March 8, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

This is pretty much live blogging happening here.  Since I was out of recipes, I made this last night and here it is, already up on the blog.  And this is no average recipe.  This is my mom's beef stroganoff.  There is nothing else like it.  I have eaten this meal for years, it was the only other birthday dinner option besides chicken casserole.  It was one of the first things I tried to cook for Stud, and didn't go too well.  It tasted just like it should, but it was an absolute timing disaster.  I have gotten a much better handle on things now, and I can successfully say I can make it on a Monday night without wondering why I'm insane and it's on the table in an hour.

Beef Stroganoff
1.5 lbs of beef tenderloin or stew meat in bite size pieces
4 T. butter
4 T. flour
2 c. water
2 T. Goulden's mustard, or other spicy mustard
1 bay leaf
1/2 c. Bovril
1/3 c. sour cream
1 bag egg noodles

I am pretty sure that if you start the water for the noodles at the same time as the gravy, then things will finish pretty closely together.  So start the water for the noodles and melt the 4 T. of butter in a medium saucepan.  Once the butter is melted, add the flour and using a whisk, stir until combined.  Then add in the water, Bovril and bay leaf and bring to a simmer.  Once it reaches a simmer, remove from the heat and add the mustard and sour cream and stir to combine.  Add the noodles once the water is boiling.  Once the gravy is finished, start browning the meat in a large nonstick skillet.  I like to keep it pretty rare so the little bites of meat are nice and tender.  Once the meat is brown, add it to the gravy.  When the egg noodles are finished, you are ready to dig in!  If you want to serve this to company, it does great covered in a warm oven. 

OK so the tenderloin vs. stew meat thing.  My mom uses and has always used tenderloin for this and it makes the best, most tender bites of beef.  But I wanted this ASAP and thought I might as well give stew meat a try.  And there were some tougher pieces.  If I had spent the time to trim some of the pieces, I bet the difference would have been hard to notice.  My conclusion is that tenderloin is always better, but the stew meat will do in a pinch. 

Also, Bovril.  Where to start.  OK.  So it's an English meat concentrate that they use to make some weird meaty drink which is essentially Bovril with hot water.  But you can no longer get the real beef Bovril in the US due to Mad Cow.  They do sell the veggie version and I can't really tell the difference, but I am assured it's there.  My little jar was snuck in across the Canadian border.  But if you don't have a Bovril fairy and can't find the veggie version, any sort of beef concentrate will work.  And you guys.  This is the ultimate comfort food.  If I ever get the chance to request a last meal, this would be it.  This specific recipe.  I would probably even make my mom make it.

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