Beef stroganoff is one of those foods most often made by sad, single people or suburban housewives with too little free time for cooking. I myself am a sad, single person, but I’ve figured out a slight variation on the traditional Middle American stroganoff that is completely tasty, easy as hell to make, and only moderately bad for you. (Also cheap.)
I suppose this is Hungarian in style, but I couldn’t really say for sure — these are the same ingredients (minus the sour cream) that I use to make spaghetti sauce and chili with as well. It’s pan-ethnic, I guess. Fuck it. Who cares? Make it, eat it, make your stomach happy.
This isn’t a first date dish. (Who cooks for a first date, anyway? And what kind of idiot goes to a stranger’s house to eat on a first date, for that matter? You could be hanging out with fucking Gilles de Rais, for all you know.) Unless you tend to date girls (or guys) from the Old Country with too much facial hair and a tendency to start crying at any mention of the Former Soviet Bloc, most people want to go eat hip food on first dates. Besides, this is heavy stuff, and it’s hard to have first-date sex when you’ve eaten a big bowl of Metrosexual Ground Beef Stroganoff. (Why metrosexual? The red peppers and the garlic.)
This is for once you’ve got them in your clutches. Make this for dinner, and you’ve got them.
Metrosexual Ground Beef Stroganoff
- 2 lbs. lean ground beef (you can use stew meat as well, but you’ll need to boil the hell out of it before you use it.)
- 1 / 2 package wide egg noodles (or however much, you know how many noodles you like with your stroganoff)
- 1 small container sour cream (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
- 1 package white mushrooms
- 1 cup roasted red peppers (like you buy in a jar, but freshly roasted also works)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup white onion
- 2 tbsp. butter
Fill a pot with enough water to cover the noodles. Put it on the oven and turn it to high. When it starts boiling fast, reduce to medium high and put your noodles in it. It will cook while the sauce is cooking. If you don’t know how to tell if noodles are cooked, or how to deal with them once they are cooked, I can’t help you.
Put your butter in a big nonstick saucepan on the stove (one size bigger than you think you should use, as we’re gonna toss the noodles in there at the end) and set your heat to medium high. As it’s melting, take your mushrooms, onion, garlic and red peppers and put them on a cutting board. Thin-slice the mushrooms and dice the rest. By the time you’re done, the butter should be melted and slightly bubbling.
Throw the mushrooms, onion, garlic and red peppers into the butter. Swirl them around with a wooden spoon, getting them all covered with melted butter. Sauté them like this until the mushroom are soft and the onions are mostly transparent. You’ll notice that the juice from the red peppers turns everything kinda orange — this is fine and in fact desirable.
When the vegetable (and fungus) mix is sautéed, toss your meat in. Shake some salt and pepper (to taste) over it. Stir it and mash it up with your wooden spoon until it’s all crumbled up and mixed up with the rest.
Cover your saucepan and let this cook for about ten minutes, stirring it every so often. COVER YOUR PAN. When you cover it, the mixture doesn’t dry out and in fact gets all juicy, which is what we want.
Noodles are done. Drain ’em and leave ’em in the drainer for right now.
If your meat is all browned, your sauce is done. Reduce the heat to full-stop medium and dump your sour cream in there. Mix it until there are no clumps of sour cream left and no un-sour-creamed bits of meat and vegetables. (And fungus.)
Add a little more salt and pepper, again to taste, and a couple of dashes of paprika. Take your noodles and throw them into the saucepan. Mix until the noodles and the sauce are all over each other.
Remove from heat and serve. Eat.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 2-3, depending on who’s got body issues at the table.
Possible wines: What kind of pretentious twat drinks wine with friggin’ beef stroganoff? Try iced tea, there, Ernest and Julio Gallo.
Possible desserts: None, you fat bastard. Did you read my goddamn directions? Two cups of sour cream. You don’t need dessert after this.
But if you insist, maybe a cookie.