Friday, November 18, 2011

A Russian Dish takes a Detour

One of my favorite dishes to cook and eat is Beef Stroganoff. This is inherited from my Poppop (T. Henry Jablonski) who enjoyed making it himself. When we were younger, my mom would make a variation of this favorite called "Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff, which used ground beef instead of strips of beef. I liked it in any form I could get it.

Because the recipe is a simple one, it is one of my "go to" recipes on the evenings when I didn't plan ahead. On the way home from work today, I decided it was a Stroganoff evening, and I stopped at Target to get noodles (I may have also put Season 2 of NCIS in my basket). While I was picking out my noodles, I had an urge to get some fresh mushrooms so I could make Hungarian Mushroom Soup tomorrow. I've made it once before and really enjoyed the flavors, so in the mushrooms went, and home I trotted before Kurt called to report his starvation.

Once I was home, I grabbed the ground meat from the freezer. At this time I realized it was ground pork and not beef. No worries; pork is mild and, when seasoned well, it would probably taste just fine. Kurt came in and asked if I was making Poor Man's Beef Stroganoff and I commented that it might be better called "Destitute Man's Stroganoff ." <grin>

During this meal preparation, I had a desire to be creative. With Hungarian Mushroom Soup on my mind, I decided to take some of the elements of the soup and incorporate them into the Stroganoff. After adding the appropriate seasonings (and tasting it), I ended up with a new dish that I'll most likely make again in the future.

Listed below are some rough instructions if you want to try it. If you're not familiar with Stroganoff, I can pass on what I know about it.

Toni's Hungarian Stroganoff (Measurements are approximate)

1 lb. Ground meat (pork ended up being good for this variation, I would probably use just pork or chicken since they will not overpower the seasonings)
1 large Onion, chopped
2 C of Water
2 Beef bouillon cubes
<1 Tbsp of dried Dill
<1/2 Tbsp of Paprika
<1/2 Tbsp of Lemon Pepper
<1/2 Tbsp. Ground pepper
Garlic powder, to taste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/3 C Sour cream (You may need to add more if it doesn't look creamy enough. You can also taste to see if there is enough)
1 can of Mushrooms

Cook the meat and onion with some of the water and 1 bouillon cube until the meat is cooked. Add the rest of the water, bouillon cube, spices and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer until you think it has had time for the flavors to spread. Thicken with cornstarch water. Turn of the heat and stir in sour cream. Serve on noodles.

If any of you decide to try this, I'd be interested in knowing what you think!

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