When I was in college and missed my Mother's home cooking, Beef Stroganoff was one of the meals that always came to mind. Noodles, a creamy sauce and meat-how could it not be a comfort food?! A couple of years ago, my youngest sister let me borrow my Mom's recipe tin so I could copy her recipes (typed and laminated like the dork that I am) and Beef Stroganoff was the first one I rushed out to recreate. I have modified her recipe a little because originally it called for things like margarine (it was the 80's after all) and boullion cubes and I don't use either.
There were ingredients I had to leave in even though some might think it's kind of weird for them to be in a stroganoff. Or at least that's what J tells me (and I guess I haven't seen them in other recipes for the dish either so I guess that confirms it). I use ground beef instead of pieces and cook a green bell pepper with the onions and mushrooms. I don't even like green peppers but it's how my Mom made the dish when were were kids and it's how I remember it so the peppers and ground beef stay!
You can substitute ground chicken or turkey for the beef and use lower fat dairy products if you want to lighten up the fat and calorie content. I also use whole wheat egg noodles to add a little extra nutrition. I love how so many pasta makers are making different varieties of whole grain and whole wheat pasta these days. It makes eating pasta way less of an indulgence (or at least that's what I tell myself!). Enjoy!
1/3 cup butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped*
12 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
1 clove minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup low sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup light sour cream or 1/2 cup heavy cream (I prefer the sour cream route!)
3/4 package of egg noodles
freshly ground black pepper
fresh parlsey (optional)
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter or oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium low heat and add onions, peppers and mushrooms when the butter is melted. Cook until the mushrooms are browned and the onions are slightly soft. Cook the garlic with the vegetables for the last minute of cooking. Remove from pan and set aside. While the vegetables are cooking, fill a large pot with water, salt and bring to a boil. Cook your noodles according to the package directions.
Roll the ground beef in the 2 tablespoons of flour and add the remaining butter to the pan. When the butter is hot, saute the beef until browned and then add the mushrooms, peppers and onion back to the pan. Add the beef stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and kosher salt and black pepper to taste and cook for a few more minutes. Sir in the sour cream (or heavy cream if using) and remove from heat. Stir in the noodles or serve the stroganoff over the noodles depending on your preference. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
As a side note, if the sauce seems to soupy before you stir in the sour cream (it will thicken if you choose to stir in the noodles), add a tsp of corn starch and cook for a couple of minutes and then add the sour cream and serve. As the dish cools the sauce will firm up as well.
All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley