Twilight. Chilly evening. Dogs cuddled under blankets. Craving a warm bowl of pasta and a vintage Merlot.
A Le Creuset frying pan on the stove. Ruby red stew meat browning in butter. Sliced onions and button mushrooms prepped on the counter. Freshly cracked salt and pepper drawing out rich flavors. A demi-bottle of red in the background.
Tree branches cracking in the wind. Lazy gray skies fading to a velvety black. Fire roaring in the chimney. This mid-nineteenth century recipe is perfect for open fires and candlelit kitchens. Classic novels and lazy glasses of wine.
Stroganoff is as rich in the pages of history as it is on the plate. Dark like the Russian skies. As deeply hued as the rows of Russian birch trees populating the forests. A bedding of buttery noodles like hints of sunlight dancing through their branches. The jovial greenery of fresh dill crowns the dish much like spruce leaves crowd the woodland skylines. Hints of ambery cognac providing much needed warmth to the wintry snow crunching beneath our feet.
Setting it all together is a simple affair. Buttery pasta boiling in a pot. Meat tucked cozily in a creamy sauce. A sprinkling of fresh dill. A dusting of smoky paprika. Steam wafting from the bowl. Mittened fingers holding on tight. A gilded wooden spoon resting in an empty bowl. Tummies full. Spirits relaxed.
- 1/3 lb of beef stew meat, rinsed, dried and trimmed to bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 of a yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1-3 button mushrooms, cleaned, destemmed, and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon beef stock
- 1 teaspoon Cognac
- 1/2 teaspoon Better than Bouillon Beef Base
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4oz fettuccine noodles
- Freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh dill, minced, for sprinkling
- Paprika, for dusting
- Heat the EVOO and butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Wash and dry the beef stew meat carefully adding it to the pan ensuring there's breathing room around each piece of meat. Season the meat and brown both sides of medium heat for 1-2 minutes and then transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Fill a medium saucepan halfway full with water and bring it to a boil over medium heat for the pasta.
- Add the sliced onions and button mushrooms to the frying pan, seasoning to taste. (If it needs extra butter, feel free to add some!)
- Deglaze the frying pan with the beef stock, beef base and cognac. Simmer the onions and mushrooms in stock for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are brown and the stock has thickened.
- Next, add the crème fraîche, flour and Dijon mustard. Return the meat and any juices to the pan and simmer over low heat until the sauce has thickened and the meat is cooked through.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water with a drizzle of EVOO.