Bev Stroganov

I have just had another request for my Bev Stroganov recipe, so rather than keep writing it for people individually, I thought I might just post it here where I can direct people as I have need.  This is one of those recipes that I first made when I still lived in my parents’ home and have been experimenting ever since.  I very rarely make it exactly the same twice, but the following is the gist of the dish.

Bev Stroganov

Make a paste with three tablespoons of ground mustard, three or more teaspoons of ground pepper, two teaspoons of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a little water.  The paste should be wet enough that it is smooth but dry enough not to be runny.  You can experiment with different varieties of mustard here, but I would recommend that you use preground mustard or use an electric grinder rather than a mortar and pestle for your whole mustard, just to be sure the mustard is ground finely enough to make a good paste.  Let this paste rest at room temperature.

Thinly slice four or five cups of yellow onions into rings.  Thinly slice a pound or so of mushrooms.  I use brown mushrooms most often, but I have used shitake and oyster mushrooms also, so experiment as you like.

Take a two or three pound fillet of beef.  Cut it first across the fillet into rounds that are about a quarter inch thick.  Then cut each round into quarter inch strips, this time cutting with the grain.  This process will make strips of beef that will be tender and easy to chew.  If you cut the stripe so that they go with the grain with both cuts, you will just get long bits of whole muscle that will be much less tender.

Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over very high heat.  Wait until the oil begins to haze over the pan.  Add the mushrooms and onions, then immediately reduce the heat to low.  Cook for twenty or thirty minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable have softened, then drain them through a sieve and set aside.

Heat two or three more tablespoons of oil in the skillet over high heat until the oil is hor but not smoking.  Add just enough meat to cover the bottom of the skillet and brown it, then transfer the meat to a bowl and set it aside.  Repeat this process until all the meat has been browned.  Stir in the mustard paste.  When it is well combined, stir in four cups of sour cream.  Cover the mixture and cook until the sauce is well heated.  Taste the mixture and add mustard, salt, and pepper as necessary.

Serve over egg noodles or, if you want to be a little more authentic, over thinly sliced and very crisp French fried potatoes.

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