Classic Beef Stroganoff from All-Star Chef

Thomas Keller is an American culinary superstar.

He's executive chef of Bouchon and Per Se in New York and French Laundry and Ad Hoc in California.

He's also penned several cookbooks. The latest, "Ad Hoc At Home," has been on The New York Times best-sellers list for six weeks. The user-friendly book focuses on bringing gourmet flavors to classic American cooking.

Keller shared some secrets to gourmet American cooking, on "The Early Show."

"Early Show" recipes galore!


RECIPES

BEEF STROGANOFF


Beef stroganoff made with Campbell's cream of mushroom soup was a mainstay of the 1970s that I still feel some nostalgia for. This interpretation of that all-American version of stroganoff calls for braised beef short ribs with a mushroom cream sauce, enriched with crème fraîche. This is just as much about the mushrooms as it is the beef. Some of the cremini are pureed to use in the sauce, and some are sliced and sautéed to toss with the noodles.

Cream Sauce

1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and cut in 3/4-inch pieces
(BUTTON MUSHROOMS CAN ALSO WORK HERE IF NECESSARY)
1 tablespoon (1/2ounce) unsalted butter
2/3 cup chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups heavy cream
1 Sachet (page 342), without the garlic
1/3 cup crème fraîche
(SOUR CREAM CAN ALSO WORK HERE IF NECESSARY)

Mushrooms
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound small or medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Braised Beef Short Ribs (page 41), chilled, braising liquid reserved for another braise if desired
(YOU CAN ALSO USE JUST 1 3/4 LBS OF SIRLOIN BEEF TIPS, SEAR THEM IN A SKILLET AND SLICE THEM WITH UNIFORM CUTS AND PLACE ON THE PAPPARDELLE)Pappardelle, homemade (see pages 215 and 338) or store-bought
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Gray salt or coarse sea salt

Working in a couple of batches, process the mushrooms for the sauce in a food processor, scraping down the sides as necessary, until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped mushrooms, increase the heat to medium- high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes.
Pour in the cream, add the sachet, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep the cream at a simmer and simmer for about 35 minutes, until the cream is reduced by about one-third and infused with the mushroom flavor.
Meanwhile, set a cooling rack over a baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the canola oil and heat until the butter melts. Add half of the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook, without stirring (if you toss or move the mushrooms too early, they will steam rather than brown), for about 3 minutes, until the first side is golden brown. Turn the mushrooms and cook for another minute or two, until golden brown. Transfer to the lined baking sheet to drain and cook the remaining mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil.
It is easiest to cut the short ribs into pieces while the meat is cold. Cut into 2-inch cubes and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
When the sauce is ready, discard the sachet, pour the sauce into a blender, and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce into a medium saucepan, set over medium-low heat, and stir in the crème fraîche until incorporated. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the sautéed mushrooms, and add the remaining mushrooms to the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce will be on the thick side. Keep warm on the back of the stovetop or on a diffuser over very low heat.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set a cooling rack over a baking sheet. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat some oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium- high heat. When the oil is hot, add the meat, presentation (nicest) side down, and brown for 2 to 3 minutes, until richly caramelized. Turn the meat over, transfer to the oven, and heat through, about 10 minutes. Add the pappardelle to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 2 to 4 minutes if fresh. Reserve a cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the butter.
Meanwhile, if necessary, reheat the cream sauce over low heat. Reheat the reserved sautéed mushrooms in a small pan.
Toss the noodles with the cream sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit of the reserved cooking water to thin. (The cooking water will have some starch in it from the pasta and will maintain the silkiness of the sauce while thinning it.) Add half of the sautéed mushrooms to the noodles and arrange them on a platter. Arrange the short ribs and the remaining mushrooms on the top. Sprinkle with gray salt and garnish with parsley.

SERVES 4

FOR MORE RECIPES, GO TO PAGE 2.