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Quick Beef Stroganoff — From Scratch

by Jane Wangersky | October 23rd, 2014 | Simple Solutions
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beef stroganoffBeef Stroganoff has taken lots of different forms over the past 150 years since the recipe was first published. The only constants have been — obviously — the beef (cubes, strips, even ground beef) and sour cream, whether just a little or a lot. Those are the two tastes everyone expects from a dish by this name.

Though you can make quick versions of beef Stroganoff from mushroom soup, or even, ahem, Hamburger Helper, this recipe is just as quick and much shorter on processed ingredients. (Yes, it uses powdered beef bouillon. If that bothers you, try using a few tablespoons of homemade beef broth.) The fresh sour cream doesn’t need much to make it into a sauce with perfect taste and texture. You do have to be careful not to let it heat so much it curdles, but the extra care is worth it.

Lots of people feel beef Stroganoff isn’t complete without onions and/or mushrooms; if you want to add them, start the onion, about one small one for this quantity, cooking before anything else. Just chop it and fry it in a little oil till it starts to soften, then carefully add a few, or more, mushrooms (washed and sliced) and brown them for a few minutes. Finally, carefully add the ground beef and go on from there.

Try heating leftover roast beef in the sauce, or even leaving out the meat altogether and using the rest of the sauce on pasta. This sauce has plenty of uses — experiment with it.

Quick Beef Stroganoff

Yields 2
A quick, easy, from-scratch version of the classic sour cream and beef dish


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Ingredients
  1. ½ pound lean ground beef
  2. 1 cup sour cream
  3. 1 teaspoon (or one packet — enough for a cup of bouillon) powdered beef bouillon
  4. 1 tablespoon blending flour
Instructions
  1. Heat a large skillet and brown the beef. Using lean, not extra lean, gives you enough fat to do the browning, not enough to have to drain. If you use extra lean beef, add a little oil or other fat; if you use regular, be sure to drain the melted fat.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the flour and the powdered bouillon with the sour cream thoroughly. When the meat is browned, lower the heat and add the sour cream mixture. Stir it into the meat and heat everything carefully until it’s just hot enough.
  3. Serve right away over rice or pasta.
Notes
  1. Using lean beef, not extra lean, gives you enough fat to do the browning, not enough to have to drain. If you use extra lean beef, add a little oil or other fat; if you use regular, be sure to drain the melted fat.
  2. If the sauce is too thick for your taste, add a little milk. You can also add a dash of wine for a little more flavor.
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