Friday, October 28, 2011

Ground-Beef Stroganoff

This is total comfort food and sooo difficult to photograph. It’s rich, satisfying and filling. I’ve made it countless times through the years, especially when money was tight when I was a young teacher in a small Indiana town.  It’s basic and easily lends itself to interpretations and additions, such as mushrooms. Even spinach. Or a pinch of caraway. I've known people who added corn. Leftovers make for a great lunch. Mashed potatoes with lots of melted butter are an alternative to the noodles. The recipe is easily halved.

(Serves 4)
  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 3/4 - 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed with a garlic press
  • 2-3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 6 - 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon all-purpose pepper
  • 5 - 6 oz. broad, flat egg noodles of your choice
  • 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (NOT Optional)

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil for the noodles.

Add a bit of olive to a medium pan and heat. Add the ground chuck to the pan along with the onions and brown, breaking up clumps with a spoon or fork. When cooked through, remove some of the grease (most will be water). Add the mushrooms, garlic, salts and pepper and just stir through.

Begin adding the cream cheese in small squares until it melts and then the sour cream (add more of both if you want it creamier and remember you will be adding pasta to it later). Taste for seasonings. Cover and keep warm on low heat.

Make noodles according to package directions. Drain. You have two options: butter the noodles to prevent them from sticking and serve separate in a bowl. Mound noodles on a serving plate and then spoon stroganoff mixture on top. OR, just mix it all together. Top with a bit of grated Parmesan, if desired.

I love this with canned, baby whole beets.

Note: Ground chuck is not that much more expensive than ground hamburger which contains a lot of fat. I try to buy ground beef that is actually ground at the store in which I buy it and avoid commercially-packaged ground beef. I prefer ground chuck since it has more taste than ground sirloin. I used Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese and Daisy Sour Cream. NO, they were were not low-fat.