Clockwise from Top left: (1) Tacos with broccoli cheddar rice. (2) Mushroom ravioli with bechamel, prosciutto and peas. (3) Beef Stroganoff and roasted green beans. (4) Healthy Chicken Fingers (with spicy yogurt sauce), fruit salad, and boiled corn.
In the summer, I try to keep it a little lighter and cooler in the kitchen, avoiding the hot oven whenever possible. But there’s one cozy food favorite that Mr. B requests even when we’re in the middle of another heat wave and that’s Beef Stroganoff. I’ve mentioned making it before, but I’ve never given a recipe. The main reason is because I don’t have one! My sophomore roommate in college talked me through my first beef stroganoff and I’ve been winging it ever since. But maybe if you let me talk you through it, you can start winging your way to delicious beef stroganoff too.
Beef Stroganoff (A Guide)
What you need: egg noodles, beef, mushrooms, butter, flour, beef broth, brown mustard, worstershire sauce, sour cream, salt, pepper
What to cook with: A non-stick frying pan is going to be your home base for this meal. I like to cook everything in one pan so all of the flavors really meld together, but if you’re 1) pressed for time pre-dinner, 2) don’t mind the extra clean up post-dinner and 3) don’t suffer from teeny tiny stove syndrome like me, you can use as many pans as you’d like. A good sense of timing is also beneficial, but that comes with practice.
What to do: Put some water on to boil, then cook the beef. If you’re using a nicer cut of meat, cook it any way you’d like to preserve that great flavor (use a grill pan, broil it in the oven, etc.). If you’re using stew meats you can just cook them in your non stick frying pan. Nicer meats do help with the tenderness in this dish, but you can get away with most cuts. Cut the cooked meat into approx. 1″ slices and set aside.
Cook the mushrooms in your non-stick pan. Cook ’em in the beef juices or a small pat of butter until soft. Set aside.
By now your water should be boiling so throw those noodles in. Begin making the sauce in your frying pan by making a roux. (There’s no need to dump out those meat or mushroom juices; they will just add to the flavor.) I like a thick sauce and usually make enough stroganoff for two huge or four normal sized portions (see huge portion above) so about 2 T butter and 2 T of flour is more than enough to get the sauce started. Mix the flour and butter over medium-low heat until they get consistent and nutty brown, then slowly mix in beef broth. (I use 1 can or 1 3/4 c.) Let the sauce simmer and thicken.
If your noodles are done, drain those puppies. When the sauce is thickened to your liking, season with a small spoonful of brown mustard, a splash of Worcestershire and salt and pepper. Adjust these items to taste. Remove from heat and stir in one heaping spoonful of sour cream. Return mushrooms and beef to sauce so everything gets nice and warm again. Ladle sauce over noodles and serve.
I guess that was essentially a recipe but the amounts and seasonings are all to taste so feel free to wing it!