Friday, October 30, 2009


Remember how I said I learned to cook from a recipe book my sister put together for me? One of the recipes she included was for Beef Stroganoff. It has ended up being one of my favorites. It requires 1 pound sirloin steak and 1/2 pound mushrooms. Over the last couple years I've made the stroganoff with extra mushrooms instead of beef.

Yesterday we went shopping, and I decided that since I've been feeding my kids somewhat crappily (fairly whole foods, but certainly not well-rounded), maybe they should have some beef in their diet. So I bought some ground beef.

Remembering how much I used to love ground beef, I decided to put 1/2 pound in the stroganoff. I am eating leftovers for lunch now, and ew, it is so gross. The stroganoff is too delicious to be ruined by the beef, but it certainly is not adding anything. Every time I bite into a chunk, it's just gross. It has this completely flavorless, too-chewy texture. It might be just the texture that's bothering me. If I used sirloin and cook it gently as the recipe calls for, maybe I'd love it.

Anyway, I just thought that was interesting. I haven't been meat free by any means, but I've had a lot less recently than usual. Maybe my tastes are changing. Although, knowing that my kids refuse to eat the completely mild and non-offensive stroganoff, I made spaghetti for them. I put ground beef in Prego sauce, and wow, it was about 1000 times better than usual. BUT that could have been because it was getting so late and I was STARVING when I tried it. Being starving certainly adds a great appeal to most dishes. Maybe I should challenge my hypothesis with a nice filet mignon!

Here's the stroganoff recipe, as I make it. And after writing this down, I realize I'm not that great at writing recipes. You should be able to follow it easily if you're an experienced cook, but if you're a beginner, sorry :-D

Beef Stroganoff
Makes a lot. For me anyway, since I am the only one who eats it.

Start making some brown rice (I use a covered glass casserole dish and use a ratio of 1 C rice to 2.5 C water and cook it in the microwave on full power for 40 minutes)

Chop 1/2-1 onion and several cloves garlic and sauté in butter or oil. (Sometimes I leave the garlic cloves whole and then fish them out and smash them or put them through a garlic press after the sautéing. The difference is that the first way browns it, the second way doesn't.)

While the onion is sautéing, chop 1 - 1-1/2 pounds mushrooms into large chunks. Sauté mushrooms until they are as tender as you like.

Blend 1/4 cup flour with 1-1/2 cups milk. Add to mushroom/onions and stir/cook over medium heat until thickened.

Add 1 teaspoon paprika, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and about 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Take off heat and add 1 cup sour cream. Add more milk if it is too thick.

Serve over rice. A lot of the flavor comes from the mushrooms, so pick a variety you like! I assume that if you have high-quality paprika you'd get more flavor from that. Mine is cheap, so it doesn't change the flavor too much.


Chandelle said...

Stroganoff was one of my favorites growing up. My stepmother always made it with tough cuts of meat and when I grew up I realized that what I really liked about it was the creaminess and the pasta. She also hated mushrooms so I rarely ate them growing up, but I knew I loved them. So as an adult I modified stroganoff to include spiced yogurt, whole-grain pasta and at least a billion mushrooms, and it completely satisfied me. With smoked paprika it's amazing.

The mere thought or sight of ground beef makes my stomach turn over. I can still be interested in *cooked* fish, and maybe the occasional specific type of beef, but anything pork-related is similarly stomach-turning, as is poultry. I'm definitely on the side of tastes changing.

GoddessofBirth said...

I really, really dislike ground beef. It makes me gag. Actually, I really don't like much meat period - except for fried chicken. Which is far to labor intensive for me to make. DD isn't into meat, either, so if it weren't for dh and ds, we probably would be vegetarians. Not because of ethical reasons, but just because most meat is gross.

Katie said...

It's funny how your tastes change the more you eat. There are SO MANY things that I love now that I would have hated as a kid. Like kim chi for example. I had two seminary teachers who went to Korea on their missions, and both of them thought it was great fun to make their students try kim chi. I was completely grossed out. And now I love it. Although I've always hated cucumbers and most melons, and still do!

Ha ha, Shannon. See, it's weird for me, because I've always loved meat. Mmmmmm, fried chicken. . . .

Marly said...

oh yea, stroganoff is just yucky with ground beef. You've got to have a good steak.