Is winter the season for comfort food? When temperatures drop to hand-numbing depths or swing up and down so you are never sure what to pysch up for, yes, it’s (seriously, emphatically) the time for comfort food!
Well that would explain my cravings for Beef Stroganoff!
Did you know that Beef Stroganoff has had a long and honored history originating in Imperial Russia in the late 1800’s with no (no!) onions or mushrooms. From there it spread across the world and was common restaurant from Europe to Asia to South America. Despite an elegant past, beef stroganoff is now more like down home comfort food (other than the sirloin in it 😉 ) and can be easily prepared for a hearty and satisfying family dinner.
Prepared traditionally, the dish is rather rich but there are a few tweaks you can consider to make it a bit healthier. First, you don’t need to use full fat sour cream. Most of the thickening power comes from the flour in the sauce, so reduced fat sour cream works fine. Second, using beef from grass-fed cattle improves the fat profile (see A Grassfed Beef Primer for more info on this). Finally, rather than using higher fat egg noodles made with white flour, you can use organic whole wheat fettuccini. Fettuccini noodles are a bit narrower than egg noodles, but they give the same substantial mouth feel–with less fat and a significant amount of fiber. I use Bionaturae pasta which isn’t the least bit mealy and has 6 g of fiber/ 2 oz (raw) serving.
Comfort food that is healthy. This peasant is happy!
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 t ground pepper
- 1 pound beef sirloin steak, cut in 1/4-inch-wide strips
- 3 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can (10 1/2 oz) condensed beef or chicken broth (or rich homemade)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons sherry or cognac
- Half of a 16 oz package of egg noodles or fettuccini, cooked
1. Combine 1 tablespoon flour and the salt. Dredge the meat in the flour mixture and brown in 1 T butter.
2. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic to the meat, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is barely tender. Remove from skillet
3. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan drippings. When melted, blend in 3 tablespoons flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste. Slowly pour in the broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
4. Return the meat and mushrooms to the skillet and simmer until meat is heated through, about 2 minutes. Combine sour cream with a little of the hot broth (this tempers the sour cream and helps to prevent curdling), then stir in the sour cream mixture and sherry. Season with pepper to taste. Stir briefly. Heat through but do not let boil, just simmer for a few minutes before serving.
5. Serve over egg noodles or fettucini.
Makes 4-5 servings.