When I was growing up, I remember my mom making the best beef stroganoff. Of course, my mom makes the best everything, so it’s no great wonder that her beef stroganoff was also the best.
Today was one of those cold, dreary days in Seattle, the kind of day that becomes commonplace in the fall. It’s the kind of weather that makes the indoors cozy enough to make me crave comfort food – spaghetti, meatloaf, Chinese food, whatever. (Yes, Chinese food is comfort food in my world.) Tonight, while out for my post-work four-mile walk, I decided I would try to make beefless beef stroganoff. Mind you, I had never even tried to make beef stroganoff with the real thing, so there was an added challenge.
I creatively adapted the recipe from my family’s favorite Russian cookbook to suit my newly vegan needs. The book is cleverly titled Nothing Beets Borscht.
For the sauce:
1 package Trader Joe’s Beefless Strips
Mushrooms, sliced (as many as you want – I used about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon scallions, chopped
2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Smart Balance Lite)
6 tbsp vegan sour cream (I used Vegan Gourmet)
1-2 tbsp dill
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine
For the accompaniment:
1-2 tbsp vegan sour cream
1-2 tbsp dill
Cooked rice, cooked potatoes, or my current favorite, shredded, boiled zucchini pasta (or regular pasta, if you really want it – my mom used to serve this over bowtie pasta)
1. Cook the beefless strips as directed; set aside.
2. Over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of the vegan butter in the skillet. When the butter is melted and bubbling, add the garlic and scallions; saute until the scallions are limp and translucent (don’t let them brown). Add the sliced mushrooms now, raising the heat a bit and constantly stirring for 3-4 minutes, or until the mushrooms are barely cooked through. You may need to add more butter if it starts looking too dry.
3. Add the vegetable stock, mustard, wine, sour cream and dill, mixing well to combine. Now add the beefless strips, again, mixing well. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until sauce is thickened and looks right (you’ll know when that is if you’ve ever had stroganoff – if not, it’s when it’s no longer watery).
4. While the sauce is simmering, prepare your accompaniment. If you opt for the zucchini, like I did, just shred the zucchini, boil it for a minute, and drain it, rinsing with cold water.
5. Top the accompaniment of your choice with the sauce. If you’re so inclined, add a dollop of sour cream and some dill.