File Under E for Eww, but Also Under D for Delish

So I have decided that there is no possible way–at least for an ordinary gal like me, who has a run-of-the-mill digital camera, limited time for staging food photo shoots, and children running amok while she’s taking pictures–to take an attractive picture of a plate of beef Stroganoff. But you know what? I have never in my life let a lack of beauty stop me from doing what I wanted to do, and I’m not about to start now.

Beef Stroganoff is the kind of halfway-elegant comfort food that you don’t feel horribly ashamed to admit that you enjoy (unlike, say, Beef-A-Roni or a grilled-cheese sandwich with grape jelly spread on top), but which still fills that need for noodles, gravy and beef that comes over us all once in a while, veg*ns excepted (although I’d be willing to bet that a fair number of them feel that need and go to great lengths to oppress it. What else could explain the existence of seitan?).

Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. beef sirloin or tenderloin, trimmed and sliced

1 Tbs. flour

8 oz. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

1 Tbs. olive oil

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 cup bouillon

1/2 cup sour cream

2 Tbs parsley, chopped

Toss the beef slices in the flour. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, shallow pan; add the shallots and mushrooms. Saute briefly. Add the floured meat. Cook until the meat is seared; add the white wine and beef broth. Deglaze the pan. Cover. Cook for 10-20 minutes, until the beef is tender. Uncover. Let cook until the sauce is reduced, if necessary. Add sour cream and parsley, reducing heat. Stir until combined. Serve over egg noodles or rice.

Tell me in the comments what your acceptable comfort foods are.

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10 thoughts on “File Under E for Eww, but Also Under D for Delish

  1. When you put the liquid (wine, broth, etc.) in the pan, you use a spoon or spatula (I have some bamboo spatula thingys that I love for this) to scrape up all the bits that were left in the pan from the meat or vegetables or whatever you were cooking. That’s where all the flavor is, just like the crusts of the bread are where are the nutrients are.

    Farina? Really?

  2. Open faced roast beef sandwiches with home made gravy. Basically you sacrifice the meat in order to achieve gravy greatness. I serve this on spongy white bread in order to sop up every gravy molecule. I only make it once a year because it is evil.

  3. First, I am surprised that you use white wine with a beef dish. Have you tried red and it was too overpowering? As a cook myself, I’m curious.

    Next, beef stroganoff gets a bad rap. And for what it’s worth, yours looks yummy :-)

    Finally, I make a paprikash dish with ground turkey that is total comfort food, and similar in many ways to stroganoff: meat, elbow mac, slightly creamy sauce. Mmmmm ….

    • First, any chance you would share the paprikash recipe? That sounds like it’s right up my alley.

      As to the wine issue, I do use red in a number of beef dishes, particularly stew, beef soup, and beef pot pie. For this, I like white because it seems more compatible with the sour cream that gets stirred in. I’d be afraid that red wine would end up making the stroganoff look grayish-pink–thereby rendering it even less attractive than before. To be honest, though, I haven’t tried it. It might just be fantastic. Will have to experiment with that and get back to you!

      The other white-wine-and-beef application that I adore (and recently discovered) is in bolognese sauce. A good Italian friend of mine told me that the secret to his sauce is white wine, not red–although he did not give me any of the science or rationale behind that. It just makes super delicious sauce. Not long after learning this, I found a bolognese sauce by Mario Batali that also called for white wine. Although, I will still use red in a pinch while making red sauces — I tend to have red on hand but not white, usually.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Thanks for the details re: white wine with red meat — and YES! I agree; red wine and sour cream, well, ick in the visual dept ;-)

        I’m flattered that you would like my paprikash recipe. In the interest of full disclosure, it’s adapted from a Rachael Ray recipe:

        Turkey Paprikash

        1/2 pound elbow macaroni
        Olive oil
        1 Tbs butter
        1 lb. ground turkey (can even use all-white meat ground turkey in this one, if you’re calorie conscious, but it will be “drier”)
        3 large cloves garlic, smashed/minced
        1 medium onion, diced
        1/2 tsp of dried hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
        1 red (or yellow or orange) sweet pepper, seeded and chopped
        2 Tbs smoked paprika (impt to use the smoked kind for max flavor)
        1 tsp ground cumin
        1 tsp dried marjoram
        Fresh ground pepper and salt
        1 cup chicken stock
        1/2 cup sour cream (can use low-fat, no problem)
        Small handful of chopped parsley
        Small handful of chopped dill

        Cook pasta to al dente.

        While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet (larger than you think you need b/c later you’ll add the pasta to the pan) over medium heat. Brown the turkey. Add garlic, onions, red bell pepper and seasonings to the turkey. Cook 5-10 minutes then add chicken stock and sour cream to the pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Add the cooked pasta and stir. Let pasta absorb some of the sauce for a few minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste, along with the parsley and dill. Stir again and serve.

        Enjoy!

  4. Hi Nick,
    Can’t wait to hear what you whipped up for Thanksgiving. Turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes are for me the very epitome of comfort food but alas I eat them only once a year…and then for three days afterward as leftovers.

    Comfort food the rest of the year usually involves soup or Mexican food (not American style restaurant food but down home Mexican cooking). Mexican food is a lot of work but always well worth the effort.

    • You had me at “Mexican food.” Any kind of Mexican — American style, TexMex, realMex, even Taco Bell (I know, I know). I’ll take it all and then ask for seconds.

      Thanksgiving here is a traditional affair. Each year my husband and I have the Annual Battle of the Stuffings; he makes the biggest turkey he can shove into our oven; and the rest is pretty standard: mash and gravy, green bean casserole, maybe some rolls or bread, cranberry sauce from the can and from scratch. Friends bring dessert, usually, although I made pumpkin pies this year. And that’s it! I do have pictures somewhere but not even sure if it’s worth blogging about…I mean, a pumpkin pie is a pumpkin pie, right?

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