Classic Stroganoff and Smoke Alarms

8 Dec
Classic Stroganoff over Shells

Classic Stroganoff over Shells

Well I set off every dad-blasted smoke alarm in this house cooking this the other night. Well, at least my husband thinks it was my cooking but who am I to argue? And to top it off, they kept going off all night! We thought we had pinpointed which of the seven needed its battery replaced, and they stayed silent for almost an hour, but then they all started blaring again at once. And this was three hours after they first went off! By that time we were so frustrated, we unhooked all of them from the ceilings and took out all the batteries except for that first one we replaced. And guess what? They kept chirping at us loudly every 10 seconds. We then gathered these evil little possessed round objects and shut them away in the room furthest from our bedroom. Anyways, we managed to somewhat enjoy this dish between running around and pressing all the “hush” buttons, which keeps them quiet for all of seven minutes.

Now, getting to the recipe. I had picked up a good deal on some thin sliced bottom round that I was going to grill back when it wasn’t freezing cold outside, but I forgot about it in the freezer. I had a little over a half carton left of fresh mushrooms in the fridge so I decided it was a good time to whip up some Classic Stroganoff of Russian fame. I cook the Americanized version (healthied up without the canned soup) all the time with ground burger (recipe here), but decided if I was going to use steak instead of burger I would try out the Classic version. Well, close to the classic version since I didn’t have any egg noodles and subbed with shells (actually I think I’ve heard potatoes are used for the Classic version), and most Classic versions call for whole grain mustard which I didn’t have, but close enough.  Anyways, this is quite simple to make, and I got to use my cute little frozen tarragon oil cubes again! Yes, I am going to brag every time I use them because I think they are just so stinking neat! You can substitute a tablespoon of vegetable oil and a teaspoon of dried tarragon if you don’t happen to have these frozen little marvels in your freezer.

Classic Stroganoff

2 frozen tarragon oil cubes (or substitute)
1 pound bottom round, thinly sliced and cut into 2-inch strips
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 to 1 carton of fresh white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red wine (I knew I kept the leftover red wine from Thanksgiving for a reason! I don’t drink it myself)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I freeze the rest)
1 cup homemade beef broth, or low sodium canned or boxed
1 tablespoon flour mixed with 1/4 cup sour cream
Hot cooked noodles

Classic Stroganoff Sauce

Classic Stroganoff Sauce

You can put the water on for the pasta when you start this, as everything will finish close to the same time. Add the cubes or oil to a skillet on medium high heat. Grind black pepper all over the beef and add to the skillet when the oil is hot. Cook on both sides until it’s nice and browned. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dried tarragon if you didn’t use the cubes. In the same skillet, add the butter, onions, and mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid and starting to brown. Now deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up all the browned bits and stuff from the bottom of the skillet. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until about half the wine has cooked off.  Stir in the  tomato paste and beef broth until combined. Now add the beef back to the skillet, then slowly stir in the sour cream and flour mixture. Simmer gently until the sauce thickens up a bit, then serve over hot noodles immediately. I added some fresh grated Parmesan after I took the picture, but I thought the fresh dill sprig gave the photo some color. Enjoy! p.s. let me know if this makes YOUR smoke alarms go off! 😉

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