Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lazy Girl Stroganoff

I am many things.  I could give you a whole list of the things I am (and am not), but for today's purpose only one thing matters.  Lazy.  I am lazy.  Well...  when it comes to certain things.  Maybe efficient is a better sounding way of saying it.  I don't mind putting in the work when it matters, but if there is a better, easier, faster way, I am all about it.  Take stroganoff for instance.  I could go to all the trouble of making a homemade sauce, but why when cream of mushroom soup works so well?  So this one is for all my lazy girl friends out there.

Beef Stroganoff
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 lb. beef stew meat
24 oz. mushrooms (I LOVE mushrooms.  If you don't you can use less.  It's your pony show.)
1 small onion
1-2 tsp. minced fresh thyme (if you don't have thyme it will still be just fine)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1-2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. sour cream (you can use more if you like)
salt and pepper

Cut the stew meat up into bite size pieces.  Nobody wants to argue with a big old chunk of meat while they're eating.  Place them on a paper towel to dry them off.  Wet meat does not brown well.  It steams as the outer moisture vaporizes.  Back to meat size.  Does this recipe sound dirty to anyone else?

The left is how it came.  The right is what it looked like after I got a hold of it with

these.  Smart right?  I have my moments.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add in 1/3 of the meat and cook until browned.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop the browned meat onto a plate.  Repeat with another 1/3 of the beef and then again with the last 1/3.  If you add too much of the meat at once, all the juice from the beef will not be able to cook off quickly and the meat will boil instead of searing (so much to know about browning meat!).

When you are done browning the meat you will have all this glorious flavor stuck to the bottom of your pot.

Chop up the onion,

and the mushrooms,

and toss in the onions and stir them around.  Then add the mushrooms.

Cook them until they release their juices.  Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot while you stir to get up all the good brown flavor.

Get your sauce ingredients ready

Add in the soup (do not add milk or water),

Worcestershire sauce,

and thyme.  Stir in the browned beef along with any juices from the plate.  Cover and cook 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until meat is tender.  You can also put this in a crock pot on low for 3-4 hours.

Right before serving, take off heat and stir in sour cream.  Check seasonings and add more salt or pepper if needed.  I serve this over egg noodles.  It is rich and creamy and comforting... and easy, don't forget easy.

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