Last summer, Paul and I celebrated our one year anniversary by going on a massive road trip from Long Beach, California to Crater Lake, Oregon. We had several stop-offs along the way, one of which was at my parents' house in Northern California.
We ate dinner in the backyard on a warm July evening, and my mom made her signature beef stroganoff recipe. Paul has been requesting it ever since, and now I'm sharing it with you. It's warm, hearty, and thanks to the use of organic cream of mushroom soup, it can now be considered healthy, even! When my mom used to make it back in the day, she would use a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom that was so dense it retained its can-like shape when you plopped it into the pan.
Thankfully, I have since found Pacific cream of mushroom and fallen in love with its flavor, lightness, and all-natural ingredients. It's the brand I always use and you can find it at Whole Foods.
Now that the weather is finally cooling off in Southern California, it's been so satisfying to enjoy a steaming bowl of stroganoff on a rainy winter evening. I hope you'll do the same.
Beef Stroganoff Reinvented
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb. top sirloin cut into small, bite-sized pieces
1 small yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
1 red pepper
1 pint crimini mushrooms
1/2 cup red wine
12 oz. organic cream of mushroom soup, such as Pacific 3 oz. tomato paste (half of a 6 oz.can)
1 cup water (add more as needed)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
handful of fresh, chopped parsley
handful of fresh, chopped basil (optional)
1 lb. dried wide egg noodles
Begin by browning the top sirloin on medium-high heat in a wide, nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Continue flipping the cubes of steak until they are browned on both sides and then transfer them to a plate. Use a turkey baster to drain off any remaining fat and place it in an old jar or can. DO NOT wash it down the drain, as it will harden and clog your pipes.
Next, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and saute the onion, garlic, and red peppers until softened. Then add the mushrooms, and continue cooking until they have reduced in size and created a nice liquid. Turn the heat up to high and add the red wine, using it to scrape up any bits of beef or vegetables that have stuck to the bottom. Let it simmer on high until the wine has reduced by half.
Next, dump the beef back in the pan and add the cream of mushroom soup, tomato paste, water, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper. If the sauce still seems too thick, add a little bit more water and then let it simmer on low for 30 minutes. This is when all the flavors will blend together. It's also a great time to put your pasta water on to boil. Once it boils, follow the directions on the package to cook and drain the pasta.
After 30 minutes, take the pan off the heat and add the fresh parsley and basil, if using. Stir everything together and then top each portion of noodles with a bit of sauce.