A while back, I made Ina Garten’s filet of beef bourguignon. I sent Tom to the butcher to get some filet of beef. When he came back, he told me he had spent over $60 at the butcher…all on what the butcher had called “the cadillac of meats.” While the bouguignon was delicious, that is when I vowed to never use filet IN something again. I would rather season it simply with some salt and pepper and throw it on a grill or sear it on the stovetop. Filet doesn’t need to be covered is sauce and stewed with vegetables to be delicious. Nor does a delicious meal have to cost a small fortune.
And so is the deal with stroganoff. Most recipes call for beef tenderloin. I’m sure these recipes are delicious…but I’m also sure they could be just as delicious with a less expensive cut of meat. In fact, after making it tonight…I know it can be! If you do make this with tenderloin, you don’t need to simmer the beef to tenderize, as I have done below.
1 lb. beef round or chuck, cut into 2″ cubes
a little olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup red wine or sherry
1 1/2 cup beef broth (this could vary, depending on the size of the pan you are using; just be sure to cover the beef with liquid)
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 lb. sliced or quartered mushrooms
1 sprig thyme or a pinch dried
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. flour
1/3 – 1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
Heat a dutch oven, stockpot, small casserole, etc. over medium heat. Add olive oil. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper, and then brown it in the olive oil, in batches. Remove the beef.
Increase the heat slightly and add the wine to deglaze. Be sure to scrape up what Nigella would call “those glorious brown bits.” Reduce the liquid slightly, and then add the beef broth, bay leaf, and browned meat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 1-2 hours. Skim the fat and reserve 3/4 cup of the liquid (and the beef, of course).
In a skillet, melt the butter. Add the onions, mushrooms, thyme and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are tender and the mushrooms have released all or most of their moisture, about 6 minutes.
Stir in the garlic clove and cook until fragrant. Add the flour and stir for a minute or two, to cook off the raw flour taste. Add the 3/4 cup reserved cooking liquid. Stir and cook until thickened.
Off the heat, stir in the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.