Grandma Audry's Beef Stroganoff
My Grandma was an excellent cook. My dad always tells me she was a lot like Julia Child. She could taste something and just knew what it needed to make it better. One of her recipes I grew up with was beef stroganoff. My mom would make it in the fall and winter and I always looked forward to dinner when I knew it was on the menu. Then, once, as a kid, I went over to a friends house and was told we'd have beef stroganoff for dinner. I was super excited until we sat down to eat. The dish they placed on the table was most definitely not beef stroganoff. At least not the way I knew it. There was ground beef rather than cubed roast or steak pieces. The sauce had been made from a package of something, probably with cream of mushroom soup. I felt like a food snob at the ripe age of 12 but I couldn't bring myself to eat more than a couple of bites. It just wasn't right. Real beef stroganoff, in my mind, had real, tender beef chunks, and a sauce made from scratch.
As an adult, beef stroganoff is one of my favorite entrees. I make it almost every week in the fall and winter and my kids love it almost as much as I do. I make it the way my mom did, learned from my paternal grandmother, Grandma Audry. The creamy sauce, beef pieces that melt in your mouth, and, if you like them, mushrooms always hit the spot.
It's a recipe I've made a few times on my Snapchat and Instagram stories but I thought I would share the actual, written down recipe here for those who would like to give it a try. It's perfect for this time of year. The measurements are my best guess because I eyeball nearly everything that goes in. Sometimes the sauce is lighter, sometimes darker. Sometimes it's thinner, sometimes, thicker. The basic recipe is always the same yet depending on what a tablespoon looks like to me that day, it varies a little but it's always delicious!
Grandma Audry's Beef Stroganoff
1.5 lbs. beef, but into bite-sized pieces (I've used various cuts depending on what was available and reasonably priced, from cross rib roasts to petite sirloin steaks and even london broil. Just choose something you love.)
1 onion, diced small
2-3 Tbsp oil or butter
salt, to taste
3 Tbsp. ketchup
2-3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 small package mushrooms, sliced.
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
Heat oil/butter in a dutch oven pot (an enameled cast iron is perfect for this) over medium-high heat and add the beef. When the beef begins to brown nicely add the diced onions and a bit of salt. Cook together for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Squeeze in the ketchup (I just zig zag it across the pan, straight out of the bottle, until it looks like enough). Shake in the Worcestershire sauce (again, this is something I eyeball, and I love Worcestershire so I err on the side of more). Pour in about a cup of beef broth and stir everything together. Lower to heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring once in a while. If it starts looking too dry add more broth. Add the sliced mushrooms, stir, and continue cooking for another 10 minutes (honestly, I don't care much for mushrooms and often leave them out. It's delicious with or without, though, traditionally they are essential. Shh, don't tell my grandma I skip them.). With a slotted spoon, remove the beef and mushrooms to a bowl and set aside. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and whisk the flour into the remaining juices left in the pot until it forms a paste. Pour in the milk and continue whisking until the paste melts into the milk and the mixture thickens. Add the beef and mushrooms back into the pot. Stir in the sour cream until everything melts together and voila! The most delicious creamy, beefy, stroganoff ever. Serve over egg noodles or rice and enjoy!