Where's the Beef?

A stroganoff surprise

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

During a recent cold spell, my boyfriend expressed the desire to consume grilled steak.

“I don’t care if it’s 25 degrees outside, I’m going to fire up that damned barbecue and make us a dinner fit for royalty,” he declared, slapping an enormous package of tenderloin onto the kitchen countertop.

After marinating the meat in a combination of hot sauce and soy sauce for a couple of hours—which was just about how long it took to clean last summer’s chicken fat residue off of the barbecue—he donned his coat and hat and headed to the backyard to grill while I mashed potatoes and sauteed a pan’s worth of green beans in butter.

We both enjoyed hearty servings of the unexpected feast, but when all was said and done there was still about three pounds of perfectly cooked steaks to consider.

The next day, I used a portion of the medium-rare meat for sandwiches. On the following afternoon, I cut up and sauteed small pieces of steak in olive oil and garlic, and added them to a potato leek soup I’d made the previous weekend. When my boyfriend walked by during the transformation process, I even offered him a few bites slathered with horseradish.

“This is getting ridiculous,” I said, pointing to the pound-and-a-half of steak that still remained. “I think I’ve found a way to use the rest in one fell swoop, and then we can get on with our lives. How do you feel about beef stroganoff?”

“Sound great to me,” he said, noting that his birthday was the following day, and that the dish—which was purportedly created by a French chef in the 1800s for his Russian boss, Count Pavel Stroganoff—seemed like a good one to commemorate his royal existence.

Eschewing the 1970s-era stroganoff that used primarily canned goods and ground beef, I found a recipe that fit my needs. Drawing from other offerings I found online, I also added a half-cup of red wine to the sauce and, since the meat I was using had already been partially cooked, I seared it for about a third of the time.

When the birthday boy took the first bite, his eyes lit up and he nodded his head in appreciation.

“This is amazing,” he said of the wintery repast. “I should get more steak so we can have this again—and soon.”


Beef Stroganoff with Steak


1 pound filet mignon or mignon tips (two-inch strips)
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (domestic or wild, caps only)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces medium egg noodles, cooked


Heat large non-stick skillet over high heat and sear meat on all sides, for about a minute. Work in small batches so meat does not give off liquid. Remove to a plate.

In a clean, wide skillet, heat butter. Sweat onions and add mushrooms and saute until deep golden, about 20 minutes. While this is cooking, blend broth, mustard, heavy cream and sour cream together. Lower heat, add flour and cook, stirring, for one minute.

Whisk in liquids and any mean juices, and simmer without boiling until sauce thickens, about five minute. Return meat to sauce and heath, without boiling, until meat is warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir in dill and parsley and spoon over noodles. 

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