Beef stroganoff is a hearty dish loaded with chunks of sirloin steak and chopped mushrooms, tossed in a savory cream sauce. Strips of meat are seared until golden brown, then simmered in a rich beef gravy, and finished with sour cream. It’s hard to resist this quick and satisfying dish when served on top of buttered egg noodles.
This hot plate of beef stroganoff satisfies both steak and pasta cravings. Thickly-sliced mushrooms paired with a luxurious sauce makes the dish complete. Selecting the right cut of steak and using a simple sauteing technique provides tender and flavorful pieces of beef. The sauce is thickened with a combination of roux and sour cream to add a rich and creamy coating.
The trickiest part of this recipe is incorporating the sour cream. Care must be taken when adding dairy products into hot liquids to prevent clumping. I can remember a few occasions where I didn’t temper the cream properly, resulting in food thrown away and a sad phone call for takeout. After quickly realizing that my mistake was avoidable, I’ve learned simple ways to prevent curdling.
Types of beef you can use
- Tenderloin– Extremely tender, marbled, and juicy. Although on the pricier side.
- Sirloin– Intense beef flavor, less tender than tenderloin but a nice alternative.
- Ribeye– Higher amounts of marbling and strong beef flavor, more chewy texture.
Cooking the meat
The most crucial decision for stroganoff is which cut of beef to use. You want a steak that has a strong flavor, quickly cooks, minimal connective tissue, and beautiful marbling. The strips of beef sear no more than 5 minutes until medium-rare, so it needs to be very tender to start.
I use sirloin steak. It’s a more affordable cut that has good taste and texture. If you have time, I recommend marinating the steak pieces for at least 30 minutes. The brine helps to break down some of the meat proteins, making it more tender, juicy and flavorful.
How to make beef stroganoff
- Sear slices of steak to kickstart Maillard browning on the surface.
- Remove meat from the pan to prevent overcooking while preparing the vegetables and sauce.
- Make sure to cook off all of the excess moisture from the mushrooms to help with browning.
- Use a roux as a thickening agent. Briefly cook the flour to remove the raw flour taste.
- Gradually whisk in beef stock to the hot roux to help the starches absorb and swell.
- When adding the sour cream, take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in to prevent curdling.
Beef stroganoff brings back childhood memories. My husband Jason and I reminisced about how both of our moms would make this Russian/French-inspired dish. They each had their version, but both were comforting after a busy day.
Slicing up large pieces of steak and hearing them sizzle in the pan brings on hunger pangs. Large egg noodles or fluffy mashed potatoes are best to serve with the beef so that any extra sauce can cling to the food.
More beef recipes
How to prevent the stroganoff sauce from curdling
There are natural acids in sour cream due to the fermentation process. The presence of these acids makes a specific protein in milk called casein very unstable when heated. To prevent the proteins from curdling, temper the cream by gradually stirring in cold sour cream into the hot food off the stovetop.
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- 1 ½ pounds beef sirloin steak, ½-inch thick, and 2-inch long strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup diced yellow onion, ¼-inch dice
- 8 ounces brown mushroom, ½-inch thick slices
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups unsalted beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot add the beef slices in a single layer, sear for 3 minutes to lightly brown the surface, stir and cook another 2 minutes.
- Season beef with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, transfer to a clean plate and reserve.
- Heat the same pan over medium heat, add butter.
- Once the butter is melted add the garlic, saute until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add onions and saute until tender, 2 minutes.
- Add mushroom and saute until tender and the moisture evaporates, 3 minutes.
- Add flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add in the beef broth, continuously stirring to help disperse the liquid, bring to a rapid simmer, cook until sauce is thickened, 2 minutes.
- Turn heat to a low simmer and add cooked steak to the pan, stir to combine, cook until meat is warm, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn off heat and stir in mustard, sour cream, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Taste sauce and season with more salt and pepper as desired.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.
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