Comfort food has a central place in all of our lives. It centers us, sinks us into a common peaceful place. It is one of the most vital elements in making a place your home.
For my family, beef stroganoff was our comfort food. It was originally found back in 1973 when my grandmother snagged it from McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection. Transferred onto a sheaf of stained, crumpled graph paper by my mother, this meal has been a central part of my childhood and my family’s collective identity. Whether it’s a birthday, holiday or other family celebration, this meal has always been the mainstay.
This recipe was also the first thing that I ever cooked with my mother and the beginning of my love of cooking in general. I can remember standing in the kitchen with her, a loud fan blowing above us and cars speeding through the evening Juneau rain. The house would always be abuzz with my sister and father nearby, constantly watching to see when we’d be done. It was in those moments that I felt most connected to my mother.
Now, this recipe is not the easiest thing to make. When cooking, be sure that you have plenty of space to work with. I would suggest pre-preparing the ingredients and cooking utensils that you will need prior to cooking. You don’t want to be stuck figuring out where your garlic is while your butter burns in the skillet.
Some of the ingredients may be difficult for everyone to have access to. If you have to, you can substitute white wine vinegar for white wine. Additionally, you may substitute one and a half teaspoons of dry dill if you have trouble finding a tablespoon of fresh dill.
2 ¼ lbs. flank steak
6 tablespoons butter
1 clove of garlic, halved
3 cans button mushrooms
3 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoons pepper
3 beef bouillon cubes, crumbled
1 can beef broth
¼ cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 cup low-fat sour cream
2 cups jasmine rice
2 cups water
Place steak in freezer for 15 minutes (it will make it easier to slice).
Trim off excess fat. Slice steak one fourth inch thick across the grain. Cut long strips into two and a half inch pieces.
In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons butter until very hot. Add pieces of sliced steak just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Brown slices quickly on both sides. Remove slices from the pan as they brown. Continue until all slices browned.
Place jasmine rice and water into a rice cooker. Let cook.
Add remaining four tablespoons butter to the skillet. Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms for five minutes. Remove from heat and discard garlic.
Stir in flour and pepper until smooth. Add bouillon cubes. Gradually stir in beef broth.
Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until thickened. Reduce heat and let simmer for five minutes.
Over low heat, stir in white wine, dill and low-fat sour cream. Add browned beef slices. Heat slowly until thoroughly hot. Serve over cooked rice.