Hamburger Stroganoff

Beware - Attack of the sludge!

As our the first post on this blog, a food entry seems fitting. Our family is very foodcentric, as we also run the food blog as well. The difference here is the  food that will be posted here will be more about what I have found that is easy to make and please the majority of the family, as opposed to the refined cooking techniques that my husband has worked on. That and the photography. Most of the photos here will most likely be from my cell phone instead of my set up that I use for FotoCuisine. Mainly because I only have two hands and 4 hungry children 🙂

That all said, I start with this dish because it has been the only dish made in our house that has a popularity rating of 6MCP’s (Mostly Clean Plate – because really, the idea of an entirely clean plate in any household is like accepting that Thor will win Best Picture at the Oscars next year.)

Normally we can skirt by with about 4MCP – that is including my husband and I – and 1-2 tantrums, on average one of the tantrums resulting in a trip to bed without dinner. Such is a household with 4 children…

I have two really picky children and two adventurous souls, but all of them tend to like pasta, as long as I don’t put anything on it and serve it on the side. I will do that for them for 2 dishes – Alfredo and spaghetti. Other than that, I serve it the way it should be served, to get them used to the idea that this is how the real world works. 🙂

I used to be  a HUGE fan of Hamburger Helper meals growing up, as well as other frozen foods and warehouse made eats. My mother was a single mom who worked all the time and this is all I knew and loved (except dreaded fish sticks… just never warmed up to those…). To the point that I would never consider making anything that didn’t come  in a box. Why would you? It’s all right there in front of you, just add meat!

Cooking was all new to me when I moved out and especially when my children came out of the baby food stage. I learned a bit, mom taught me a few things that she made when she had time, but other than that, prepackaged foods ruled. Little did my untrained pallet know the wonderfulness that would happen when I met my husband, and how sad my soul would be when I would one day go back to the Hamburger Helper when he went out of town on business and I was craving it badly. It was awful. Just absolutely awful. Lacking in taste, texture of vomit, and flat out nasty.

This recipe is my replacement for my loved loss of Hamburger Helper, but improved and all homemade! And of course, really easy.

The dish is about 75% less good without the onion and garlic, so do try to include it if you think you can hide it or your children can bear it. Mushrooms can be left out as well, but I tend to cut my bigger so they can be picked out since we run about 50% mushroom lovers in our family. On more thing, after I had plated it I realized I really should of added some Dijon mustard and squeeze half a lemon in at end, but it was too late, but that would add an extra uumpf  of yummy taste, I think. Feel free to try on your own.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1 cp thick-sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cp beef broth
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 8-oz container sour cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • serving of egg noodles

Start to boil noodle water (and don’t forget to add noodles when ready, like I always do….)

Cut up your vegetables then brown the beef with the onion over medium heat in a large skillet.

Drain off all but a tablespoon or so of fat, add the thyme and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms give up their liquid. (If you don’t add the mushrooms, drain off all the fat before adding thyme.)

Sprinkle the flour over the contents of the skillet and stir in; when that’s done, stir in the tomato paste, beef broth, and garlic. (We have homemade beef broth frozen, that is what that lump of ice is in the picture) Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, until thickened and amalgamated.






Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. This is also where I would add the Dijon (about 3 tbsps or more) and squeeze half a lemon over it all. Don’t let the mixture boil or the sour cream might curdle.

Serve immediately over rice or the noodles you hopefully didn’t forget to add to the water. 🙂