Relieving Pressure

Beef stroganoff is the epitome of comfort food. However, it's often relegated to weekend dinners during non-holiday times of the year. Why? Long simmering times can keep a cook in the kitchen for an hour or more when stroganoff is on the menu. But if you happen to have a pressure cooker (or, better yet, one of those spiffy electric counter top pressure cookers), it can be yours in under a half hour … and that's well within weeknight constraints.

This is a fairly straight-forward recipe — although I really love adding lots of smoked paprika. The result is a slightly orange-tinged dish with a creamy, smokey flavor that will have you licking the bowl of your pressure cooker! Otherwise, you're talking tender beef, garlic, onions, and mushrooms swimming in a creamy, savory sauce that's delightful when spooned over hot egg noodles. You can skip the mushrooms if you're not a fan, but stick with the garlic and onions.

This dish might leave you craving something lighter, so toss together a nice green salad with a few types of greens, some fresh black pepper, and an oil and vinegar-based salad dressing. Then pour some wine or beer and dig in. Our nights are only promising to get colder and comfort food is where it's at!

Smoked Paprika Stroganoff

  • 1 T. cooking fat (I used bacon fat)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 lb. round steak, cut into thin strips
  • 1 T. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 c. beef broth
  • 1 T. butter
  • 8 oz. sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 12 oz. egg noodles, cooked according to the package instructions

Heat the cooking fat of your choice in your pressure cooker. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the round steak in small batches and brown well. When all of the steak is browned, combine it, the sautéed garlic and onions, the smoked paprika, and beef broth in the pressure cooker. Cover and bring it to high pressure and cook for 20 minutes.

While the pressure cooker does its thing, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a skillet and sauté the sliced mushrooms until browned and fragrant. (You can also cook the noodles according to the package instructions during this time.)

When the pressure cooker is done cooking, do a quick-release of the pressure and stir in the cooked mushrooms and sour cream. Serve the mixture over the hot egg noodles.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes