Beef Stroganoff: Emergency Edition

Hi everyone! As you all know, Thanksgiving is next week! I'm going out of town for the holiday, which means I'm disinclined to go buy groceries that I won't have time to eat. However, it's also literally twelve degrees outside my apartment right now, leaving me craving thick/warm/hearty foods. Specifically, I spent all day craving beef stroganoff.

Now, Foodspin has an excellent stroganoff recipe that I highly recommend everyone check out. However, it calls for such ridiculous things as fresh ingredients and skirt steak. I have none of those things, and we've established that I'm both too cheap and too lazy to acquire them. As such, we're going to make emergency food stroganoff!

Literally everything I used in this preparation is stuff that my mom gifted me when I moved into my new apartment, because she is (not unreasonably) convinced that I'd die of starvation if fully left to my own devices. You probably have most, if not all, of it hiding somewhere in your kitchen. If not, it will cost you $10 maximum to acquire it and this will feed me for three days. Conversely, it will feed a family of four, two frat bros, or a fifteen year old boy for one dinner. It is absolutely not comparable to the real thing, but it is better than Hamburger Helper and that's what matters here.

You will need:

  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can french onion soup (or half a packet of Lipton onion soup mix if you're not deathly allergic to it like I am)
  • 1 small can mushrooms, drained (or not, depending on how you feel about mushrooms)
  • 1/2lb ground beef
  • Noodles of your choosing (tonight I used macaroni, but usually egg noodles are the way to go)

I'm going to throw in a sidenote that this is a fantastic meal to teach teenagers and college kids because it's one pan, it's dirt cheap, AND when you serve it to people they think you know what you're doing in the kitchen. I wish I'd thought to do this when I was in college, because it would have made my undergraduate experience roughly 48% better.

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Anyways! Brown the beef on high heat in a deep pan or skillet of your choice. Once the meat is browned, toss in the mushrooms and stir them in. Then add the soups. Stir them all together and let the whole thing simmer.

While the sauce is simmering, boil your noodles. In, like, seven minutes or so they should be al-dente. Drain the noodles and add them into your sauce. Give everything a really good couple of stirs so you have a nice sauce to noodle ratio. Take everything off the heat, let it sit for another minute or so (long enough to mix yourself a cocktail if you're not already drinking) and serve.

If you happen to have some basil or tarragon in your herb stash, think about topping the whole thing with that. It's delicious. If not, don't worry about it, because this is weekday emergency food.

Mine ended up looking like this.