Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stroganoff Meatballs

Listen.  I grew up eating Beef Stroganoff.  

(BTW, everyone on the East Coast starts important conversations with the command, "Listen".  Not only is it scary, it also causes me to not listen.  Because I am struggling inside with the fact that they told me to listen, implying that they were under the assumption that I wasn't actually intending to listen in the first place.  This all causes a lot of anxiety inside my Midwest soul and makes me doubt all things about my existence.)

For those of you who did not grow up eating Beef Stroganoff, it is basically mushrooms and beef cooked in a beef gravy made with sour cream.  Usually served over egg noodles.  This meatball recipe tastes exactly like the classic Beef Stroganoff dish, but I have to say I like it in meatball form better!

To make a long story short, my sister, Jen, told me I had to get this meatball recipe from my Aunt Linda.  See, Jen is a vegetarian and does not eat meatballs anymore.  So, she likes to live vicariously through me.  We were talking once and she was like, "do you remember those meatballs Aunt Linda used to make at all the parties at her house?  You HAVE to make them."  My Aunt Linda is a wonderful cook (and entertainer) and I always enjoyed anything she made.  I got the recipe from her in the summer, so it has taken me a while to get around to making them.  And man, they are SO good.  

This is also my first time baking the meatballs before letting them simmer in the sauce.  And I was pleasantly surprised by how incredibly tender they were.  It was no different from frying them in some oil.  And much easier.  Thanks so much Aunt Linda for a great recipe!

Stroganoff Meatballs
adapted from Aunt Linda and Uncle Dick

for the meatballs:
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (85/15)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup milk
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
bread crumbs, as needed

for the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 8-ounce package of cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
a couple of handfuls of more exciting mushrooms, cleaned and chopped (I used shiitake)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup of red wine
2 cups of chicken stock
a few spoonfuls of sour cream
4 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

Make meatballs: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine all ingredients for the meatballs except for the bread crumbs. Once mixed together, add in a handful or two of bread crumbs in order to form the meatballs easily. You want to add as little of the bread crumbs as possible.

Form meat mixture into approximately 24 meatballs. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

While meatballs are baking, make the sauce. In a large, deep skillet, melt together 1 tbsp of olive oil with 3 tbsp of butter. Add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add 1 more tbsp of butter and the flour. Cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan. Cook and reduce down for another couple of minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for another 5-10 minutes.

After 15 minutes in the oven, remove the meatballs and when the sauce is ready, submerge the meatballs in the sauce. Let simmer for at least 20 minutes, but the longer the better. Add sour cream and keep warm on the stove or transfer to a crockpot until ready to serve. Serve over buttered egg noodles, on their own as an appetizer, with bread, mashed potatoes, or a baked potato. Top with green onions.

(Servings: 6-12, Prep time: 15 min., Cook time: 1 hr., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  9/10
Scot (taste):  9/10
Effort:  3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5

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