In my article about Ponders Corner (thesubtimes.com/2017/12/06/ponders-corner/) I mentioned buying a can of Beef Stroganoff from a small grocery store a couple hundred yards away from my parents’ motel when I was a teenager. All I had to do was boil up some noodles and open the can and add a little butter in a cast iron frying pan.
Since growing up I usually defer to my wife, Peggy to make this wonderful dish. Beef Stroganoff or Beef Stroganov is a Russian dish (could well have been my reason for taking Russian at Clover Park High School in 1963) of sautéed pieces of beef in a sauce with sour cream, served over egg noodles. The name is said to have derived from a Russian diplomat, Minister of the Interior, Alexander Stroganov. Supposedly the original recipe calls for the sauce to be served over crisp potato straws. The most common version in the United States today consists of strips of beef filet with mushrooms, onion, and sour cream sauce, served over rice or noodles.
I like Beef Stroganoff because it’s a good way to use left overs or restaurant take-a-way. It’s good with yesterday’s pot roast or pork roast as well.
We had a couple hunks of prime rib leftover from the Thursday night dinner special at Joeseppi’s. We had sandwiches one day and still had meat to enjoy. I started by caramelizing onions, added some minced celery, and then sprinkled a little Kitchen Bouquet onto the olive oil before adding a bunch of sliced mushrooms . . . a whole bunch. I sprinkled them with garlic powder and let the mushrooms take on a brown hue somewhere between honey and buckskin. I then shoved the onions, celery and mushrooms to the side of the frying pan and sifted a little flour onto the bottom of the pan with the olive oil and Kitchen Bouquet. When it began to change color I added some chicken broth and made a bubbling brown roux . . . enriched it with a little Shiraz (any red wine will do), a squirt of tomato paste and a few dollops of sour cream. I used macaroni because we were out of noodles, so the meal was okay, but . . . lacking. The next morning we served it over buttered toast. The Beef Stroganoff was transformed. As prime rib gravy it was fantastic! I will do that again. Peg was only going to eat one slice of toast with the gravy, but ate the two I had arranged for her. I was prepared to eat the second slice if I had to . . . anything to help my wife, you know.