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Classic Beef Stroganoff

I think of this as elegant comfort food. As it happened, I had a chunk of beef tenderloin in my freezer, so that's what I used this time. Other times I have used a less expensive cut of meat, like chuck roast, and cooked it longer (about 3 hours, before adding the sour cream mixture). If you use the tenderloin, the timing is touchier than if you use a tougher cut. The latter gives you more wiggle room to make it in advance and let it sit on the stove a bit over low heat. Use the tenderloin if you'll be able to go straight from stove to table with no waiting or distractions.
Servings: 4


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin trimmed of any fat and cut into pieces about 1/4" x 2" (see headnote for alternate cuts of meat)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 pound mushrooms sliced (use whatever variety you like, I usually choose cremini)
  • 2 cups beef or chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • finely chopped parsley for garnish


  • Spread the pieces of beef out on a work surface, season them well on both sides with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle the flour over them. Again on both sides.
  • In a large, deep skillet or a dutch oven, melt 1/4 cup of the butter over medium heat. Working in batches, brown the meat fairly quickly, but don't leave it too long. Just about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and the other 1/4 cup of butter and saute for about 5 - 8 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine the sour cream, paprika, tomato paste and Worcestshire sauce in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Add the stock to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the meat, including any juice that has collected, back to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the meat is tender but be careful not to overcook it, 3 -5 minutes.
  • Spoon out about 1 cup of the sauce from the beef mixture and add it to the bowl with the sour cream mix in it. Stir to incorporate. Now transfer all of the sour cream mixture to the pan and stir to incorporate. Once you've added the cream, don't allow the mixture to boil or the cream will curdle. When all is heated through, taste and adjust seasoning as you like.
  • Serve the stroganoff on a bed of buttered noodles.
  • Sprinke with parsley to garnish.


Adapted from from Craig Claiborne