babies and beef stroganoff
I hope you had a relaxing Labor Day Weekend! Part of mine was spent in the desert sun and the other in the cool pines of Flagstaff. I returned Connor to school and on the drive back this morning, I was trying to decide about dinner.
Cruising up and down the winding mountains between there and here, I was thinking about my kids and about my pregnancies, of all things! Expecting was wonderful, but pregnancy itself, for me, was not! Let’s just say (without getting too graphic) that I knew I was pregnant, both times, because I was suddenly so ill. There was no “morning sickness” for me… more like “every-single-waking-moment sickness, for the full 9 months!”
Amazing that I gave it a second try and had Connor! But of course, I thank God everyday that I did! So anyhow, what does that have to do with Beef Stroganoff?
Well, it was one of the few things I absolutely craved, and wasn’t sickened by the smell of, and was somehow able to keep down, at least for a while. Understandably, I made it at least twice a week. Somehow my darling Marissa claims that she can’t stand it. But I would dare her to not love this version.
Back then I used stew meat and white mushrooms. I believe my gourmet daughter would appreciate the beef tenderloin and the wild mushrooms used here.
For the wild mushrooms, I use 1 1/2 ounces shiitake (the most affordable) and only 1/2 ounce mix of other varieties. Instead of sour cream, I love to use really great Greek yogurt. It’s hard to find anything better than Fage brand, even their non-fat (0%) is amazingly delicious, and best of all, you can find it at Trader Joe’s! So enjoy, pregnant or not!
Marissa’s Beef Stroganoff
1 slice bacon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more as needed to brown the beef
Two 9-ounce filet mignons, cut crosswise, then into 1-inch cubes, patted dry with paper towels
1/4 cup flour seasoned with 1 1/4 teaspoons salt and 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces wild mushrooms; such as shiitake and/or porcini, cepes, oyster, chanterelle
1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
1 cup peeled and chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 cup yogurt (preferably Fage Total 0% Greek)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
8 ounces extra-wide egg noodles, cooked
In a large skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp and transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off excess fat from skillet. Crumble bacon and reserve.
In a bowl toss a handful of the dried-off beef cubes with the seasoned flour until coated well. Add 1 tablespoon butter to the same skillet and over medium-heat, brown beef cubes, being careful not to overcrowd the meat. There should be space between each cube to allow them to brown properly. Continue to flour and brown the beef in batches, adding butter as needed, then transferring beef to a plate with tongs. This process is extremely important: be certain the beef is dry and that the pan is not overcrowded; it took four batches for me to brown the meat. It will depend on the size of your skillet, it could be a batch or two more or a batch less. If you overcrowd the pan or do not dry off the beef, it will steam instead of brown and your meat will be gray. Be patient, the end result of perfectly browned beef is worth the effort.
While browning the beef, place the dried wild mushrooms in a bowl, reconstitute by pouring enough boiling water in the bowl to cover. Place a dish or another bowl on top to keep the mushrooms submerged and soak for 20 minutes to soften. Drain, cut off stems and discard and thinly slice the cap. In same skillet cook mushrooms in 1 tablespoon butter over medium-low heat, stirring, until liquid from mushrooms starts to evaporate, season with salt and pepper. Add Cognac and cook until nearly all liquid is evaporated. Add another tablespoon of butter, the onions, and garlic and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent.
Add wine and boil until cooking liquid is almost evaporated. Add beef stock and simmer 1 minute. Stir in yogurt, Worcestershire sauce, and reserved bacon. Return browned beef and all juices from plate to skillet and gently simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on freshly cooked egg noodles.