Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Beef Stephenoff!! -- 09-27-2013

Beef Stroganoff?!  Who wants to eat a meal named after a family of Russian industrialists?!  This here is America, so I'm renaming my version of this tasty dish "Beef Stephenoff"!!  Check out how it is made right here in the USA!

"Beef Stroganoff or Beef Stroganov (in Russian: Бефстроганов Befstróganov) is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana (sour cream)."  -- Wikipedia: Beef Stroganoff

"Various explanations are given for the name, presumably derived from some member of the large and important Stroganov family, perhaps Alexander Grigorievich Stroganoff of Odessa or a diplomat, Count Pavel Stroganov"  --   -- Wikipedia: Beef Stroganoff

If you were to read the Wikipedia article on Beef Stroganoff, you'll find that this 150+ y.o. recipe originates in Russia as a beef dish with a mustard/sour cream sauce.  Since then, the recipe has evolved into a variety of preparations that each seem dependent upon where it is being made.  Some still use mustard, others don't.  Similarly, some versions of the recipe call for onions and mushrooms, whereas the original Russian version did not.  

It's time for a change!

The Stroganov's can keep their mustard-sour cream beef concoction!  To me this doesn't sound very appealing!  For this reason, I've adjusted the dish to make it more agreeable w the American palate!  

Mind you, this is not a wholesale reinvention of the dish or, technically, it wouldn't be based on traditional beef stroganoff recipes.  Instead, this is a combination of a customization of the traditional recipe with slight adjustments to the suggested method of preparation for stroganoff seasoning packets available in any modern grocery store! 

By no means are my methods set in stone!  Beef Stephenoff* is moreso as a means by which a big batch of incredibly delectable, savory beef can be easily made in quantities large enough to satisfy a crowd of even the most voracious appetites!  Without further ado, let's get to cookin'!

Please note:  This is the quick-n-easy version of Beef Stephenoff!!  Sure, you can get crazy makin' homemade dumplings on which to serve this mouth-watering beef, but I kept it simple this time due to time constraints!

6 or so lbs of chuck roast oughta get me through the next 2 - 3 days!

Hack it up into manageable chunks!

They don't need to be symmetrical!  Just whack 'em up to increase the surface area!

Don't trim the fat!  Trust me on this!

The fat will help to make the meat tender and savory!
If you are going for a low-fat meal, this isn't the one for you!

Toss them into a bag when you're ready!

At this point, you stand at a culinary crossroad.  Any one of a billion seasoning combinations can be applied to this meat!  However...

...you're gonna need some lube!!

Now, there's need to reinvent the wheel.  McCormick has food scientists & focus groups that have perfected concocted a nice seasoning blend!  You can use this or figure out how to replicate stroganoff seasoning from scratch!  I think I'll let McCormick handle it!

Get you some! :)

It's kinda hard to tell, but a fair amount of lube has been added to the bag.

Chuck the seasoning packets (I used two) in and squoosh it around real good!

Getting the meat out is easier if you trim the bag a bit!

At this point, I skipped searing the meat in a frying pan on the stove because it was already 11:45pm!

Typically, I would have browned all this meat in a pan before tossing it into the slow-cooker...

...but I was tired and this meat was already lookin' sexy!

Mmmm.... beef!!

Sour cream?! Hell no!  I prefer Half&Half!
Sour cream is just awful stuff anyway! BLECH!!!

One cup per packet oughta do 'er!

It look's a little funny because the lube is sitting on top of the Half&Half, but it smelled great!

Now is the time to customize it!

Why not beef-up the beefiness with a little beef bouillon?! 

Looks like a lot, but it is floating on top!

This is the stuff I use, but you can use whatever beef bouillon you prefer!
Better yet, make some beef schmaltz (and send me some!!!!)

 Get the rest of the band back together!

That ought to do it!

Give it a stir to evenly distribute everything!
At this point, it was almost midnight! I decided to slow-cook it over night so that I could take it to work w me for lunch the next day!! 

I awoke in the morning starving!!  The whole house smelled wonderful! In the slow cooker I was very pleased to find a big batch of very perfectly-cooked roast beef!!!
Straight out of the excess liquid in the slow cooker and into Tupperware container!  
I gobbled down a few chunks of this luscious meat while I was getting it ready to go with me to work for lunch!  It was incredible!

Sure, it may not be the most photogenic dish, but damn it tastes great!!
Only thing left to do is...

...shred it!

Oh man!  This is lookin' good, huh?!

The only thing we need now...

are some sammich buns!

I can easily eat 3 of these things, 4 if I'm hungry!
Pass the ShitYeah! Sauce!!

ShiiiiiitYeaahhhh!!!! (aka Sriracha!)

I also like my Beef Stephenoff served with pasta!

Mmmm, beefy pastaaaa!!!!
Sure, we could continue to do things the old fashioned way and continue to call this classic old dish "Beef Stroganoff", but this is the new millenium!  No longer does the modern dish even resemble its original recipe, so no longer shall it be named after an old family of Russian industrialists!  Henceforth, this dish, in it's modernized form, shall be referred to as "Beef Stephenoff"! 
The Russians can keep their mustard, sour cream, and arguably tyrannical industrialism, because this recipe has been been granted freedom and amnesty through modernization and now lives on in splendor within the great American palate!

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