I try not to bastardize a recipe until I’ve made it true to form at least once. But sometimes I’m too attracted to a recipe to wait to try it.
By sometimes, I really mean this happens a lot. This is the perfectly good recipe, with my substitutions in bold italics:
Beef Stroganoff from my 1970 Kitchen
1 cup butter
1 1/3 c finely chopped onions
1 1/2 pound sliced, fresh mushrooms
3 3/4 pound top round of beef cut into strips Cubed Steak
6 TB flour
3 bouillon cubes in 3 cups hot water 1/3 can beef broth + water & beefy onion soup mix
1 can tomato paste
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c sour cream
1 1/2 c Half & Half 2% Milk
Melt 1/3 c butter. Sauté onions. Remove and set aside. Add and melt 1/3 c butter. Sauté and remove mushrooms. Flour beef and sauté in rest of the butter. Add onions and bouillon mixture. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or till beef is tender (cubed steak only needs 30 minutes simmer time). Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sour cream, Half & Half (milk) and mushrooms. Heat through.
Serve with wide noodles (Elbow Macaroni)
Original recipe courtesy of my friend Katie, who got the recipe from her friend’s mom.
This version of Stroganoff popped into my inbox a few days before the much anticipated Duck Dynasty season 3 premiere last Wednesday. Why Stroganoff? Because it’s a classic, traditional choice for a family meal. It smells good, it tastes good, and it has no time for trendy, obscure ingredients. In short, it’s not yuppie food. Phil Robertson would approve. It kind of just goes with the Duck Dynasty territory, given much of the show focuses on the family’s traditional values and sticktogetherness.
Let’s focus on the beef portion of the Beef Stroganoff (P.S. is it possible to say/read “Stroganoff” ahem, Stroganov without using a foreign accent?). I’m pretty sure there was some Top Round (see this Beef Cuts Chart) out in the freezer by the shop, but I’m also pretty sure it’s buried under like 50 pounds of Elk meat right now. The Cubed Steak was living in that freezer’s spoiled sister freezer that lives in my pantry in the house. See, Cubed Steak is just Top Round Steak that the butcher ran through a machine that pierced it every which way. This is commonly used for the confusingly tasty-bad for you Chicken Fried Steak. You can find Top Round or Cubed Steak (also called “Swissed” or “Swiss-Style”) at the grocery store.
The benefit for using Cubed Steak besides that it was easy to get to, is that the cubing process tenderizes the lean cut. Given the pre-tenderization, I was able to cut the simmering time down by two-thirds. I sliced the steak into strips just like the recipe said, and all of the delicious-noff sauce found its way into the pieces of pierced meat, making every bite really moist and flavorful.
The other note about this particular Beef Stroganoff – the tomato paste that finishes off the sauce added a tangy flavor boost that is a game-changer. While sitting on the couch with the Rancher eating my second helping, I started wondering if Bull Frog, Squirrel, and Duck could be tasty if Cubed and ‘Noff’ed. Only Miss Kay knows the answer, I’m sure.
Since this is a recipe and this is the internet, if there ain’t a picture, it didn’t happen. So here it is.
Beef Stroganoff is about as photogenic as a bunch of dudes’ faces’ covered in scraggily beard hair.
But it is very delicious! But not as cute as RB, all “Ducked Out”:
Thanks for reading, Jack!
Tell me, does your Mama make a mean Stroganoff?