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Easy Beef Stroganoff

October 20, 2009 | Meat & Poultry, One Dish Meals, Pasta & Pizza

OK, this post is for all of you who are feeling challenged in putting something decent on the table for dinner while you’re running around dealing with work, carpool, sports, or whatever else demands your attention in the late afternoon. If you’re tempted to just pick up some fast food instead of cooking, please don’t! Here’s an entree that’s easy, delicious, and cheap – and can be put on the table in less than 30 minutes. Serve it with a side salad and call it a night!
I have a more formal version of beef stroganoff that I make that uses sliced steak and incorporates sherry into the dish, but frankly this quick version with ground beef really measures up quite nicely.

Start by caramelizing (browning) mushrooms and onions in a large skillet with some olive oil. Do NOT use a nonstick pan or you’ll miss out on all of the great browning and flavor!

I know this is backwards – most recipes tell you to brown the meat first and then remove it while you cook the vegetables in the rendered fat. But since I like to use very lean ground beef, there isn’t much rendered fat. So…I cook the veggies first, then add the ground beef right into the same pan…

… and cook it until it’s browned. Easier and faster, right?

Another quick – and lump proof – step for making a thickened sauce is to stir flour right into the browned meat and vegetable mixture. Cook it for a couple of minutes so you get rid of that raw flour taste, then add 1 can of beef broth or stock…

…and if you are feeling decadent, throw in a teaspoon of my secret ingredient for making quick cook meals taste like they simmered all day – demi-glace. This jar contains essentially what would have started out as a whole pot of stock that is reduced down to about a cup. It’s thick, it’s rich, and it really enhances a dish. But if you don’t have it, leave it out – this is supposed to be an easy weeknight dinner, not a stress inducer, remember?

When it’s all bubbly and rich looking like this, you’re ready to serve it over some cooked pappardelle pasta or egg noodles (which of course you would have put on to cook while you were doing this).

A traditional stroganoff has sour cream stirred in at the end, but I like the look of serving it dolloped on top. If you have some fresh thyme still growing in the garden, throw on a few leaves for color and flavor. If you don’t, no worries!

Easy Beef Stroganoff
Serves 4
The addition of a small amount of demi-glace really enriches the depth of flavor in the sauce.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
12 ounces mushroom caps, crimini or white button, quartered
1 pound ground beef, extra lean
2 tablespoons flour
1 can beef stock
1 teaspoon demi-glace
salt and pepper, to taste
8 ounces pappardelle pasta, cooked and drained
4 tablespoons sour cream, optional
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, optional

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are golden brown and water has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add ground beef and cook, breaking apart with a spoon, until beef is browned. Add flour and stir together for 2 minutes to cook out raw taste from the flour. Add stock and demi-glace and stir until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pappardelle pasta or egg noodles and top each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves.


2 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Michelle, I like the tips and techniques you have given for this Easy Beef Stroganoff recipe. It looks delicious…thanks


  2. Michele,
    I found your blog from the Monroe Farm CSA blog. We made the Easy Beef Stroganoff last night for dinner. What a great meal for a snowy night.


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