- I tried beef-stroganoff recipes from Robert Irvine, Rachael Ray, and Ree Drummond.
- I wasn't a fan of the use of brandy in Drummond's sauce, but Irvine's had a great, classic taste.
- Ray's recipe called for pickles instead of mushrooms, which was a great addition.
Beef stroganoff is one of my favorite dishes. Most iterations I've had consisted of soft chunks of meat, sautéed mushrooms, and a sauce that's almost as signature to the dish as the beef itself.
But I'd never landed on a go-to recipe for making it on my own.
I decided to try beef-stroganoff recipes from Robert Irvine, Ree Drummond, and Rachael Ray to find out which homemade version I liked best.
Here's how the recipes stacked up.
Irvine called for bottom-round beef to be sliced, seasoned, and set aside.
The recipe said to use paprika, but I accidentally used smoked paprika. It slightly threw off the meat's flavor, so I recommend sticking with the original.
The meat, mushrooms, and onions were braised in a combination of wine and broth.
Irvine said the meat should be fork-tender after 25 minutes, but it wasn't quite done, so I waited five more minutes.
I removed the meat and mushrooms before adding sour cream and horseradish to the pan to make the sauce.
The aroma assured me that I was heading toward a classic stroganoff flavor.
The ingredients were tossed together, served over egg noodles, and garnished with parsley.
I really enjoyed the flavor of this dish, especially the slight kick from the horseradish. Had another recipe not blown me away, I would've picked Irvine's as my favorite.
Drummond's beef-stroganoff recipe was interesting because it included brandy in the sauce.
Drummond's recipe called for sirloin steak, which is a relatively affordable cut. Unlike the other recipes, she called for cubed beef instead of sliced beef.
I cooked the meat and set it aside before making my way through the rest of the recipe.
Drummond's sauce was created by cooking mushrooms, carrots, and onions in brandy and beef broth until the liquid was reduced. She also said to add some cornstarch as a thickener.
Once that was done, I added Dijon mustard, sour cream, and the meat.
Even with the cornstarch, the sauce came out a little thinner than the others.
The finished dish looked relatively similar to Irvine's, but the carrots made Drummond's stand out.
Although I typically like brandy in recipes, it didn't work for me in this one. The flavor seemed a bit too strong compared to the Dijon mustard and sour cream.
To my surprise, Ray's beef-stroganoff recipe didn't call for mushrooms. Instead, she opted for cornichons, which are small, tart pickles.
Because of the swap, I was skeptical about how the final dish would turn out.
The base of her sauce started with beef consommé, a condensed version of beef broth, which I'd never worked with before.
It had a thickness that slightly reminded me of gravy.
Ray's recipe called for thickening the consommé by mixing it into a roux. From there, I added Dijon mustard and sour cream.
The mixture instantly smelled like the traditional stroganoff sauce I was used to, so I was excited to try it.
Ray's recipe called for beef-tenderloin fillet, an extremely nice — and pretty pricey — cut of meat.
After slightly cooking the beef and onions, I added the pickles.
I placed the meat, pickles, and onions over egg noodles, poured the sauce on top instead of mixing it in, and garnished the dish with parsley.
Although I wouldn't have thought to use such a fancy cut of meat for beef stroganoff, I'm not sure I'll ever look back — it was tender and incredibly delicious.
I might add mushrooms if I made this again, but I wouldn't skip the pickles. They added an interesting crunch and sourness to the dish that I surprisingly enjoyed.
Although I enjoyed the diversity of the dishes, I liked Ray's the best. Given that it didn't include mushrooms (a staple stroganoff ingredient) and included sour pickles, this wasn't what I expected.
Ray's recipe was also so simple that even with prep, I was done in under 30 minutes, which is perfect for a weeknight meal.
If I make beef stroganoff again, I'll follow Ray's recipe and add sautéed mushrooms. But I'd also probably borrow the inclusion of horseradish from Irvine.