So here it is, the first official content for MustardSauces.com. As the weather here in the Pacific Northwest starts to fade from summer in to fall, I’ve been quite busy canning and preserving the last of the summer harvest and getting ready for the wonderful fall mushroom season. As much as I will miss the fresh wild berries, warm fishing weather and the incredible bounty at the local farmer’s markets, the approaching fall brings with it a good opportunity to dust off some of my favorite recipes. From braised short ribs to lamb stew to wild mushroom risotto, there is nothing quite like a rich hearty meal to warm up an otherwise chilly November evening. And when I want to make something quick, tasty and filling to share with friends, I often think Beef Stroganoff.
When comparing my Stroganoff recipe to those of friends and colleagues, I’m surprised to see they often don’t contain any mustard in the sauce. In my opinion a good mustard in the base of your Stroganoff can mean the difference between a good meal and an unforgettable one. As you’ll see below I chose to use a mustard I have been working on that’s flavored with smoke paprika. This lends the dish an extra hint of smokey depth. You can try your hand at making your own version of my mustard or buy a jar from our store (coming soon!) or just use any high quality prepared mustard and add a bit of smoked paprika yourself. If your local grocery store or spice merchant doesn’t carry smoked paprika (and they should) you can always order some online.
You’ll see in my recipe that I was fortunate to find a huge, wonderful lobster mushroom at my local farmer’s market. Don’t worry if you aren’t lucky enough to have wild mushrooms at your fingertips; you can use just about any mushroom in your stroganoff. White button mushrooms will work but most grocers will carry fresh shiitakes which I love using to make a stroganoff with a Japanese flair. And while mentioning substitutions I should also note that I used Walla Walla sweet onions, being local and in season. If you aren’t lucky enough to have Maui or Walla Walla onions readily available I would recommend using shallots.
This of course brings me to the main ingredient, the beef. Traditional stroganoff recipes all call for various cuts of steak and this recipe will work just fine with any beef trimmings you have tucked away in your freezer. However if you really want a unique dish you can use beef heart. Even if you’ve worked with or eaten offal before and found it not to your taste, I encourage you to try heart. It is indeed an organ but also a muscle and much more akin to a very lean steak than a liver or kidney. Some people complain that heart can be a bit tough, but if you slice it against the grain of the meat and are careful not to overcook it, heart is a deliciously flavorful and very affordable cut of beef. So without further ado, please enjoy my recipe for Beef Stroganoff.
Beef Heart Stroganoff
- 2 lbs Beef Heart
- 1 lb Mushrooms (lobster, shitake, cremini)
- 1 Large sweet onion OR 3 shallots
- 3 C Beef stock (Chicken stock is fine too)
- 1 C Sour cream
- ¼ C Smoked paprika mustard
- ½ C Red wine
- Chopped dill or parsley for garnish
- Oil (peanut, olive, canola) and butter
- Salt and pepper
If you didn’t buy your heart already sliced, you’ll have to clean and thinly slice the heart muscle in to bite-size strips. If you need help cleaning the heart, there is a great video tutorial here. Slice your mushrooms and dice your onion or shallots while a high sided cast iron pans heats up on a medium hot burner. Salt and pepper the heart on both sides. When the pan is up to temperature, add just enough oil to coat the pan and sear the heart on both sides turning it only once. This is where you must be careful not to overcook the meat. Allow both sides to brown but do not cook it any longer than that. You may have to work in two batches depending on the size of your pan. Remove and set aside.
Quickly place your mushrooms in the same pan and sprinkle with salt to help them release their liquid. Allow the mushrooms several minutes in the pan before adding a knob (about a tablespoon) of butter. Again give the mushrooms a few minutes to cook down with the butter before adding your onions or shallots. Cook until the onions start to tenderize, stirring often. By now the mushrooms should be a nice golden brown color. Deglaze your pan by pouring in the red wine and gently scrapping the bottom with a wooden spoon or heat resistant spatula.
When the wine has reduced to almost nothing, add your beef stock. You can use beef broth if you don’t have any beef stock on hand but try to get a lower sodium broth to allow you to control the salt level yourself. Chicken stock will work fine too and I would actually recommend using a high quality homemade chicken stock over a store bought beef broth. Once you have added your stock or broth, allow the liquid to reduce by about half. This will take a little time, so be patient. Now is a good time to chop some herbs for garnish and pour yourself a glass of that red wine.
After about ten minutes or so your liquid should be reduced. Stir the sour cream in to the mixture. Don’t worry if it separates at first; keep stirring gently and soon a wonderful sauce will begin to come together. After it has, add the mustard and continue to slowly stir the sauce. You won’t want to add the mustard any earlier, as heat breaks down the flavor of the mustard fairly quickly. This is a good time to turn the heat down to medium low so the sauce is simmering. And of course, finally add the beef heart including all the juices that may have collected. Allow everything to simmer for a few minutes for the flavors to blend before checking the seasoning of your sauce. Add salt and pepper to your taste and you’re done!
Served with a great Castoro wine.
Stroganoff is traditionally served over egg noodles but can be great over almost any kind of starch. I like it over rice or spaghetti or even mashed potatoes. Before serving it I sprinkle either chopped dill or parsley over the top and a little extra smoked paprika. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can. Enjoy!
Most photos courtesy of Hannah Moon.