The Absolute Best Cut Of Steak For Tender Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a classic weeknight comfort meal for a reason. This creamy, hardy pasta dish is filling and delicious, and most recipes come together in under 30 minutes. This includes the meaty, creamy, almost fancy beef stroganoff from Tasting Corner recipe developer Michelle McGlinn. She elevates this staple dinner by using quick, cooking cuts of tender steak and an elegant cognac-based sauce. Unlike other versions of beef stroganoff, this one does not stew the beef for a long time, so when selecting the cut of meat for this dish you need to be mindful. "The best way to go is buying sirloin strips made for stir-fry, which will cook fast," explains McGlinn.

Using a sirloin or even a ribeye cut of meat is ideal because it cooks quickly, sears easily, and remains tender. A stir-fry cut of steak is even better because you won't have to worry about tough, chewy slices of beef. Stir-fried meat is traditionally thin, smaller pieces, designed to cook evenly with the other ingredients. This adaptability is why it works so well for this stroganoff. Plus, having succulent slices of steak piled on top of your egg noodles makes the meal feel more substantial and like more effort was used when in reality, this dish is relatively simple.

Using stir-fry cuts of steak in beef stroganoff

One of the benefits of using slices of meat is the ability to get a delicious sear. When you sear meat, you create a flavor bomb in the crust thanks to the work of the Maillard Reaction. Searing meat requires having a properly heated pan. If your pan isn't hot enough, it'll take longer to get the proper coloring on the meat and you risk overcooking it. If your pan is too hot, you could burn the outside and be left with raw beef at the center. You can tell if your pan is hot enough when the oil appears to be shimmering, and a bead of water does not stick to the pan.

It's also important to get a good sear on the meat because this leaves behind the fond that gives the stroganoff sauce its flavor. Fond refers to the brown, stuck-on bits of food you get after cooking something in a pan. When you deglaze your pan, these bits get unstuck and melt into your sauce. Fond contributes a major umami flavor bomb to your meals, so don't ignore it!