How to Thicken Beef Stroganoff

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Add cornstarch while preparing beef stroganoff for a thick and creamy sauce.
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Beef stroganoff, also called stroganov, is a Russian dish traditionally made with beef, sour cream and onions and served on a bed of noodles. You can find recipes for beef stroganoff on Food Network and other recipe sites, but sometimes, you may want to know how to thicken stroganoff sauce for a thicker and creamier sauce. There are a few options for this, including using flour or cornstarch.

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How to Thicken Beef Stroganoff

When deciding how to make beef stroganoff thicker, adding flour or roux to the sauce is an easy and effective option. Adding flour directly to the recipe is a great option that adds a minimal amount of calories and doesn't alter the flavor.

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You can coat the beef cubes or slices with flour during the final few minutes of cooking, or if you have already made the sauce and find that it is too runny for your taste, add flour a bit at a time. Make sure to mix the flour well so that the sauce doesn't get lumpy and cook the sauce for several minutes before adding more flour. The sauce will thicken as it cooks, so taking your time prevents the sauce from getting too thick.

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You can also make a roux to add to your sauce. Roux is simply a mixture of equal amounts of flour and butter or oil. Melt the butter and mix in the flour until it is well combined to avoid lumps. Then, add it to your stroganoff. The added butter will not only thicken the sauce but also make it richer.

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Thicken Beef Stroganoff With Cornstarch

Cornstarch is another popular thickening agent that will work well with beef stroganoff. The gluten in cornstarch thickens the sauce but doesn't change the consistency of the sauce the way that flour does. Add cornstarch during the last few minutes of cooking if necessary. Dissolve the cornstarch in water prior to adding it to the sauce.

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Just as with flour, you want to add the cornstarch slowly so that the sauce doesn't get too thick. Add about 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, cooking for several minutes before deciding whether to add more.

Other Options to Consider

There are some other options for how to thicken stroganoff that you can consider. Ground flax seeds can be used in place of cornstarch or the flour in the roux, but keep in mind that they burn more easily, so you should add these at the end. You will need about half as much flax seed as you would corn starch. However, if you are making a roux, you will want to use two parts flax seed to one part butter or oil.

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Some people use arrowroot as an alternative to cornstarch; however, arrowroot doesn't work well with dairy. Since sour cream is a key ingredient in stroganoff, avoid using arrowroot as a thickening agent.

Regardless of the ingredients you opt to use, be sure to cook it with the sauce for several minutes to allow it to mix in fully and thicken the sauce.

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