Recipe 14: Betty Crocker’s Beef Stroganoff (1974)

I don’t normally eat beef (or meat in general, despite the recipes selected here) but am married to a meataterian and have to consider that when cooking. I think that this may be the first time I have ever cooked beef in my life (no joke).

The recipe is as follows:

Classic Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 pound beef tenderloin or sirloin steak, about ½ inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • ½ pound mushrooms, washed, trimmed, and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, minced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 can (10½ ounces) condensed beef broth (bouillon)
  • 2 tablespoons catsup
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup dairy sour cream
  • 3 to 4 cups hot cooked noodles

    Cut meat across the grain into ½ inch strips, about 1½ inches long. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and onion; cook and stir until onion is tender, then remove from skillet. In same skillet, cook meat until light brown. Reserving ½ cup of the broth, stir in remaining broth, the catsup, garlic, and salt. Cover; simmer 15 minutes.

    Blend reserved broth and flour; stir into meat mixture. Add mushroom and onion. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Reduce heat. Stir in sour cream; heat. Serve over noodles.

    4 Servings

    Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, 1974 Edition, page 294

Note: We halved this recipe to make it for two people.

The first step is to slice the meat into strips. We purchased the meat in strips so this was done for us. The next step is to melt butter in a large skillet…

(pretty self explanatory)

…and add onion and mushrooms. We added the onions first so that they could cook longer because they were fresh and the mushrooms were in a jar.

Once finished, the onion and mushrooms are removed and set aside.

Next, cook the meat and stir in the broth, catsup, garlic, and salt in the same skillet just used (reserving 1/3 of the broth for later).

Following this, blend the broth and flour and stir into the meat mixture. Then, add the onions and mushrooms set aside from earlier and bring to a boil.

The final steps are to reduce the heat and add the sour cream.

Serve on top of noodles (though I have seen potatoes and other starches used) and you are finally finished!

In Part 5, Chapter 2 of Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky writes of a pauper funeral meal:

“There was no great variety of wines, nor was there Madeira; but wine there was.”

Well, guess what? We HAD Madeira sitting in the cabinet from a previous cooking experiment, so we could drink a wine that could have been consumed in Russia in 1866. The perfect tie-in for the book and the food! We paired a small amount with the dish and it was…about what you would expect from a $5.48 bottle of aperitif.

We did not let the “unique” wine did not ruin our meal. The food was unexpectedly delicious! The meat was perfectly cooked and the sauce was creamy with a unique flavor. Even I, the non-beef eater in the house, thought it was good in small portions.

Time Travel Experience: Anything from my 1974 Betty Crocker cookbook feels retro. I thought it was neat that we had the Madeira wine that is mentioned in Crime and Punishment, so it was a 2 for 1 time travel experience!

Overall Experience: Make this! It’s good!

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