I had a hard time deciding what to make for Christmas dinner this year. We don’t have any firm food traditions for Christmas dinner. Christmas breakfast is always cinnamon rolls, sausage, scrambled eggs and orange juice (with champagne now that the girls are grown!). We varied that a little this year because my youngest wanted to make the cinnamon rolls with a new recipe that had some orange juice and cream cheese as the topping. But it took me a while to decide to cook a beef tenderloin for dinner.
Christmas dinner in years past has been turkey, ham, lasagna, salmon… I was going to go low key for dinner but then my youngest said she’d go with me to Costco on the 23rd so I braved the crowds and decided to get a beef tenderloin. Ka-ching! But you know, it’s once a year and it’s fun to make something really special that you don’t eat any other time of the year. I’ve made a prime rib once before and I’m not sure which I prefer. I do miss having the bone left to make soup with but the texture and flavor of the tenderloin was incredible.
I searched through different recipes and ended up with something like this one from Jenny Rosenstrach but in her book How to Celebrate Everything (Amazon link), the cooking time was much shorter. I think I ended up cooking it halfway between the book’s version and the blog’s version. It was delicious! But mine was larger than she called for and it took a lot longer to cook than I thought it would and then was more red in color inside than I expected. Nothing was overdone but part of it was a little rarer than I liked. Still, a keeper of a recipe and I noted the longer cooking time in case I ever decide to cook it again.
So it was delicious and everyone ate their fill. I had 7 people here and a 4.5 lb tenderloin. I ended up with what I consider the perfect amount of leftovers, most of it being the rarer pieces. Everyone that wanted some got some, but I wasn’t left with too too much. And the advantage of having some of it quite rare was that it wouldn’t get overdone when the leftovers were reheated.
Last night I debated on how to use up my portion of the leftover beef. I had also bought mushrooms, thinking to make sauteed mushrooms but we had enough so I just left them in the refrigerator on Christmas. So beef stroganoff became the answer!
Back in the day when this blog got started, hamburger stroganoff was the only stoganoff we ate. And we all liked it. But it was never quite as good as the beef stroganoff I remember my mom making a good cut of beef.
Since I was starting with beef that was already cooked, I added it in after the onions and mushrooms were almost done. I just wanted to warm the meat, not really cook it more. If you’re starting with raw beef, cook the beef strips for a minute in oil, then add the onions and proceed.
My sour cream separated a little in the sauce as the sauce was a little too hot when I added it as you can see but it still tasted good. Two remedies for that: Let the sour cream sit on the counter for a bit rather than using it cold from the refrigerator and make sure you take the pan off the heat before you stir it in. I got in a rush.
- 1/2 pound good beef (e.g. leftover tenderloin), cut in 2 x 1/2″ strips
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs oil
- 1/2 a large onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- If the beef is raw, salt and pepper the strips a bit. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the beef. Cook 1 minute over medium high heat. Measure the sour cream into a small bowl and let it sit on the counter while you’re cooking so it isn’t quite so cold when you stir it in at the end.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the onions. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the mushrooms and beef broth. Bring to a simmer and cook over low, 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re using leftover beef, add it to the mushrooms and onions a few minutes before they’re done.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for a minute or two. Stir in the sour cream with a whisk and let it heat through.
- Serve at once over rice, egg noodles or toast.