Mostly I cook from the hip. What does that mean? Well, I’m notoriously bad at following directions, and I’ve been known to veer off the beaten path. So, photos and a list of ingredients work as recipe “suggestions.”
The fabulous part is that I’m free to create what I want to eat.
The not so great part is trying to tell someone how to re-create a dish. Since I believe it’s all about the umami-love one puts into the food they prepare, unscripted works.
After being all primed for barbecue, pasta salads and corn-on-the-cob, a cold front arrived and with it rain, lots of rain. And, by the way, I live in a semi-arid, high desert region.
Oh my darlings, I started hatching ideas of soup with cornbread, baking pies and dining on creamy, soul-satisfying beef stroganoff.
Stroganoff is a dish I don’t make very often, but sure the heck should. Other than chopping up onions, mushrooms and tender beef, it’s basically an unattended meal.
Over the years I’ve read through several recipes for this solacing casserole with Russian heritage. Having gleaned bits and pieces from each, and being a cook-from-the-hip girl, here are loose instructions:
- Cut one pound of top sirloin into chunks, much like stew meat.
- Slice 2 to 3 cups of brown crimini mushrooms. If they’re in season, chanterelles would be lovely and decadent.
- Then, thinly slice one large onion and mince about a tablespoon of garlic. It’s a lot of garlic, so cook to your taste preferences.
- Brown the meat in a large skillet. Add the onion, let it wilt and brown in the meat juice. Toss in the garlic and mushrooms. Give it all a good mix.
- At this point I added about a cup of red wine and let it reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Next add a couple cups of beef stock, two spoonfuls of tomato paste and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.
- Now cover the skillet and let everything simmer for the rest of the afternoon.
- When it’s time to eat, cook 8 ounces of pappardelle according to package directions. While it’s boiling away, stir a cup of sour cream into the beef and mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain pasta and combine with the stroganoff sauce. Top with fresh parsley and enjoy a beautiful plateful.
Cheers, and happy eating my friends –