was “chili” enough to just call it a chili.

Ingredients

1 to 1 ½ lb sirloin
¼ package red kidney beans
1 jalapeño 
2 poblano peppers
4 tomatillos
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
¼ cup masa harina
Olive oil
About ½ cup fresh or frozen corn
2 cups beef stock
½ bottle beer
Worcestershire sauce
Maggi liquid seasoning (This can be hard to find. If you can’t, just add a little more Worcestershire)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, roughly chopped
¼ cup apple juice
Cumin
Chili powder
Cayenne

Instead of the cumin, cayenne, and chili powder, you can also use Tastefully Simple Wahoo! Chili seasoning.

Instructions 

Prep kidney beans according to package instructions. This takes about an hour for the non-overnight method. Drain and rinse when done.

While beans are soaking, roast poblanos and jalapeño. Turn on broiler. Coat peppers in olive oil. Roast until charred, about 10 minutes. You can also roast them on a gas burner, but we don’t have a gas range in our new house (sad face).

Dice onion and mince garlic. Set aside (together). Remove husks from tomatillos and roughly chop. Cut off tops of poblanos and jalapeño and roughly chop. Roughly chop 2 chipotles. Set aside tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeño, and chipotles together.

Trim sirloin and cut into small pieces, about the size of your thumb above the knuckle.

Heat approx. 3 tbsp olive oil in dutch oven on med-high. Add sirloin with salt & pepper. Cook until brown. Add masa harina, stir, and toast for 1 minute. If it gets too dry, add more olive oil. It should be a dry-ish paste, not really wet, and but not super dry. Add garlic and onion, cook a few minutes.

Deglaze with beer.

Add beef stock, peppers, and tomatillos. Stir. Salt liberally. Add about 5-8 dashes Worcestershire and 10-15 dashes maggi. Add about 1 tsp each chili powder and cumin. Add about ½ tsp cayenne. (Measurements are approximate. Adjust to taste as it cooks). Add beans and corn.

8. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Simmer for about 2 to 2 ½ hours. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pot about every 30 minutes. Taste each time and adjust seasoning to taste. Add apple juice in the last 30 minutes (optional, to cut down the level of spicy).

Troubleshooting 

Too spicy? Add some apple juice. Don’t have apps juice? Toss a peeled potato into the bottom of the pot to absorb some of the spice. Don’t have that either? Add some sugar.

Not spicy enough? Add cayenne or some juice from the chipotle peppers.

Not flavorful enough? Add more cumin, cayenne, & chili powder.

Doesn’t taste brown enough? (Yeah, this is a thing) Add more Worcestershire and/or Maggi.

Filet Mignon

fullsizeoutput_bd0Mmmmm filet mignon. Pretty much one of my favorite foods, so it’s even better that they’re quick and reasonably easy to make.

Preheat oven to 400°. If you have a convection setting, you can use it at 375°.

Pat steaks dry and season with salt. In an oven-proof skillet, sear 4 minutes, flip, sear another 4 minutes. Transfer to oven, cook for about 5-6 minutes (for medium). Transfer to a plate, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Food safety note: Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, eggs, or unpasteurized milk may increase your risk of foodborne illness. Visit foodsafety.gov for safe meat cooking temperatures.