Stroganoff is a favorite old-fashioned continental dish that has delighted the most discriminating diners in posh restaurants for generations, but has sadly fallen into being categorized as passé. A nineteenth century French preparation with a Russian count’s surname, it is the ultimate gourmet dish. Usually thin strips of beef cooked in a roux-based sauce enriched with sour cream, it needed a face lift to cater to quick cooking methods and lighter palates but still able to retain its gourmet spirit and charm. Lots of mushrooms in this version! Sometimes I see packages of filet tail ends and I grab them for this dish (they are great to stash in the freezer). Note the cooking method for the filets mignons. They are notoriously tender and usually very thick. Plain pan-sautéing overcooks the surface and leaves the center uncooked. Hence the secret method used by professionals, both the stovetop and the oven (that is also the secret to serving filet steaks to large amounts of diners). Serve with hot cooked wide egg noodles, rice, or kasha (I saw a fancy restaurant serve over french fries!) with a steamed green vegetable on the side.
Cooking Method: Stove top and Broiler
Cook Time: About 30 minutes
4 individual beef tenderloin steaks (tail end okay), each about 8-ounces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
7 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
12-ounces white mushrooms, sliced thin
8-ounces wild mushrooms of choice, sliced thin or quartered if small
3/4 cup canned beef broth
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Season the filets with salt and pepper and set side. Preheat the oven to 350º. Parchment-line a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. This can also be done on a ridged grill pan. Add the steaks and leave some room inbetween. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, then turn over with tongs and cook 3 minutes on the second side, until browned. Transfer to the baking sheet and roast in the oven 15 to 20 minutes. While steaks are cooking, make the sauce.
In the skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until tender, soft, and translucent, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the paprika and cook a few minutes longer to heat the spice. Remove to a plate and add the rest of the butter to the skillet. Over high heat, cook the mushrooms; they will give off their liquid and shrink alot. Let the liquid evaporate a bit. Add the onions, broth, and zest. Bring to a low boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce to the lowest heat, and stir in the sour cream; simmer until hot, 2 minutes.
Test the filets at 15 minutes; the temperature will be 130º on an instant-read thermometer for medium-rare. Transfer each filet to a dinner plate and spoon over the stroganoff sauce. Serve immediately and devour gratefully.
Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking, by Beth Hensperger. (c) 2009, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.
Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.