It’s summer here in Boston. Finally real summer. Actually we don’t do anything half-assed around these parts – apparently we go from 50’s to 90’s, from rain and slate to heat wave… and well, that’s very me. I’m also either black or white, hot or cold, bored or waaay too busy, stuffed or hungry… most of the time. No, half-assing isn’t in my blood.
I’m also kind of stubborn. And when it comes to food, the second a craving hits for something it won’t go away until it’s satisfied. It doesn’t matter that the weather turned for the better and this meal is more fit for winter. Nope, I won’t rest until I have it. Preferably immediately but logistics do get in the way. Pssh.
So I was in NY 2 weeks ago. My sister has this awesome loft apartment with floor to ceiling windows (at least 20ft high) which brings so much natural light in, it kind of burns in the morning (it’s in fact difficult to sleep past 6am there no matter how late you went to bed given the light and it’s heat). This light makes for some killer pictures (remember shchi, sirniki, the beet salad with walnuts and prunes and Azu? There were all cooked at my sister’s due to said light and killer pictures… they were killer, don’t you agree?) which I wanted to take advantage of (again). I thought about all the childhood favorites I still haven’t learned how to make and my mom’s beef stroganoff came to mind. I haven’t had it in many years but of course I needed to have it NOW. Except I ran out of time and had to postpone making it for another week (again stupid logistics).
This is good news, though, for this household because I ended up making it at home. Which means my husband was able to try some. And he’s now officially obsessed. I was nervous when I saw the recipe. As you’ll see, it’s pretty much beef and sour cream; not much else (my mom’s version also has onions but I’m a freak of nature and will not allow them anywhere near me, which of course includes my condo. An onion will never step foot here. That’s if onions could walk. )
Anyways, I’m closing off here; I promise. Yes, it’s “just” beef simply seasoned with salt and pepper (which “marinades” it for an hour… and tenderizes it) but then it’s cooked until really tender and then the magic of sour cream makes it all creamy and sticky (that’s a good thing, I promise!) and then you serve it with mashed potatoes. You have to! Promise me?? It’s the Russian way and believe me those egg noodles everyone is serving them over. They’re old news. Once you’ve tried it with mashed potatoes which just accentuate the creaminess of the dish, you won’t go back!
Ok, ready for the recipe?
Ingredients (makes 3-4 servings):
– 1lb sirloin or top round, cut into thin strips
– 1T vegetable or canola oil
– 1/2 cup sour cream
– 1/2T flour (for thickening)
– salt & pepper, to taste
1. Season beef with salt and pepper, refrigerate for 1 hour. This will not only make the meat more flavorful but also tenderize it slightly.
2. Heat oil on medium heat in a medium, add beef and cover.
Cook for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Don’t go too far because the meat will release it’s juices and the pot may boil over (mine was probably too small?). The stirring helps keep it at bay. You want to keep the beef moist so if there is no water left in the pot, add some.
[Sorry, this is not really a picture of “cover”… just showing off my cute pot ]
3. Mix in 1/2T flour, then sour cream. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
The sour cream with the water should make a nice sauce that will thicken and cover every strip of the beef.
4. Taste. Adjust seasoning. Enjoy over mashed potatoes!
Yeah, yeah, dig in!!
The traditional cucumber/tomato/dill/sour cream salad was really the perfect way to balance out the richness of this dish.
Adam had his portion, then half of mine (pictured above) for dinner, and then the leftovers for breakfast the next day. Needless to say I’ll be making it very soon again. Heat wave or not (we’ll turn the AC on).