Being a child of the 50’s and 60’s, I was well-acquainted with beef stroganoff from an early age. It was one of my Dad’s favorite meals so my Mom made it with some regularity. After I got married, I carried on the tradition, and it became one of The Husband’s favorites too. In case you’re not familiar, that 60’s version was probably pretty far removed from the original stroganoff, which originated in Russia and was basically sautéed pieces of meat in a sauce that may or may not have contained sour cream. No mushrooms, no onions. By the time, American home cooks had co-opted the dish, it was being made with condensed cream of mushroom soup and loads of sour cream.
Further along in our time line, about 20 years ago, when we here at the Circle B Kitchen stopped eating beef, I began substituting chicken for the beef. And while it was good, it wasn’t until I decided (about 15 years ago) to leave out the meat entirely and make mushrooms the star, that I knew I had created something pretty special.
I’ve been working on this recipe for several years, tweaking here and there to maximize the mushroom flavors, and I must say that if you like mushrooms and you're into Meatless Monday, tomorrow night's dinner may be figured out for you.
You can use any fresh mushrooms you like... crimini, portobello, oyster, shitake, whatever floats your mushroom boat. If all you have are white button mushrooms, they will work too. The only mushroom that is required here are the dried porcinis.
If you’ve never used porcinis before, they have an incredibly rich, earthy aroma and flavor that is just intoxicating (for mushroom lovers). Pretty much mushrooms on steroids.
As with the original, you can serve this stroganoff over rice or egg noodles. The Husband prefers rice and I like it on noodles, so we always have it on noodles. LOL!! Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that.
Whatever your preference on the rice/noodles dilemma, your Meatless Monday just got a little 'shroomier. Here’s the recipe…
Use any fresh mushrooms you’d like in this. A combination of different mushrooms will add to the depth of flavors, especially the addition of wild mushrooms such as oyster or shitake.
1 lb fresh mushrooms (see headnote)
1 (1 oz) pkg. dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup (plus 2 tablespoons) sour cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (divided)
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper (or more if you like more heat)
Egg noodles, or cooked rice and chopped fresh parsley for serving
Place porcini mushrooms in 2 cups very hot water and let soak for 20-30 minutes. Note: you're going to be using this soaking liquid, so don't throw it out!
Wipe the mushrooms clean of any dirt or debris. If using button or crimini mushrooms, cut them into quarters. Cut any other mushrooms you are using into about the same size as the crimini.
In a heavy dutch oven or large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and then add the onion. Saute for 5 or 6 minutes, until very soft and then add the garlic. Saute for a couple more minutes. Add all of the cut mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until starting to soften.
Meanwhile, strain the porcini mushrooms from their soaking liquid, reserving the liquid. Depending on how long you soaked them, you should have about 1 1/2 cups liquid. Chop the porcinis if they are fairly large and add them to the pan with the other mushrooms.
Stir the flour into the melted butter and whisk that to the pan, stirring well to coat the mushrooms. Cook briefly to heat through and then add the porcini liquid, salt and pepper, and let this simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes. The mixture should be fairly thick. (the sour cream will loosen the sauce later).
Turn off the heat and let this sit uncovered a few minutes to continue to thicken, but keep warm.
Stir in the sour cream and 2 tablesspoons of the chopped parsley. Turn up the heat to medium low and heat through (do not boil). Taste for salt and pepper.
Serve over egg noodles or rice, and top with remaining chopped parsley.