Beef Stroganoff is a classic Russian delicacy that often consists of thinly sliced beef cooked in a sour-cream based sauce with mushrooms and onions.
Just about everyone has their own spin on it and for my father that spin was extra garlic, lots of fresh dill and serving it over homemade french fries.
It wasn’t something he made often. I can still hear my mother warning him that the copious amounts of margarine and sour cream he used to make the sauce were unhealthy. Turns out she was right. But every now and then my dad would call my brother and I down for dinner and pour giant spoonfuls of beef stroganoff into our bowls. It was always a mini celebration!
I’ve set out to recreate this childhood favourite in a lighter, healthier, but equally delicious version. This recipe is Whole30 compliant and Paleo friendly. Which is an easier way of saying it’s free of dairy, grains, gluten, refined sugar, legumes and alcohol. So feel free to use it in your January Whole30 or fit it into your food freedom.
What Cuts of Beef Should I Use?
The type of beef you use to make this stroganoff is more important than you may think. Choose something too lean and your dish will lack flavour. Choose something too fatty and you’ll be overwhelmed by the richness. Likewise, choosing a tougher cut will leave you with mouthfuls of chewy beef that will make your jaw sore.
My preferred cut of beef for this is tenderloin, but that can get very expensive very quickly. A great alternative is to choose something like flank steak, sirloin, top sirloin, or even vacio (often referred to as bavette). You want something that cooks quickly but is tender. Also, look for cuts with nice marbling, which will ensure a flavourful finished product.
Regardless of which cut of beef you use, make sure you slice against the grain. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself biting into strips of shoe leather.
Which Pan Should I Use?
The type of pan you use to cook your Beef Stroganoff is also very important.
The goal is to develop a beautiful, intensely caramelized crust on the beef and the only way to do that is to crank the heat way up! It’s also very important not to overcrowd the pan!
It’s Not Beef Stroganoff Without Sour Cream
The secret to making this beef stroganoff fantastic is the coconut ‘sour cream’. I’ve been using this quick-and-easy substitute for years now. It’s great overtop of Latkes or can be used to make an awesome Tzaziki.
Personally, I like to serve beef stroganoff overtop of mashed potatoes (simply referred to as ‘purée’ in Russian). The sauce gets soaked up by the creamy potatoes and makes everything that much more rich. Or, you can have it over fried potatoes and taste a piece of my childhood. Either way, you’re in for a treat!
Whole30 Beef Stroganoff
- 1/2 lbs frying beef such as flank, vacio, sirloin, tenderloin, top sirloin – cut into thin strips
- 1 medium-sized shallot – thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic – thinly sliced
- 227 gr cremini mushrooms – thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh dill plus extra for garnish – finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard or Dijon
- 1 400ml can full-fat coconut milk
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp ghee
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
For the Coconut Sour Cream:
- The day before cooking, place an unshaken and sealed can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge. The following day, open the can and spoon off the solidified cream. Add cream to a bowl along with the juice of one lemon. Whisk until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasoning and adjust lemon juice as required. Cover bowl with wrap and return coconut to fridge until ready to serve.
For the Beef Stroganoff:
- Preheat a 12” stainless-steel or cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add avocado oil and let heat 30 seconds. Add steak and cook undisturbed 2-3 minutes. Flip steak slices and cook an additional 1 minute. Transfer browned steak to a bowl and set aside.
- Return pan to stovetop and lower heat to medium. Add ghee and mushrooms and season with a pinch of salt. Sauté mushrooms 4-5 minutes and scrape any brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Once mushrooms have browned and their moisture has evaporated, add shallots and garlic. Sauté an additional 2-3 minutes. Add chicken stock to deglaze pan. Cook an additional 30 seconds or until stock has reduced by ¼.
- Add 1 cup coconut ‘sour cream’, mustard and a pinch of black pepper, stir to combine. Gently simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as required.
- Return beef to pan and toss to coat. Remove from heat, add dill and toss everything to combine.
- Serve overtop of mashed potatoes and garnish with more fresh dill.