Braised Beef and Mushroom Sauce

I suppose this is my version of Beef Stroganoff. However, I won’t call it that because, from what I understand, authentic Stroganoff involves premium beef, sliced thin, sauteed and simmered for a short amount of time in a buttery mustard-based cream sauce. My dish is an upgrade of a quick and easy sauce I used to make using ground beef and cream of mushroom soup. It was nowhere near as appetizing as the new dish, which starts with a large steak of beef that cooks slowly with fresh mushrooms and then transforms into a creamy sauce.

The smell emanating from the kitchen while this braised was incredible and the resulting sauce was tangy, savory, and hearty. Normally I would serve this over broad egg noodles but since I didn’t have any on hand, I ate it with fettuccine instead. I foresee the leftovers being enjoyed over a mound of buttery mashed potatoes.

This sauce may be even better, and very indulgent, if I use short ribs next time.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds beef (chuck or round), in one piece about 1-inch thick
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
1 medium white onion, diced small
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 cup dry red wine
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups beef stock
8 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced thick or quartered
1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot (like a Dutch oven) over medium-high heat. Season the beef on both sides with salt and pepper, then coat with flour and lightly shake off any excess. Sear the coated beef in the oil until golden brown on both sides.  Remove beef and set aside.

Add the onions to the pot and cook until soft and translucent. Add the thyme and stir for another minute. Pour in the wine and loosen up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat and boil the wine mixture for a few minutes, until it reduces and thickens up slightly.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the beef back into the pot. Add the garlic, paprika, sugar, cinnamon, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce, and beef stock and give it a stir. 

Cover with a lid and braise for about 1 1/2 hours, then add the mushrooms and cover again. After another hour the beef should be tender enough to shred apart (if it’s not, let it continue cooking, covered, and check on it every 15 minutes). Using two forks, pull the meat apart into bite-sized pieces. Cover again and continue heating for another 1/2 hour.

To finish the sauce, stir in the sour cream and cook for another 5 minutes. The sauce might look separated at first (especially if you use full-fat sour cream), but it should come back together as you stir. Taste the sauce and add any more salt or pepper as needed. Just before serving, stir in parsley.

Serve over buttered noodles, rice, or potatoes.  Makes 4-6 servings.


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