Whenever I meal plan, I make sure to include meals that use the same ingredient, so I don’t have food waste. You’ve probably figured out by now that we have at least one Mexican-inspired dish per week, but what you may or may not know is that I am incapable of enjoying Mexican food without a dollop of sour cream. Since I had to buy sour cream for the 2 Tbsp. I was going to use, I knew I needed to use the rest for something, and I decided on stroganoff. (Sidebar: I have a post all about meal planning coming soon.)
Like many people who grew up in the 80s, I’ve had Hamburger Helper. Like, a lot of times. Although it was pretty much “forbidden” when I was young, when I got to the age where I could stay home alone and make myself dinner, it went (heavy) into the rotation. And when I was in college and moved into my first apartment, it probably made an appearance more often than I cared to admit. My favorite flavor was the stroganoff. Dude, I freaking loved that stuff. Of course, as soon as I had “real” stroganoff, I realized what I was missing.
I’ve made a few versions of stroganoff, including one with a fancy cut of beef, and one without. This time, though, I was yearning for the nostalgia of one-skillet-ground-beef-stuff-you-eat-in-college. For whatever reason, it sounded more comforting than the others (not to mention cheaper and quicker). This version most certainly did not disappoint. I increased pretty much everything but decreased the beef so this isn’t as meaty as the original recipe, but it was perfect for us. Creamy, comforting, delicious, awesome for leftovers, and flavored without the use of an envelope. :) Also, why are egg noodles so much more awesome than regular noodles? I may never know.
When Tom’s brother asked what we had for dinner later that night, he said “Hamburger Helper.” And, though that may not sound like a compliment to you, I’m going to take it as one. :)
Skillet Ground Beef Stroganoff
Liberally adapted from America’s Test Kitchen via A Taste of Home Cooking
1/2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 lb. ground beef or ground sirloin
1 onion, finely diced
12 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup brandy or cognac
2 Tbsp. flour
3.5-4 cups beef broth
1/2 lb. egg noodles
1 cup sour cream (light is fine)
2 tsp. lemon juice
Heat a large saute pan with lid or a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil and, once hot, the ground beef. Don’t stir the beef; instead, let it brown on one side completely. Add the onions. Stir, breaking up the ground beef, until the beef is browned and onions are tender. Move to a bowl, draining any excess fat.
To the skillet, add the mushrooms and a small pinch of salt (and a little more oil, if necessary). Cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the brandy and lift any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil for about 1 minute before adding flour. Cook for 30 seconds; then, add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the noodles and the beef. Cover partially with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, until noodles are tender, about 10 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in the sour cream and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.