Thursday, February 21, 2008

Beef Stroganoff and rice

I was really excited about this recipe until I got started. Once I got going, I realized it was taking a lot longer than I expected it to, so we ate dinner late, washed dishes late, and I started watching Idol late. So now I know to start a little earlier.

Anyway, it went well. Better than expected, actually. I've never made beef stroganoff without Hamburger Helper before, so I was a little nervous. But, Graham really seemed to enjoy it. He commented that dinner was good and he liked it a few times; normally he'll only say it once or twice. This was an interesting experiment for me; thankfully it worked!! This is yet another recipe pulled from my trusty church cookbook. I love church cookbooks--there are standards and new things to try and you know the recipes are tried and true. They'll never fail you. As always, my notes and tweaks are below the recipe.

1 lb. beef or pork tenderloin, sliced into 2 inch squares
8 T. flour, divided
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 cup butter, divided
1/2 c. onion, chopped
1 sm. clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
3/4 c. beef bouillon
2 T. dry sherry
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. tomato sauce
1 cup sour cream

Dredge the meat in a mixture of 6 tablespoons of flour, pepper, and 1 tsp. salt; saute the meat in 1/4 cup of butter for about 2 minutes on each side. In another pan, melt an additional 1/4 cup of butter and saute the onions, garlic, and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Drain the drippings from both pans into a third skillet and stir in bouillon, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and the remaining 1 tsp. salt and 2 T. flour. Simmer several minutes. Add the sour cream slowly, stirring continuously, and simmer for approximately 2 minutes; do not boil. Return the meat and vegetables to the sauce and summer together for 3 minutes.

  • When I went to the grocery store, I didn't see any pork or beef tenderloin that looked okay; they all looked a little sketchy. Since the HH box recipe calls for ground beef, I substituted ground chuck instead of beef/pork tenderloin. I think it actually did a better job of soaking up the sauce than the tenderloin. If you use this substitution, remember to brown the meat accordingly.
  • I left out the cloves of garlic and mushrooms. Neither of us are crazy about mushrooms, so why spend the money when we'll just eat around them? I substituted garlic powder for the cloves of garlic; see yesterday's recipe and notes for the explanation.
  • While I didn't skip draining the drippings from the meat and onion pans, I think that you could skip it entirely; I didn't yield that much from either pan and it was a big pain to drain the juices from one pan to another.
  • I prefer beef and chicken stock to bouillon cubes. A small box of beef stock will give you 1 cup and works perfectly.
  • The store was out of cooking sherry, and I didn't think the marsala wine I have on hand would have been appropriate--marsala has too distinctive a flavor. Instead, I used what was left of the pinot noir we had in the kitchen. I really like cooking with that; it has a nice, full flavor and adds a nice element to the taste of any meal.
  • No matter what I did, the sour cream still broke down in the sauce. It was only in there a little while, but stirring constantly and slowly didn't make any difference. Maybe next time I'll try turning the range heat down low or removing the pan from the heat before stirring in the sour cream.
  • I adjusted the times for this recipe; our range can be a PITA.
  • I served this with white rice. However, pasta would also be a wonderful addition to this. I thought about adding some noodles to the sauce, but by the time I thought of it, it was too late to add them without burning the meat or holding up dinner.
  • This meal could easily serve 4. Great to use for get-togethers or potlucks!
All in all, tonight's dinner was a success. There are way more leftovers than we thought, but this was so filling! I'll probably bring this to my next pot luck or family party. It's perfect for cold nights and winter.

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