Beef Stroganoff Reinvisioned

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Traditional versions of beef stroganoff mix meat and dairy, so it would not be suitable for kosher diners. However, I came across a recipe that contained butter and sour cream in small amounts.

Many recipes call for a cup or more of sour cream, to round out the sauce, but this recipe goes heavy on beef stock and tomato paste. The fact that this version only calls for 2 tablespoons suggested to me that a nondairy sour cream or coconut cream would work well here, and the recipe would not be impacted.

Most stew-type dishes require long braises on the stove or in the oven, which make them less appealing as spring arrives. But this one spends little time on the stove, so it seems a bit more seasonal to me.

In addition, it includes leeks, parsley and chives, all of which I associate with spring. I wouldn’t serve this on a day that shoots up to 80 degrees, but on a cool or rainy spring evening, this simple comfort meal delivers.

Beef Stroganoff
Serves 4

1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
¾ pound ribeye, flank or skirt steak, cut into strips 1-inch wide and 2-inches long
Salt and pepper, to taste
1½ tablespoons margarine
2 leeks, white and light green portions, cleaned and finely chopped
½ pound mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1¼ cups beef stock
2-3 tablespoons nondairy sour cream or coconut cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1-pound package egg noodles, cooked according to package directions, for serving
2 tablespoons each fresh parsley and chives, finely chopped, for garnish

Pat the beef strips dry with paper towels and season them with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat half of the olive oil. In batches, sauté the beef strips in a single layer for 1 minute per side. Do not overcrowd the pan. At this point, the meat should not be cooked through. Transfer it to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil and meat and set it aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, melt the margarine. Add the leeks and sauté them until lightly browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes more. Season it with salt and pepper to taste. Add more margarine if the mixture is burning or seems dry.

Stir in the tomato paste, and cook until well-blended, about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to incorporate.

Increase the heat to high, add the stock and bring it to a boil, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the pan. Boil it for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to medium.

Return the meat to the pan along with any accumulated juices and cook just until the beef is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the nondairy sour cream or coconut cream, mustard and lemon juice and heat it until the sauce is warm.

Remove it from the heat, serve it over egg noodles and garnish it with fresh parsley and chives.

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Spring Peas with Fresh Mint
Serves 4

These ingredients scream spring to me, so putting them together to round out this meal was a seasonally delicious move. Fresh spring peas are here for a short time, so if you can get them, do, but frozen peas are a perfectly good substitute.

2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced
1 tablespoon oil
1 pound fresh or frozen peas
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Heat the oil in a medium skillet with the scallions, salt and pepper. Saute until soft and fragrant.

Add the peas and just enough water to cover. Simmer them for 5 minutes until cooked but not mushy. Drain. (Cook’s tip: Reserve this liquid for another use such as soup or sauce!)

Add the mint, toss and serve.

Editor’s note: The recipe was updated to change the type of meat used.


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