Beef Stroganoff

OK, OK, this is a pretty tame recipe. But I just made it tonight, so I want to capture and immortalize my experience. This recipe starts with a lame joke – “What do you call a herd of masturbating cattle?” “Beef strokin’ off.”

OK, I thought it was funny back when I was a teenager, but I still call the dish by this name, so I couldn’t resist.

So, this is pretty simple and hard to screw up. This is a 30 minute to one hour dish, so you can get it going right when you get home from work.

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion
1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms
something spicy (1/2 a jalapeno, or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or whatever you like)
at least 12 turns fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
a bit o’ flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 to 1 cup Marsala or other cooking wine
3/4 to 1 lb. sour cream

Brown a pack of ground beef until, well, until it’s brown. Set the beef aside and pour off the grease. If you’re from the American South, retain the grease for the next step.

If the grease thing doesn’t apply to you, heat the olive oil. Slice up mushrooms and onion, add appropriate spices, and saute until they look like they’ve been sauteed (you know what I mean). What I like to do here is sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour on the mushroom/onion mixture to prepare for a gravy. Pour wine into the mixture and reduce until you’ve got a fairly thick, but definitely a liquid mixture (that’s what’s pictured – you don’t want it any thicker than this). Add the beef and sour cream and stir in until it looks like something you want to eat. It needs to be quite liquidy, as you’re going to add a bunch of pasta in a minute, and you need to be able to soak that up.

In the meantime, I hope you’ve been boiling the pasta per the instructions on the package. Drain into a collander.

I like to add the pasta until it looks just about right. I’ve made the mistake of dumping the whole pound of pasta into the same dish as the beef sauce, and ended up with a bad ratio (generally, too much pasta). You want to stir up the pasta in the sauce while on a warm heat to give the sauce a chance to soak in. You also need to heat this long enough to make sure the whole mess gets warm.

This goes without saying, but here’s where you eat it. Enjoy!


One Response to “Beef Stroganoff”

  1. Dave Hardy says:

    One comment – I was talking with some folks at work about this recipe, and they were surprised at the quantity of sour cream. Maybe that’s just the way I like it.

    What you could do is use about two cups of wine (or a cup of wine and a cup of beef boullion) and just add maybe a qtr cup of sour cream to give it a bit of the sour cream taste. I think I like sour cream so much that I turn it into a big ol’ sour cream festival.

    Just a thought-


Leave a Response