This is a recipe that has been passed down for at least two generations in my family, though it has gone through a few alterations. It can be considered beef stroganoff only by the loosest definition (meat in a mushroom, wine, and sour cream sauce), but it has a flavor that always reminds me of my childhood. I'm sure real chefs would scoff at my inclusion of condensed cream of mushroom soup and onion powder in place of real mushrooms and onions. I do have a far more complex, time-consuming, and authentic recipe for beef stroganoff, but since I grew up with this, I think I prefer the simpler version. My grandmother puts onions and canned mushrooms in her version of this recipe, my mother adds ketchup, and I add red wine. It goes without saying that I think my version is the best, and more importantly, so does my wife.
Heat a large skillet (a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is best) over medium-high heat. Cover one side of the ground beef with a liberal dose of salt and pepper before you add it to the pan, salted side down.
Add salt and pepper to the other side, break up the meat, and continue to stir frequently until the meat is fully browned.
Drain the beef. Add the garlic to the dry skillet and increase the heat to high. Pour the wine into the skillet and stir heavily, scraping the bottom as the pan deglazes. Let it boil for a few minutes, until the wine reduces by half.
Return the beef to the pan, along with the Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Stir, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low.
Add cream of mushroom soup, stirring until it is well-combined. Let simmer over low heat for twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt and noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
After twenty minutes of simmering, take the skillet off of the heat and discard the bay leaf. Add the sour cream and stir heavily for over a minute, until the stoganoff becomes full and creamy. Serve over cooked noodles, garnishing with another dollup of sour cream.
-e. magill 12/16/2010
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