We posted this innocuous, creamy, divine chicken-and-noodle comfort food classic years ago and y’all went wild for it. There’s just something about beef Stroganoff during the height of sweater weather, people. Since it’s not often your dinner name-checks a nineteenth-century Russian count, we thought we’d try to identify why this particular rendition of this recipe pushes all the right buttons for us.
1. A Neat History
Stroganoff hearkens back to a Count Stroganoff, a gentleman with French and Russian heritage whose chef named the dish for his boss.
2. A Sophisticated Twist
This recipe trounces whatever cream of mushroom soup and ground beef rendition you might have grown up eating. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Here we have sirloin steak, sautéed mushrooms and shallots, bright dill and dreamy sour cream. It’s the rare recipe that can make a person drool, but this one does.
3. That Steak
Seared steak in a recipe base means you’re bound to bat a thousand. Make sure you own one good, sharp knife, as you’ll be cutting raw meat against the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. That’s tough to execute with a dull blade.
4. Mushrooms Sautéed in Two Fats
Spy a recipe in which leftover pork or beef fat is spun up into slow-simmering mushrooms—never mind one also employing butter—and you’ve likely got a hit on your hands. We love that ‘shrooms do the work of cleaning the fond from the pan while they soften, pick up flavor, and turn meltingly tender.
5. Smart Use of Shallots
Shallots are simply more delicate in flavor than fat, hulking onions. In this recipe, you add shallots after the mushrooms, sautéing them only briefly. This preserves some of their punchy presence, which is useful in a dish this decadent.
6. Pantry Staples
Read that ingredient list again; there’s nothing fancy here. The steak is the only thing you might not already have kicking around the fridge. We love that staples like sour cream do the heavy lifting of binding the yummy elements together here (and inexpensively, to boot).
7. Fresh Dill
If you cook with fresh dill often, you’ll agree that you never regret adding it to a recipe. Not ever. It’s crucial here, lightening and leavening and making this creamy, meaty, super-umami dreamboat of a dish fit for company.