In the process of cleaning house, I have been uncovering a number of old books, many filled with margin notes and old newspaper clippings like this classic recipe for Beef Stroganoff culled from an undated newspaper article. Attributed to a Chef Meyer at the Mark Hopkins, it differs from standard recipes by its use of juniper berries in the sauce – a highly seasonal ingredient that is perfect for winter months.

But January is also Slow Cooker Month, so in addition to this classic preparation I have included a slow-cooker riff on this recipe. The slow cooker version replaces juniper with a bay leaf, since long cooking times might extract bitterness from the berries. It also substitutes a leaner, less expensive cut of meat that will hold up to the longer cooking times.

Classic Beef Stroganoff

Attributed to J.W. Meyer, Chef de Cuisine, Hotel Mark Hopkins, San Francisco

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 6 Tbs butter
  • ½ pound sliced, sautéed mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 ½ cups beef stock
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions for Sauce

Saute onions and garlic in the butter. When translucent, add the crushed berries and the flour. Stir for about 8 minutes, then add the stock and the sour cream. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Then strain the sauce through a fine sieve. Set aside.

Ingredients for Beef

  • 2 pounds beef tenderloin sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ pound mushrooms, sliced and sautéed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley or chives for garnish

Directions and Assembly

In a hot pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper, then the beef, and let brown. Place the beef in a serving dish and add the mushrooms and strained sauce.

Serve over cooked pasta noodles or steamed rice.

 

Slow Cooker Variation

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds stew meat, sliced across grain
  • 1 ½ cup beef broth
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup cornstarch (or flour)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish

Directions

Brown the meat in a fry pan (optional) and add to a greased slow cooker. Pile on the onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and mushrooms. Add one cup of the broth along with the Worcestershire and mustard. Cook on high for 2 – 3 hours or on low for 5 – 7 hours.

Stir the cornstarch into the remaining half cup of broth and add it to the slow cooker. Cook for ten minutes on high. Then add the sour cream and the parsley. Cook another ten minutes to warm.

Serve over cooked butter noodles or rice. Or, add the cooked pasta to the slow cooker and mix.

My Wine Selections

The classic preparation cries out for hearty reds like our 2015 Founder’s Collection Zinfandel, which pairs well with the juniper notes in this dish. The slow-cooker version works well with full body wines like our 2015 Founder’s Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015 Founder’s Syrah, or our 2017 Founder’s Chardonnay. Enjoy!

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