Amped-Up Beef Stroganoff is ideal dish for Valentine’s Day

This Jan. 13, 2017 photo shows Beef Stroganoff. This amped-up beef stroganoff is a 1-pot noodle dish made with filet mignon, dried mushrooms, tomato paste and Dijon mustard. It’s a perfect dish for Valentine’s Day. (Sara Moulton via AP)

Primed to romance your certain someone on Valentine’s Day? Nothing says “I love you” more persuasively than a home-cooked meal. This one-pot noodle dish, a variation on Beef Stroganoff, is the ideal messenger.

 

Although the roots of the classic recipe are certifiably aristocratic — a French chef working for Count Pavel Stroganoff, a Russian, created it in the early 1800s — Beef Stroganoff was being treated pretty roughly in America by the 1960s. At that time, when “convenience” trumped every other value, home cooks loved being able to whip up a fancy main course using canned gravy, canned mushrooms, canned minced onions and canned roast beef.

We’re gonna treat it with a little more respect in this recipe for Amped-Up Beef Stroganoff. To start, the basics remain unchanged — thin slices of beef fillet topped with a sauce of fresh mushrooms and sour cream, all of it ladled over noodles. But I’ve beefed up the umami — and intensified the taste — with dried mushrooms, tomato paste and Dijon mustard.

Also, we cook the noodles in the sauce, which makes them that much more delicious.

Ideally, your steak of choice will be beef fillet — it is Valentine’s Day, after all — but if you don’t want to splurge, you can swap in less expensive cuts. And if you can’t find dried porcini, you’ll be fine with dried shiitakes or a mix of dried mushrooms. In truth, any dried mushroom packs a one-two punch, contributing not only itself, but also the savory liquid generated when it’s rehydrated. That mushroom liqueur makes a lip-smacking base for any sauce.

What to serve alongside this love offering? A nice refreshing salad involving citrus will provide the perfect contrast. And don’t forget the stagecraft! Set a proper table with cloth napkins and mats, a candle or two, and a bottle of robust red wine.

 

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