This is a family favorite recipe. It also happens to be the first thing I cooked for Mike when we were first dating. I originally copied the recipe down into a spiral notebook from one of my mother’s Better Homes & Gardens cookbooks between freshman and sophomore years at college. That page is now faded. You can hardly read the writing. Parts of it have been washed out by spills, and the page as a whole has fallen out of the notebook. Maybe it’s time to write the recipe down somewhere a little more permanent.
1 lb beef sirloin tips, cut into thin slices (as if for a stir fry)
olive oil or butter
1 onion, sliced (I like to use vidalias when they’re in season)
1-3 cloves garlic, crushed
3oz can sliced mushrooms (or fresh, but saute them in butter first)
flour for dredging
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp sweet hungarian paprika (optional)
12-14 oz beef stock (or boullion)
1-1.5 cups sour cream
1/4 cup white wine
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil or butter. Dredge the slices of beef in flour mixed with salt and pepper, then place them in the skillet. When they have browned on one side flip to the other side. When browned on the second side remove them to a plate. Cook the beef in batches. Don’t over cook, the beef will get simmered in the sauce later, so it’s fine for it to be just barely browned at this point. After cooking the beef add a tablespoon more oil or butter to the pan and saute the onions and garlic. When the onions start to soften add the mushrooms. Saute until the onions are translucent, or even a little browned.
Push the onion etc to one side and melt a tablespoon of butter in the pan mixing it with the 2 tablespoons of butter to create a roux. Stir in the tablespoon of tomato paste (and the paprika if you’re using it). Then add the beef stock and stir everything until it bubbles and thickens. Return the beef to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and add the white wine. Then mix it the sour cream, and warm over low heat. High heat will cause the sauce to separate.
Serve over buttered egg noodles.
I don’t think the tomato paste does anything other than impart a nice pink color to the the sauce. Without it, it would be kind of grey. In fact I seem to remember a meal my mother made when I was a child. It was kind of grey and smelled a bit odd. I remember not wanting to eat it, but being convinced by my parents to just try one bite. With some trepidation I took a bite, and it really was good. Many years later I wondered if that dish was simply a stroganoff without the tomato paste.