Sounds fancy, right? Looks fancy too, but this recipe is so simple that any newbie can make it. Promise.
This meal was unintentional. I really planned on making the regular stroganoff recipe, using pasta as my carb. But as I mulled over how to go about it, I realized that the recipe was a little too blah. So I tried to change it up a bit by marinating my beef strips in some wine. I have to admit that it wasn’t good wine but I really just wanted to get rid of it. It’s been in the ref for over 24 hours, marinating nicely with a few fresh sprigs of thyme. I was actually getting worried about over-marinating, so I pan fried a piece this afternoon and I tasted a lot of potential! The plan is to drain the meat, dredge it in flour and fry to give it a nice crunch. With my meat ready to go, up next was the sauce.
This Russian dish always comes with a cream-based sauce. Some recipes mix tomato paste or mushroom sauce with it. I decided to make a red wine roux (rue?) infused with thyme. To make this, I used some of the marinade and sauteed a teaspoon of minced red onions in it. After which, I added a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of organic rye flour (any flour will do). You want to incorporate these two ingredients with a whisk to prevent clumping. Mix in 1/4 cup of milk and whisk away! I, again, added a few sprigs of thyme to echo the beef’s marinade. The roux tasted good but it needed something more. It was just too rich and one dimensional. So I decided to add a teaspoon of white wine vinegar and I think it tasted pretty good. Roux experts, what do you think? Am I even using the term correctly?
Last but not the least, the starch. Beef stroganoff is usually served with noodles but since I was on a roll, might as well reinvent the entire recipe. Rather than the simple mashed potatoes, I made a potato cauliflower mash. It’s basically a combination of both, adding a different texture to your regular mashed potatoes. Taste wise, you do get the cauliflower taste but that also depends on your proportions. I still wanted mine to be predominantly made of potatoes so the ratio must have been 1 part cauliflower and 3 parts potato. I also added 2 bulbs of boiled (not roasted) garlic to add more flavor.
I’ve been patting myself on the back for this dish. I conceptualized it all on my own, only to find out through Google that about 10 other people had thought of it before. Oh well, I still think mine rocks 🙂
Everything turned out as expected except for the beef strips. I planned for it to be crunchy but I may have overdone the dredging. The 2 tablespoons of oil that I used for frying may have affected the texture of the beef, too. It turned out saucy and creamy from the flour but it still had good flavor to it. I also remembered why I stopped making Beef Stroganoff. I always end up with tough meat! Considering that the cuts are thin, they never come out tender. I only cooked it for about 10 minutes on a low flame so, should I have cooked it much longer? Maybe.
I was extremely happy with the sauce/roux. I loved the hint of vinegar in it and the sweetness from the onions. That recipe is a keeper!
Will be incommunicado for the next four days as I will be out of town. I will be getting certified for my advanced diving course in Dumaguete. Woot! Woot!
Have a restful and peaceful holy week, everyone!