Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mmmmmmmm........Beef Stroganoff!

I know, it's been nearly a month.

At the behest of a dear friend, and perhaps a little late, I'm updating briefly. I do PROMISE to come back later (today, if at all possible).

Though the hour is a bit early for such a thing, my Darling and I cooked up a batch of beef stroganoff this morning. We promised a meal to a young couple from church who so recently welcomed their first child. Becoming parents for the first time is physically, emotionally, and intellectually exhausting--like going from 0 to 100 mph with a full stomach, a cup of coffee with no lid, a carton of raw eggs balanced on top, and no seat belt. Don't get me wrong--it's exhausting with each subsequent child, but that first one is just plain overwhelming all the way around.

Anyway, the stroganoff is cooling nicely, having been packed up into tidy little containers, and will be delivered to the new parents shortly.

So then I was thinking, That does smell pretty tasty. I wonder if my readers would care to know what goes into the pan? Of course, I flatter myself by this thought, but it's nice to venture that more than one person out there would be interested in what goes on in my heart and in my home.

At any rate, here's my own recipe for Beef Stroganoff. Bear in mind that I feed a hungry family of 7 at my table, with 6 of them requiring hefty portions, and one just beginning to turn herself into a toothy grinner.

2 pounds ground chuck
1 medium vidalia onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 - 6 1/2 ounce cans mushroom pieces and stems, drained, juice set aside
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Sauce:
2-ish cups sour cream
Mushroom juice from the two cans
2-3 tsp. Lea & Perrins Worchestershire sauce
1/4-ish cup white wine (I've been using a lovely Chardonnay)
1/4-ish cup 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream

When beginning the meat, also begin boiling water for noodles. I generally add about 2 tsp. olive oil and a bit of salt to the water.

Brown meat, along with onions and garlic. I like to use the jarred minced garlic--the kind in light oil (two teaspoons of this would equal two fresh cloves). Add mushrooms as the sauce is being put together, after draining the cans into the sauce. If necessary, drain fat from meat--but a bit of good juice is a nice addition to the dish. Whisk together ingredients for sauce. The measurements are generalized because I mix it by eye--that is, the right consistency is something akin to melted ice cream. If it's too thin, I add more sour cream. If it's too thick, more wine or more cream.

Add the sauce to the browned meat, and simmer, covered, just below a boil while the noodles finish cooking. I like this recipe with medium egg noodles, but you could use whatever kind your heart desires. The kids would probably get a kick out of bow tie or shell pasta. Maybe I'll throw that at them one of these days to see the smiles I'm sure would come of it. :)

Another aside--we bought a side of beef in March. I must say, it was one of the best things we've ever done. For just a bit the other side of $700, we have every cut of beef a person could want, including delicious steaks and prime rib, for Pete's sake, in our very own freezer at any time of the day or night! Because it was so well processed, I never have to drain any fat from the ground beef after it cooks. It is literally only meat juice, and not fat, which issues forth. I can't explain it--usually I go for ground chuck at the store, because it's leaner than ground beef, but has more flavor than ground round. But this cooks up like round and tastes like beef. It's amazing.

What's been on your table recently?

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hot dogs, brats, bugers of all kinds...garden burgers.....Hmmmm..I seem to have a little obsession with grilling....is it the food? Or....is it standing outside watching and admiring God's creations growing, blossoming, blooming and frolicking on foot and wing????
~Heather