11 October 2010

Beef stronganoff and home

It's funny what makes me think of home. Home, as in the US, not home, as in my residence in London- but that's another discussion. Of course my family makes me think of home, big holidays both in the UK and US, sometimes frustrations of a new city and culture, but most of all food. It's not always American food that can spur thoughts of the US for me, and as I have mentioned before, my family had an internationally influenced dish selection growing up, so the foods that remind me of home are really from all over. More often than not it is food that I grew up with, food that my mom made every week for dinner that brings the strongest thoughts of home.

Beef Stronganoff was always one of my favorite dishes and I remember specifically requesting it for birthday dinners. We had an every-other birthday rule: one year, you can have over a few friends for a sleepover, the next year, you can have one friend over for dinner or go out for dinner. When it was the year to have a home-cooked meal, mom would make anything you wanted that night. Pizza with hot dogs on it? Sure. Steak and baked potatoes? No problem. For me, it was a toss up between lasagne and beef stroganoff, and I think it was my love of sour cream that drove beef stroganoff into the running. Come to think of it, those dinners are still that ones that come to mind when planning my birthday meal. Maybe they will forever be 'birthday food' to me, though they could easily be called 'home food'.

It is not my birthday, unless you count half-birthdays (which I do, but it has never caught on), but I made beef stronganoff to use the beautiful mushrooms in season and because my fiance and I are going home this week. Home to see my family, to drive through wide open spaces, to see sunshine, to visit my grandparents, to plan a wedding, to eat fast food and drink lots of soda, to have a much needed break. Home for some home food!

Beef stronganoff is a fast, simple recipe that still packs a lot of punch of flavor in the dish.

Start with some red meat.

Moo. (sorry, vegetarians) I cut the meat into thin strips of about one inch across, coat them in flour and put them into a pot with a hunk of butter.

After they have cooked for a brief two minutes over a medium heat, it should all resemble a huge mess. That's good! Time for lots of mushrooms and onions.

Once these have had a chance to cook down for 5 or so minutes, add water to cover the bottom of the dish, but not enough to cover everything. The water and flour and juices will come together to form a thick sauce and will be reduced down over the course of 10 or so minutes, maybe less.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the sour cream. Lots of sour cream.

I like to cook the sauce with a touch of dill thrown in for a further few minutes to thicken the sauce an incorporate all the flavors together.

Serve over egg noodles if available, or rice if you are so inclined.

What's your home food?

1 comment:

  1. Home food: Chicken soup or to be more precise Soupa Risi (Avgo Lemoni in non baby greek)