Thursday, December 27, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

Back in college, my group of friends and I would combine all of our culinary knowledge (which consisted of "my mom does this...") and pocket change together to scrape up enough ingredients to make a meal.  The results were usually good.  Surprisingly good.  Especially when our group was a brazillian-filipino-chinese-persian-bosnian-newyorker-midwest-cali mix.  No, none of use were exchange students.  Some immigrants and first generation Americans though.

One meal that I store in my memory bank is when the first of our group got their first apartment.  After 9 months of dorm living, that was something worth celebrating.  

We started off the celebration with browned ground beef and caramelized onions with some steamed rice.  One guy in the group added a huge dollop of sour cream to his bowl and mixed it all together.
"This is what we ate in Europe all the time!" Or something like that.  It was years ago and we were drinking alot.

Another guy in our group puts sour cream on everything, so he did the same.

The rest of us were intrigued, so we followed in suit.

Only years later did I realize that it was beef stroganoff sans the mushrooms.  Most beef stroganoff recipes cook the creamy sauce right into the beef mixture, but then how do you reheat the leftovers without breaking the sauce?  I love mixing in the sour cream at serving so that I never have to worry about how to reheat my lunchtime leftovers at work the next day.  If the beef mixture is extra hot, then the cold sour cream will bring down the temperature of the food to just right.

Beef Stroganoff
1 lb ground beef
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced
3 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
8 oz sour cream
chives or parsley for garnish (optional)
cooked egg noodles or steamed rice

Brown the mushrooms in a heavy frying pan.  Or even better, use a cast iron pan if you got one.  Once the mushrooms start to brown, add the onions.  Stir and cook until the onions are caramelized.  Add the ground beef.  Add garlic powder and worcestershire sauce.  Add salt and pepper.  Once the beef is completely cooked through, taste and add more salt, pepper or garlic powder if needed.  The sour cream will mute some of the flavors, so don't be afraid of strong flavors.

Fill bowls halfway with cooked egg noodles or steamed rice.  Fill the bowls almost the rest of the way with the beef mixture. 

Stir a large dollop of sour cream into each bowl.  Garnish with minced chives or parsley.

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