Filet of Beef Stroganoff
"This is a decidedly refined, not to mention rich, take on a classic. With its silken, brandied sauce, it is a taste of luxury and a taste of old. I imagine it bears little resemblance to most anyone’s idea of beef stroganoff, a dish that has sadly lost its reputation, having appeared, too often and never well, on one too many cafeteria lines and airplane trays. This recipe will do away with preconceived ideas and unpleasant memories. Of that, I have no doubt. Serve it with a mound of basmati rice, the better to soak up the fabulous sauce. And, speaking of sauce, there’s no reason to stick to the ratio here of hot to sweet paprika. Play to your taste. The measurements I offer will produce a dish that edges toward hot without crossing that line. It is, however, important to buy Hungarian paprika, both the sweet and hot varieties. Spanish paprika, or pimentón, while deliciously smoky, will impart the wrong flavor."
2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
½ tsp hot Hungarian paprika
1½ lbs beef tenderloin
3 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more as needed
Vegetable oil, as needed
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp hot Hungarian paprika
½ tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1 lb cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
¼ cup brandy
1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sour cream
⅓ cup veal stock
Basmati rice, for serving
A small handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
To make the beef, stir together the salt and paprikas in a small bowl and then rub into the beef. If you have the time, set aside for 15 minutes to let the flavors infuse.
Warm the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan and sear the beef on all sides until it has formed a crust. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
To make the sauce, pour in more vegetable oil if necessary to the same pan and sauté the shallot and garlic until the shallots are soft and translucent. Add the paprikas, stirring to coat the shallots.
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes, until they have released their moisture and softened.
Over high heat, deglaze the pan with the brandy and then the lemon juice, scraping up any good bits stuck to the bottom.
Lower the heat and then stir in the cream, sour cream, and veal stock. Simmer until the sauce is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil the cream.
Return the beef to the pan, cover, and cook until it reaches desired doneness. If you like your beef rare, this will take about 5 minutes. If you prefer it pink, 10. To be safe, use a meat thermometer. A reading of 120°F to 125°F indicates rare beef, 125°F to 130°F, medium-rare. I find 125°F to be the golden ticket. Let the meat sit for 10 minutes, then slice.
Serve on top of a generous helping of basmati rice and shower with a touch of parsley.
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