Beef Stroganoff is about as rich and satisfying a dinner as I know. My dad made it on occasion when I was a kid, and I remember slurping up egg noodles that were slick with the delicious, tangy sauce. My version would surely be delightful with pasta, but for those who avoid wheat, these julienne zucchini “noodles” makes the dish equally swoon-worthy.
If you’ve never used zucchini as a pasta substitute, I really think you’re going to be impressed. It has a mild flavor which is undetectable in a well-flavored sauce, plus, its unique al dente texture mimics perfectly cooked spaghetti incredibly. If you don’t have a mandoline, you can shave the zucchini into pappardelle-like noodles with a vegetable peeler, but I do think a mandoline is a great investment. I use mine to make quick work of all sorts of vegetables, and the cheap-o model from my local Asian market has lasted me five years already (so no need to spend $100).
Serve this dish with a simple green vegetable or a nice salad on the side.
Beef Stroganoff with Cremini & Porcini Mushrooms:
2 Tbsp. ghee or olive oil
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 C. dry vermouth or dry white wine
1# beef, thinly sliced (I prefer chuck or sirloin trimmed of the outer fat, since they have a bit more marbling than your typical uber-lean stroganoff beef)
1 small yellow onion, sliced in half lengthwise (through the tough base) and then into half-rings
8 oz. (1 small container) cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 C. beef or chicken broth, homemade or store bought
1 C. full-fat sour cream
S & P
handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley
3 medium zucchini (about 6” each), julienned lengthwise on a mandoline
Place the dried porcinis in a small bowl, cover with the vermouth or wine, and set aside to soften for at least 15 minutes. In the meantime, prep all of your other ingredients: thinly slice the beef, slice the cremini mushrooms and onions, chop the parsley, and julienne the zucchini.
Heat a wide saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 Tbsp. of the ghee or oil and swirl to coat. Add the sliced beef in a single layer, allowing it to brown in the hot fat, up to one minute on the first side. Using tongs, turn over the beef slices as they cook, those that are smaller or are browning more quickly first. Cook the slices for another minute tops on the second side (it’s okay for a little pink to remain). Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, and add the remaining Tbsp. of ghee or oil to the pan. Saute the onions for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the creminis and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Remove the porcinis from their liquid (reserving it), chop them finely, and add to the pan. When the mushrooms start to soften, add the mustard and tomato paste and stir well to coat the vegetables. Cook for about one minute to toast the tomato paste, and then pour in the reserved vermouth or wine to deglaze the pan, stirring to pick up all the good bits. Add the broth and the beef, and bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly to be sure the beef is well coated and just fully cooks through.
Reduce the heat to low and add the sour cream, stirring to melt into the sauce, and then taste for salt. Once the sauce is perfectly seasoned, add the zucchini “noodles” and about half of the parsley, tossing with tongs to coat and warm the noodles.
Transfer the stroganoff to a bowl or platter and garnish with the remaining chopped parsley.