Beef stroganoff was a fall favorite in my childhood. My mom loved to make simmer food, especially when entertaining guests. She could get the dinner started, clean up and get ready for the guests to arrive, instead of sweating over the pots and pans, when the guests arrived. I totally get her. I believe this is the way to go, when you're having guests over.
Normally stroganoff is served with pasta, but in my family we have always had mashed potatoes. Today I opted for at lighter version with the celery root mash
10 slices bacon (10 thin slices or 5 thick cut), diced
2 pounds Beef stew meat
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon hot paprika (or regular paprika if you don't like the spiciness)
1½ teaspoon smoked paprika
3 onions (medium or 4 small), diced
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
400 g button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon beef base
200 ml water
200 g creme fraiche
½ cup (1 dl) whipping cream
salt & pepper
2 celery root
4 medium potatoes
2- 3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup (½ dl) hot milk
salt to taste
Place bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven and heat over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy and fat has rendered, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving some of the fat in the Dutch oven.
Sauté onion and mushrooms in some of the rendered bacon fat, until golden brown. Remove from Dutch oven, and set aside.
Put some all-purpose flour in a ziploc bag, add paprika, some salt and pepper. Pad dry the meat, and place them in the ziploc bag, cover the meat with the spicy flour.
Heat the butter in the Dutch oven and sear the meat in batches so you get a good sear on the meat, and set aside. Wipe the pot clean with a paper towel.
Heat the olive oil to the pot, add the tomato paste and cook until tomato paste turns a deeper red, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add meat, onions, mushrooms, bacon, beef base and water. (Beef stock can be used instead of water and beef base.) Cook the dish for 2-3 hours on a low simmer. Add creme fraiche and cream, and let simmer for another 30 minutes.
Peel and dice the potatoes and celery roots. Put them in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Add about 1 teaspoon salt. Boil them for about 25-30 minutes, until soft.
Drain celery roots and potatoes well, return them to the pot, and let the remaining water evaporate for a minute or two before returning the vegetables to the pot. Add butter and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Add the milk and season with salt. I whipped the mash to get it more creamy, but that is optional.
Serve Stroganoff over pasta or over hearty mash.