I have a real fondness for fusion-esque twists on midwestern comfort food. Maybe it is my way of satisfying both my midwestern, traditional upbringing and my completely international adult palette. Or maybe I just like the unexpectedness of it. Truth be told, this particular dish is not shockingly unexpected to me given that I grew up with a mom who already put tomato paste in her beef stroganoff (don’t knock it til you try it–it remains one of my favorite comfort meals of all time). But it is still unexpected, fragrant with bracing, fresh rosemary and rich yet bright with red wine (be sure to use a good one!). A Mediterranean Beef Stroganoff. And better yet, a weeknight Mediterranean beef stroganoff that uses the shortcut of ground beef.
Interestingly, John, whom I did not expect to love this, adored it and devoured it. On the other hand, Alex, who really should have liked it (she loves fresh herbs, she loves yogurt and sour cream, she loves noodles and mushrooms!), is going through an annoying picky phase where anything new I make she does not like. So I ignore her, if you’re wondering. By my standards this was a win. I started with a recipe in Cat Cora’s Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist: Fresh Takes on Favorite Dishes.
You may have noticed that mine turned out ever so slightly curdled. You should know that first of all, while not beautiful, it did not affect the taste at all. Second of all, you can easily avoid this happening by letting the stroganoff cool down a bit (I tried but should have waited longer) and by using whole fat Greek yogurt (I was out and used 2%).
- 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 2 lbs crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 T double strength tomato paste
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 t minced fresh rosemary, divided, plus sprigs for garnish
- 1/4 cup dry red wine, plus more for deglazing
- 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- cooked egg noodles
Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. When it is hot, add the onions with a pinch of salt. Sauté until golden, about 7-10 minutes. If the onions start to stick and you need to deglaze, use a splash or 2 of red wine.
Add the mushrooms in 3 batches to avoid overcrowding and steaming the mushrooms (they will shrink to make room). Add salt to taste as you add the mushrooms--mushrooms and beef will both need a fair amount of salt. When the mushrooms are golden and have released most of their water, add the tomato paste and garlic. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the ground beef with salt and black pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and no pink remains.
Add half of the minced rosemary and the red wine. Stir to incorporate and then let simmer briskly until the liquid evaporated.
Add the remaining rosemary and mix in. Let cook for 1 minute.
Turn the heat off and let cool for a minute. Add the parsley and yogurt and completely mix in.
Serve over egg noodles.
I love fusion takes on comfort foods also…it somehow makes them much more exciting!
I like your take on the classic version that to me always seemed a bit to “heavy” or “rich” to eat frequently. However, your version looks so fresher and “lighter” than the original. But i’m a vegetarian so the beef isn’t going to work for me. Do you think I could use lentil instead? or perhaps add some portabella mushrooms? or thoughts on possible substitutions?
You mentioned that full fat yogurt would be less likely to curdle than the lower fat and I was curious as to why that was so. Is full fat more “stable” due to the fat? wondering in general and in part because I generally have non-fat in the fridge. Thanks.
Keeping in mind that I love beef and therefore have trouble imagining vegetarian substitutes, I am thinking maybe green lentils plus portobello mushrooms diced small (in addition to the sliced crimini). Maybe add the slightest touch of soy sauce to increase the unami flavor? Does that sound crazy? You are pretty much out of my league here! 🙂
As to the dairy, while I found many web sites confirming what I said, I could not find a very good explanation. I THINK it is because the fat is what emulsifies when you mix it in, is less likely to separate from the heat. There are some other tricks, like mixing a little flour with your low fat dairy (I’d rather consume high fat dairy than extra flour personally); adding some of the sauce to the yogurt first to gently warm it so it is not shocked by the cold dairy meeting the hot sauce is another method. Your best bet also is to let it cool until it is no longer simmering for maybe a full minute to be on the safe side. Hope this helps.
I will try the lentils and portabellas and see how it goes.
thanks for the information on the full fat vs low fat. I wasn’t questioning what you said in terms of it being true merely wondering as to why. what you mentioned about the fat does make sense. I don’t have anything against full fat yogurt but just don’t have it around though as with you I would prefer the full fat vs the flour so will try to remember to pick up some when i’m going to try this.
Oh I didn’t think you were questioning it, I was more just amused and somewhat embarrassed to realize I had no idea why! Good luck!
I haven’t had stroganoff in eons.This easy version looks like just the ticket for busy work days. Thank you for sharing it! 🙂
Des @ Life's Ambrosia says
Beef stroganoff is one of my favorite comfort food dishes. I love the idea of rosemary thrown in the mix!
Kathryn @ FoodieGirlChicago says
I like your take on a lightened version of this dish! I’m guessing the rosemary makes a great addition.
I once had a delicious recipe for beef stroganoff from an old BF’s mom. The recipe started with a can of consommé. I’ve long since lost touch with both the BF and the recipe, but that doesn’t dim the memory of that delicious meal.
This looks delicious and since I’ve got a little chain of tomato paste balls in the freezer (spoonfuls rolled up in plastic wrap) it’s doable. Now to decide between the larb/lap and stroganoff . . . you’re making it hard for me to pick how to use the thawed ground beef in my fridge!
Certainly a great recipe for family week night dinners! Love the added rosemary flavor and the use of yogurt instead of sour cream. 🙂