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Mom’s Meatball Stroganoff
Sara Moulton

Mom's Secret Recipe File:
More than 125 Treasured Recipes
from the Mothers of Our Greatest Chefs

Edited by Chris Styler, (Hyperion 2004) © 2004 Christopher Styler
and Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book
is being donated to the
Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children.

“This was one of my favorite dishes as a kid, a less expensive version of the classic dish created and named for Count Stroganov in late-nineteenth-century Russia.
Very popular in America during the sixties and seventies, the original recipe for
beef stroganoff called for thin slices of pricey beef fillet. Although my mom used meatballs instead, it seemed luxurious to me. Eventually my mom (and my Aunt
Jean and my grandmother) stopped making it, maybe because it finally seemed too old-fashioned. By the time I wanted to demonstrate it on my show, beef stroganoff was so antique that none of my relatives could come up with a recipe [for various takes on “Stroganoff” see “Featured Archive Recipes below] – and all I remem-
bered of it were bouillon cubes, tomato paste, and cultivated mushrooms.
When I recreated the recipe, I lost the bouillon cubes (too chemical tasting to me now) and the tomato paste but kept the cultivated mushrooms – although you
would get a more elegant dish if you used such flavorful mushrooms as shiitakes
or chanterelles. The ground beef of choice is chuck because it has the most flavor (and the most fat, too, alas). If you want to make a lighter version of this dish you can substitute ground sirloin or ground round and low-fat sour cream.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 pound ground chuck meat
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound cultivated white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry Sherry
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup sour cream

1. Combine the chuck, half of the chopped onion, the garlic, 1 teaspoon
of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, the bread crumbs, egg yolks, and 1/2 cup
of water in a large bowl. Mix well and form meatballs that measure about
1 inch in diameter.
2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook, shaking and turning, until well browned, about 5
minutes. Don’t crowd the pan; work in batches if necessary. Transfer
to paper towels to drain.
3. Pour off any excess fat from the skillet, leaving 3 tablespoons in the pan, and add the remaining onion. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the liquid they give
off has evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour in the Sherry, raise the heat to
high, and boil until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Pour in the stock
and bring to a boil.
4. Mix the butter with the flour in a small bowl until it forms a smooth paste [beurre maniť]. Pinch off pea-size pieces and add little by little to the boiling sauce, whisking constantly for 3 minutes. Add the meatballs, stir in the dill and sour cream, season with salt and pepper, and cook over low heat until
the meatballs are just heated through. Serve hot [perhaps with buttered
egg noodles].

And while we are at it, here is another take on this dish from our Archives...


Meatball Stroganov
Gourmet September 1989

Gourmet - One Year Subscription 

For the meatballs:
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 pound ground chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1 large egg, beaten lightly
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Flour for dredging the meatballs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
4 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
(about 3/4 pound)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup dry Sherry
2 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup snipped fresh dill
Buttered noodles as accompaniment

Make the meatballs:  In a skillet cook the shallot in the butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is soft.  In a small bowl pour the milk over the bread crumbs and let the bread crumbs soak for 5 minutes.  In a bowl stir together the chuck, pork, egg, bread crumb mixture, shallot, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.  Form the mixture into meatballs about the size of a walnut (there should be about 50 meatballs) and dredge the meatballs lightly in the flour.  In a large heavy skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking, in it brown the meatballs in 2 batches,
and transfer them with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
To the fat remaining in the skillet add the onion and cook it over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is soft.  Add the mushrooms, and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 10 minutes, or until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated.  Add the wine and the Sherry, bring the liquid to a boil, and boil the mixture until the liquid is reduced by half.  Ad the broth and the Worcestershire sauce and bring the liquid to a boil.  In a small bowl knead together the butter and flour until the mixture is combined well, add the butter mixture, a little at a time, to the liquid, stirring, and boil the sauce for 2 minutes.  Return the meatballs to the skillet and simmer the mixture, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the meatballs are cooked through.  Stir in the sour cream and the dill, season the mixture with salt and pepper, and serve it over the noodles.  Serves 4 to 6.

Featured Archive Recipes:
More from 'Mom's Secret Recipe File'
Gigi's Hamburger Stroganoff 
The Russian Tea Room's Beef Stroganov

Beef Stroganoff
Nelsonian Beef Stroganov
Stroganoff Casserole with Spinach
Anna and Frankie's Meatballs in Sunday Gravy (Rao's)
Italian Meatballs and Sausages with Rigatoni
Italian Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Index - Main Dish Recipe Archives
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Recipe Archives Index

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