Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


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Weekly Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

As I post this weekly recipe for beef stroganoff, I’d like to call your attention to a couple of exciting new features on the blog.  First, I’ve added a “Print” feature for each post.  Suggested by my mom, I think this is a great idea that will hopefully make it easier for you to give these (usually) delicious recipes a try.  I’ve also added a Twitter feed – I hope you all will follow me (@mainerootsgirl) – and I hope the feed also provides you with helpful information and updates about Maine news and events.  And now, let’s get down to the business of beef stroganoff.

This was my first attempt at making beef stroganoff.  From this experience, I learned that it’s a fairly simple dish and my former intimidation was uncalled for.  The below reflects something of a combination of two recipes – the first, found in Maine Home Cooking on page 98, is titled ‘Venison or Beef Stroganoff.’.  Maine Home Cooking has a number of interesting venison recipes (such as this one) that I would really like to try – hopefully this November my husband will get a deer while ‘upta camp’ so I can share them with you.  The second recipe I took pieces from is from that well-loved, favorite cookbook of mineRecipes from the Maine Kitchen – and is on page 110.  Both original recipes served 8 people, which would be overkill at our house.  I halved it to 4 servings and we enjoyed it for two nights.

Food prep...

Food prep…

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb venison or beef cut into strips
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 oz. egg noodles

Sprinkle the beef (or venison) with paprika, salt, and paper.  In a large saute pan, melt half of the butter and olive oil over medium high heat and brown meat for about 1 minute.  Set the meat aside, and add the remaining butter to the pan.  Saute mushrooms until the liquid has been rendered, continuing to cook for a few minutes after this.  Add the onion and shallots and saute until soft and the mushrooms begin to brown.

Yum - browning mushrooms!

Yum – browning mushrooms!

Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir until mixed.  Add the wine, stirring and boil for 1 minute.  Add the stock, reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened (about 10 minutes).  Remove from the heat, stir in the sour cream, and add the meat and any accumulated juices.  Reduce the heat to low ad cook for a few minutes, until warm.  Do not boil, or the sour cream will curdle (ick!).  Correct the seasoning and serve over egg noodles.

Time to dig in!

Time to dig in!

The beef stroganoff was excellent.  Flavorful meat is important in any recipe, and I am spoiled because Nick and I buy almost all of our beef from Omaha Steaks these days.  We love their products, and the beef strips were nothing short of extraordinary in this dish.  One thing I may handle differently next time is the timing of adding the flour.  I think adding it earlier, so the mushrooms and flour brown together, could make for a better end result.  I would also use a bit less of it – it’s already a pretty thick sauce, and I felt the flour made it a bit too sticky (I added a bit more white wine and beef stock, in this case).  Regardless, this was a big hit in our house and I highly recommend giving it a try.  I hope you’ll share your results!


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Weekly Recipe: Raspberry Slump

I must preface this post by expressing that I am not a pastry chef (no wonder I chose a dessert recipe defined as a ‘slump’ – it sounded like a perfect match!).  However, my dear friends, Emily and Elisabeth, who are in fact pastry chefs at their bakery in northern California (as well as organic farmers, artists, dog whisperers, and raging beauties), requested a dessert be featured in an upcoming Weekly Recipe post.  Being the gracious blogger I am, I chose to grant their request.

This was an eye-opening experience for me.  I really enjoyed the process of baking, which I didn’t expect, as well as the end results (which I did expect).  As mentioned, the raspberry slump seemed to be the most appropriate recipe for me to attempt as a novice baker.  It was very simple, with a total of three sentences of instructions.  First, I’ll provide the recipe as it is listed in Good Maine Food, and second, I’ll elaborate on my personal journey through it.

You’ll need:

  • 1 quart raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk

Serves 6

Wash berries and put in a buttered baking dish; sprinkle with sugar.

Sugared raspberries and batter

Sugared raspberries and batter

Make a smooth batter of remaining ingredients and pour it over the berries.

Batter, drizzled over the berries

Batter, drizzled over the berries

Bake in a moderately hot oven, 375 degrees, 45 minutes.

As I was typing the above, I realized I went very, very wrong with one step in the instructions.  Rather than sprinkling the 1 1/2 cups of sugar on the berries, I sprinkled the 1/4 cup on the berries and mixed the 1 1/2 cups into the batter.  As a result, ‘pouring’ the batter over the berries was not possible.  I spooned it over them, at times violently shaking and banging the spoon to get it to fall onto the berries.  At the time, I was thinking, ‘anyone who thinks you can pour this batter has never made this recipe!’  Now, I realize, the error was all mine.  I will say, though, the batter was DELICIOUS.

Other than that mishap, the recipe was all I anticipated – quick, easy, and in the end, very tasty.  The crust was really crunchy due to the large amount of sugar I mistakenly included, but the flavor was excellent – both tart and sweet.  It also isn’t as pretty as some pastries or desserts, but then, I didn’t expect that of a ‘slump.’  Looks aside, I certainly recommend it to others!

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!