Beef Stroganoff. What does this dish remind you of? For me its dinner parties at my parents house. I remember the savory smell of the gravy and seeing these (what seemed to me swimming pool size) glasses of red wine lined up on the counter. My parents took part in those popular ‘gourmet groups’ in the 80’s that rotated through each member homes. Always exciting when we hosted (it meant moving the ONE television we had into our bedroom for an all night Love Boat marathon). I learned early on that parties that revolve around food were a GOOD thing!
But before we get into the recipe watch me singe all the hair off my arm as I attempt, attempt being the operative word here, to show the viewers at home how to ignite the cognac.
This is more of a How NOT to video.
Best Beef Stroganoff
- 2 TBL olive oil
- 4 TBL unsalted butter
- 2 large onions, sliced thin
- 3 1/2 cups large mushrooms, sliced
- 2 1/4 pounds beef tenderloin, sliced into thin strips
- 1/4 cup Brandy (or red wine)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 TBL chopped parsley
Heat the oil and 2 TBL butter together in a large frying pan over high heat. I use my 19″ Lodge cast iron skillet. Saute the onions, I usually let them get very dark and crispy, I prefer them almost shoestring-like. When they are done, add the mushrooms and continue to cook, turn down your pan to med high heat. After 3-5 minutes remove both onions and mushrooms, set aside.
Add the rest of the butter (2 TBL) and turn the heat to high. when the butter is foamy with bubbles add just enough beef slices to cover the bottom. DO NOT CROWD THE PAN or your meat will release juices and your meat will steam, resulting in chewy, gamey tasting beef. Cook for 2 minutes and turn each piece over when golden brown. Set aside cooked meat in platter to catch juices. Keep doing this in batches until all the meat is cooked.
When all of the meat is done remove pan from heat, CAREFULLY add 1/4 cup of Brandy, you could use wine too, a red would be best. This is the part where you could get a HUGE flame so please be careful. If you want to ignite the alcohol, you will need an open flame, turn up the burner and carefully dip the pan and the liquids toward the flame. Ignition will happen FAST! The size of the flame is equal to how much alcohol you put in there so be extra cautious if you have a heavy hand – the ignition can be large so take all the precautions necessary, watch your HAIR, your clothing, your overhead vent, have a FIRE EXTINGUISHER within reach. I have been doing this for years and I still get caught off guard as you saw in that video. My recommendation is that you don’t ignite it, and just let it burn off without the fiery inferno.
When the sauce has reduced by half remove from heat add back the meat (and any collected juices), onions, mushrooms and 1/2 cup of cream. Stir and add the parsley, return to heat just enough to bring the sauce back up to simmer, about 1 minute.
Serve over egg noodles. Optional: Squeeze a lemon over it to brighten up what I consider a heavier dish.