The story goes that Beef Stroganoff was created by French chefs working for the influential Stroganov family in mid-19th century Russia. But food historians argue that earlier versions of this dish existed long before the mid-19th century, and the iteration we know today is a refined version of older Russian recipes.
Today, you’re likely to find Beef Stroganoff among an array of classic catering dishes at a Filipino wedding, or perhaps at your baby cousin’s christening. Or maybe you’ll find it served at your next family gathering, because your Tita swears it’s her signature dish. Whether you serve it with pasta or rice, this dish is the perfect go-to when you want something homey, hearty, and comforting.
How to avoid dry, chewy beef
We recommend using sirloin for this recipe. It’s one of the most versatile and flavorful cuts, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. But if cooked wrong, sirloin can end up being dry, tough, and unpleasant to eat.
Sirloin comes from the rear part of the cow, which tends to be leaner, so cooking it right is essential to getting that tender, delicate chew. Keep your slices thin, and avoid overcrowding the pan when you’re searing. If there are too many pieces of beef in your pan, heat can get trapped under the food. This results in too much moisture, steaming your beef rather than searing it! Searing the meat properly helps develop color and flavor, which is what you want in a rich, meaty dish like Beef Stroganoff.
More importantly, be careful not to overcook the meat. When you overcook meat, you risk rendering out all the fat and liquid inside it that makes it tender, juicy, and flavorful. It’ll leave you with nothing but tough muscle fibers that are impossible to chew. The beef will continue to cook as it simmers in the gravy, so there’s no need to cook it the whole way through while you’re searing it.
To cream or not to cream?
The gravy should be rich, creamy, and just slightly sour. Some versions of Stroganoff use cream of mushroom instead of heavy cream, or replace sour cream with Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, which can be hard to source at your local grocery store. Ours uses a combination of sour cream, heavy cream, and dijon mustard (brown mustard works too!) to get a velvety mouthfeel, and a touch of that addictive, bright, and tangy flavor.
- 1 kg beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch thick strips
- 500g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
Brown beef and mushrooms: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan, pot, or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, sear beef until well browned on both sides. Remove beef from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium. With rendered fat in the pan, add mushrooms and sauté until browned, adding more oil if needed. Make sure not to salt your mushroom while sautéing so it doesn’t release moisture, just salt once browned! Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.
Make sauce: In the same pan, melt butter, then add onions and garlic. Cook aromatics, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add flour, then stir into onions and garlic until a paste forms, about 30 seconds. Add beef and mushrooms back into the pan. Pour in beef broth and stir until a smooth gravy forms. Simmer until mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.
Season: Once thickened, reduce heat and add heavy cream and sour cream. Then, mix in Worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice, egg noodles, or fettuccine pasta.