Monday, February 3, 2014

Classic Beef Stroganoff

 I absolutely LOVE the Olympics. I know, I know, that may be a surprise to some, since I never follow any sports at all. But every two years I'm completely GLUED to the TV for two weeks watching every Olympic event, every personal back story, every medal ceremony, and everything about the host country's culture. It's always SO exciting!
 For the Sochi Olympics, though, I have to say I was a little bit torn. With all of the political controversy surrounding the games (especially since it goes against me personally), I wasn't sure if I would do my usual Olympics blogpost. But in the true spirit of the Olympic Games, I've decided to do as I always do, even though I don't agree with certain beliefs and laws. I've decided to set aside politics, support the athletes, and celebrate the Games by highlighting a classic dish from the host country. And frankly, I don't believe that one man's opinions are that of an entire country, so here we go.
 I did some research and apparently this is one of those dishes that has a million different variations, and no one dish is THE classic. This actually happens quite often with well-known dishes because everyone has a Grandmother who "makes the best in the whole world", and so forth. I always try to find the version that is the most popular, or at least the one that has the most things in common. And I think I've found it! Of course, I've tweaked it here and there, but here we are!
 It's really simple to make, it just takes a little extra time. And it's SO flavorful. For me, it's all about the wine and the sour cream. ABSOLUTELY delicious! It's hearty and comforting and I didn't want to stop eating it, even after I was full. Maybe you can serve it to your family as you watch The Games! Definitely give this one a try.

1 tbs vegetable oil
2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs butter
1 medium onion, sliced or diced
8oz sliced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbss all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 10oz can beef broth
1 cup sour cream
1 tbs fresh chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
 Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add beef to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid evaporates and meat browns. Remove meat from the pan and set aside. Stir butter, mushrooms and onions into the pan and cook and stir over medium heat until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes until incorporated. Stir in wine and beef broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cook for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Return beef to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 1 hour with the lid on, until the beef is tender and the sauce is thick. Stir every 20 minutes scraping up the bottom of the pan to make sure it doesn't burn. After an hour, or when the beef is very tender, stir in sour cream. Stir in chives. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed. Serve with rice or buttered noodles.
I'm not sure if mushrooms are very traditional, but many recipes seem to include them, so why not?
Be sure it doesn't burn while it's simmering for an hour. I just used a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan as it simmered, and it just kept getting richer and deeper in flavor. LOVE that.
If you want to make this ahead, I would follow it right up until it's time to add the sour cream, and then add it right before serving.

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