Sunday, October 25, 2009

Beef Stroga-Becky: Easy Filling Meal for Holiday Company!

Just got back from a potluck dinner and when I went to pick up the dish I'd brought, it looked like somebody had licked the platter clean!

So here is my easy, cheap, crowd-pleasing recipe for Beef Stroganoff a la... moi. Serves 10 - 12 so it's a great go-to recipe when you've got a hungry group to feed.

I'm a huge fan of Reynold's Cooking bags, which you can get near the paper products at any grocery store. I discovered them when I took a job as a caterer years ago, around Thanksgiving time, and had to cook 10 turkeys. The cooking bags yielded a savory turkey everytime; falling off the bone tender. Plus no mess.

Enough with the 'splainin' ... here's the recipe!

In a large cooking bag that has been set in your biggest Pyrex or roast pan, put 3 pounds of lean cubed stew meat, 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix (dry), 1 can fat=free condensed mushroom soup, 2 cups water, 1 cup wine, 1 coursely chopped onion, 1 clove garlic peeled and cut in half.
Tie up the bag with the enclosed plastic tab, but don't poke a hole in the bag. I've not yet had one to blow up and this keeps all the juices inside.

Bake at 325 for about 4 -5 hours, or until the stew meat is tender. Take out of oven and let cool a bit.

In the meantime, put a big pot of salted water on to boil and boil a large package of wide egg noodles.

Then, in a large skillet, sautee a cup of fresh sliced mushrooms in a little olive oil until they are tender (you can use more mushrooms if you like).

Then carefully cut a hole in the bag of beef which has, by now, made its own gravy and pour into skillet with mushrooms. Add 1 T. brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Then add 1 1/2 c. sour cream (you can use fat free or low fat if you prefer).

Stir gently until sour cream is incorporated and just heated through. (You don't want to overcook at this point, or the sour cream can begin to break up... Just heat until it is hot enough to eat and then remove from stovetop).

Drain noodles, and toss with a little olive oil or butter.

Pour noodles in a big pretty casserole dish or serving platter. Ladle the stroganoff down the middle of the noodles letting the noodles "show" about an inch around the edge. Garnish with fresh or dried parsley or chives. If you want to give a nod to Christmas colors you can also sprinkle with a tiny bit of finely diced red pepper, just enough to garnish.

Serves 10 - 12. Which makes this a great recipe to keep on hand for big family gatherings at holiday time!

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