08 May 2012

well, if a Russian count came to visit, I would make this

That's Count Pavel Aleksandrovich Stroganoff, an interesting fellow whose political and military career you can read about here. Abandoned by his mother Princess Trubetskaya, given into the care of a French tutor, youthful member of a Jacobin sympathizer group, reform-minded counselor to Czar Alexander I, hero of the Napoleonic Wars . . . and good-looking to boot. I wonder how long it took to embroider that collar.

Sometimes I wonder why people in old portraits sport such small smiles. Whither the happy grins? Were they really all so solemn? Then I remember how much my face hurts after just a 5-minute photo session, and how the subjects of these portraits had to sit there for hours upon end . . . oh. I see.

What does all that have to do with beef stroganoff? Nothing really. But Russian noblemen are more interesting than chopped mushrooms.


Cheapskate* Beef Stroganoff 
(I'm sure I got a base recipe somewhere but that was so long ago I've forgotten, and anyway I've certainly edited it enough since then to call it my own)

1 lb lean ground beef
3 tablespoons butter, divided
4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons beef stock
2 tablespoons red wine
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
parsley to taste

1) In large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add ground beef; brown and crumble. Remove from skillet and set aside.
2) Melt remaining butter in skillet and add mushrooms. Saute for a few minutes, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.
3) Return browned beef to skillet. Whisk together beef stock, wine, Dijon, and cornstarch; pour into skillet and stir briskly. Raise heat to medium-high and continue to stir until thickened.
4) Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream. Cover skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.
5) Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and dried parsley. Serve over mashed potatoes or brown rice.

*A more authentic version would call for beef cut in cubes or strips, browned, and braised in the sauce. But I tend to use ground beef whenever I can get away with it. (We think grassfed ground beef tastes better than conventional cube steak anyway.)

Shared on Simple Lives Thursday.

1 comment:

  1. If you had just posted your recipe, I doubt I would have visited. The Russian tidbit was what got me. We had the opportunity to visit Russia a few years ago and I remain obsessed! Thanks for sharing.