Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Beef Stroganoff

LESLIE: Beef stroganoff -- such a grown-up dish, you know? Easy to make, as it turns out. This recipe comes from the Williams-Sonoma Soup and Stew cookbook, which I know is a favorite of Daryl’s, too. I love all the W-S cookbooks. They’re well-written and beautifully photographed, they lay flat or slip neatly into my cookbook stand, and most importantly, the recipes are all reliable and delicious. I’ve adapted it slightly.

I read a wise-crack recently to the effect that pasta makes a dish Italian, shallots make it French, and sour cream makes it Russian – et voila! You’re an international cook. Glad to hear it’s so easy!

This version calls for top sirloin, not cooked long. It’s delicious, of course, but Mr. Right and I think next time we’ll go for a longer, slower cook, maybe using chuck, browning it in the pan as here, then tossing it in the slow cooker with stock for a few hours. When it’s done, deglaze the pan with some red wine to get all the tasty bits left behind, and finish the dish as written. If you try that method before we do, let us know how it goes!

A word on the mushrooms: We’re fans so this many ‘shrooms worked for us, but if you’re less rabid about them, cut the amount to 10-12 ounces, or mix cremini and white button.

And if you’ve ever seen Julia Child videos, say it along with me: “Don’t crowwwd the pannnn!”

Beef Stroganoff

3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 pound top sirloin, cut into thin strips about 1inch wide and 2 inches long
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 leeks, white and light green portions only, cleaned and finely chopped
1 pound cremini mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/4 cups beef stock
1/3 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Wide egg noodles

Start the water for the noodles. In a large frying pan over high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Add half of the beef strips (do not overcrowd the pan) and sauté until nicely browned but still a little pinkish on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 more tablespoon of the oil and the remaining meat.

In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the leeks and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until nicely browned, about 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

Time to cook the egg noodles will vary based on brand, width, and density; this is probably the time to start them. When done, drain.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook until blended in, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to incorporate. Increase the heat to high, add the stock and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium. Add the sour cream, mustard, and lemon juice and cook for 1 minute more to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook just until the beef is heated through, about 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately, over egg noodles.

Serves 6.

"A treat for the senses." --- librarian and reviewer Lesa Holstine, on the Spice Shop Mysteries

From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books, June 2019): 

 Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother's house hunt, and a fisherman who's set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder. 

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," is nominated for the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story; read it on her website. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Yum!
    I like the option of quick or long timing.

    I hope you'll get the Facebook link fixed soon.

    1. We've tried everything we can think of, Libby, but we'll keep trying!

  2. Oh, your idea with the chuck in a slow cooker is really appealing considering beef prices. If I manage to try it, will definitely jot you my thoughts.

  3. I haven't made this in ages! Always so good.

  4. Taylor R. WilliamsApril 16, 2019 at 11:11 PM

    It does sound great - and not as difficult as I would have thought. Don't you worry about your fans not wanting more spice shop mysteries - they are super, and we want more - am helping to spread the word so more people can enjoy your books as much as I do. trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com