08 August 2010

Comfort Food

The other day I was inexplicably craving ground beef. To me, sauting ground beef just smells like home, so it was no big surprise that I was craving it, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do about it. I didn't want burgers. I suggested spaghetti sauce made with beef instead of Italian sausage to Hubby, but he vetoed it. It finally dawned on me... I wanted beef Stroganoff. Knowing Hubby wouldn't go for a mushroom and sour cream laden dish, I graciously offered to make him whatever he wanted if I could make Stroganoff for me. He was kind and asked for blackened chicken (rub chicken with spices. grill.), and I set off to recreate the dish I was craving.

A slew of mushrooms and onions... how could this dish not be perfect?

I found a few recipes, and for some reason I can't explain, didn't bother to call Momma to get her recipe. I eventually picked out one recipe, but decided to up the mushrooms and changed the beef tips to ground beef. In the end, I changed it quite a bit.

I brought home the beef and mushrooms, and immediately started chopping the shallots, onions, and mushrooms. I set them to sauting and brought out the beef. Once the mushrooms were sufficiently cooked, I added the beef (it's pretty lean here, so I didn't feel the need to drain it). Once the beef was done and most of the liquid cooked off, I added three tablespoons of flour. Once I had incorporated into the mixture so much that I could no longer see white bits of flour, I slowly (and I mean very slowly) added beef broth. At this point I realized I really needed to work on Hubby's dinner, so I let my broth reduce while I got his chicken on the grill. At this point in time, I decided to taste test my beef.

I was home! Suddenly the world became clear to me and I knew the answer to the infamous questions asked of chefs, "What do you want your last meal to be?" Whenever I head back to Momma's house she always asks me what I want her to make, but I don't think my answer has ever been beef Stroganoff. It's always meatloaf (her's is really the best... I refuse to eat it in restaurants and mine fails in comparison) or chicken and dumplings, but never beef Stroganoff. I now know myself a bit better, it seems. Beef Stroganoff is home.

I hesitated, wondering if I would suddenly lose home if I added the sour cream. Cautiously I added a quarter cup, mixing it in and doing another taste test. Instead of ruining the dish, the sour cream made it velvety and sat in the background. I added a little more, hoping for the best. And it just got better. I ended up adding 7/8 cups (that's the size of a container of sour cream here) and couldn't have been more pleased with my creation.

Before the sour cream addition.

I added some blanched broccoli for good measure and served it over noodles. But who needs broccoli and noodles when you're home?

Beef Stroganoff
original recipe here, heavily adapted by Mel

1 pound lean ground beef
4 tablespoons butter
2 small shallots and 1 small onion, chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup beef broth
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sour cream

Heat butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for about 5 to 6 minutes, until golden brown. Add beef and brown, breaking it up into small pieces. Stir in flour; blend well. Gradually stir in beef broth. Heat until sauce is thick, bubbly, and slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper and sour cream; heat beef stroganoff through - do not boil. Serve beef stroganoff over egg noodles.

Heavenly beef Stroganoff. 

What dish takes you home?


  1. This sounds good to me too. I hope the day in Weimar was fun and that you and Jason are doing well. Hope to talk to you soon.


  2. If you had called home for the recipe, you might not have had the same feeling of "home". The recipe you did use was like using a roadmap. You put your own turns in it.

    Gee, what dish takes me home? Fried chicken, homemade biscuits, fried okra, fresh picked sliced tomatoes and a slice of chocolate pie would be the first meal that comes to mind. Of course, I then start thinking about the time of year. That plays heavy into what dish would take me home. Winter months bring to mind oyster stew or chicken & dumplings. Fried trout, catfish, etc. would be late summer ... You have really set me off thinking.

  3. MMMMMMMMMMM now I will have to make some! I have been thinking about stoganoff for a while but haven't made any, now I will have to!

  4. Chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes and peas, macaroni soup with hot cornbread, soup beans and cornbread, biscuits with homemade strawberry jam (not freezer jam)....rats, now I'm hungry, and I want to go home.

  5. @ Mickey: Sounds like you'll get some soon!

    @ Aunt Vicki: Oyster stew? I've never had that...

    @ Momma: I'm requesting it for the next time I visit!

    @ Tabitha: What's freezer jam?


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