Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

Meat. MEAT. I love it, I really do. I grew up in the heart of the USA’s Midwest - the great state of Minnesota - where the basic food groups consisted of potatoes, cream of [insert mushroom, chicken, or celery here] soup, butter (or Land-O-Lakes margarine), tall cold glasses of milk with every meal and…meat. Minnesotans know what’s up.

I had a recent craving for beef stroganoff. Although I ate this dish frequently as a child, I had yet to make it myself. The beef stroganoff of my youth was a retro reflection of my Norwegian-American-Lutheran upbringing - a nostalgic combination of ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, condensed beef broth, and low-fat sour cream.

Although I (of course) had cream of mushroom soup in my cupboard like any good Minnesotan ex-pat, I wasn’t really feeling that version. I wanted to create something a little less…..processed. That being said, nixing the gelatinous soup schlop does NOT mean the recipe that follows is for someone watching their fat intake or cholesterol levels. This is comfort food at its finest. 

After making a few tweaks to the Simply Recipes version, I came up with a winner. Gather up some easy basics: butter, beef, onions, garlic, mushrooms, sour cream (be sure to read my footnote on the sour cream!). If you have tarragon, nutmeg, and Worcestershire sauce on hand, even better.

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

First, get your beef in some sputtering, aromatic, delicious butter. Work quickly - you’re just browning and the thinness of the meat doesn’t require much time in the pan. Set beef aside. Sauté your onions and garlic in the same pan.

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Let the onions/garlic rest in the beef bowl, add more butter to the pan and get those mushrooms in there. Sprinkle with some salt, pepper, nutmeg (tarragon if using), a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce, and Minnesota-nice vibes.

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

Deglaze with a bit of broth. I like to thicken everything up with a bit of corn starch, but that is optional.

With the heat on low, add your sour cream, then add back in the onions, garlic, and beef. Give ‘er a stir and then serve over your starch of choice. I say egg noodles for the win! Top with a bit of parsley for a nice green garnish.

 
Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

This lovely, creamy, delectable meaty stroganoff is exactly what I was looking for. And it was completely sans cream of mushroom soup. (Just don’t tell my mom.)

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

Other than cooking your starch of choice and needing a bowl to “set aside” ingredients, this is a one-skillet dish. I found it’s best to have everything sliced, diced, and chopped from the get-go, as once you get started there isn’t a lot of down time.

Beef Stroganoff with Homemade Sour Cream - Bake, Braise & Broil

 

Happy stroganoffing!

Mara Signature - Bake, Braise & Broil


The BEST Crispy Fried Chicken

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

So, here's the thing: I've got a serious affliction. Every 22 days I get a deep, primal urge for fried chicken.  It use to be manageable, I could head to my local favourite restaurant and gorge on a 1/2 fried chicken. The craving would subside, but I was never quite satisfied. Then I started trying recipes, testing techniques and now - there is no going back. This recipe is not quick, but it produces the most succulent, juicy, crispy fried chicken I've ever had. EVER. 

All good recipes start with the best ingredients and the quality of your chicken is no exception. I opt to buy a whole chicken and cut it into 12 pieces. It's cheaper and it makes me feel ... manly. If you've never butchered a chicken it's also remarkably easy.  All you need is a half decent knife and a quick lesson from youtube, I like this one. 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Up next in our fried chicken journey is a buttermilk brine. This step seasons, flavours and tenderizes the chicken. More importantly, brining the chicken also pumps it full of moisture so that when you fry it the result is the juiciest, most succulent chicken you've ever sunk your teeth into. Don't. Skip. This. Step. (Please.) 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Before frying, we need to dry out the skin of the chicken. If we don't do this, the chicken won't fry properly and you'll get a soggy (and oily) crust. This is accomplished by removing the chicken from the buttermilk brine a couple of hours before we want to fry it and placing it on a cooling rack to drip dry. It works perfectly and results in that crunchy crust we're after. 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

After a quick dunk in flour and a buttermilk batter, we're ready for the oil. This step is especially suited to enlisting the help of others (thanks Mara & Aaron!).  Heated to 375 F the chicken only needs about 5-6 minutes on the first side and an addition 4-5 minutes on the second.

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Couple of tips here: use a cast iron pan (it helps retain the heat better) and don't overcrowd the chicken. Adding too much chicken to the oil can cause the temperature to drop substantially, which means the chicken won't crisp-up and instead will become laden with oil.  Fry in small batches (~4 pieces), keeping the chicken warm in the oven until ready. 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

And here is our result. Excuse me while I bombard you with photos... 

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

More fried chicken...

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

I think this vantage really offers something the last didn't...

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Aaaannnnd, here it is on a plate instead:

The Best Crispy Fried Chicken

Alright, alright. That's enough, I'll stop spamming you. But - as you might imagine - I really like this fried chicken... I can't help myself... and it really tastes that good.  

Chicken aside, I had a blast gathering some friends in the kitchen, pouring some beer, and deep frying to our content. I hope you get the chance to try this recipe out, and if you do - I'd love to hear how it goes. 

 

Until next week...

James Ede Signature