My son loved two particular Hamburger Helper meals when he was little, Cheeseburger Macaroni and Beef Stroganoff. Yes, I fed my kids from a make a meal box and I’m not ashamed. We walked down the pasta aisle every week and I proudly put those boxes of noodles and prepackaged seasonings into my cart. If you’ve ever fed a picky toddler, then you know that once you find something that they will eat rather than push away or drop on the floor for the dog, means that the menu item makes it into your weekly meal rotations.
I’m not against it and must admit that I still love Hamburger Helper. It cooks up quickly for a busy family that’s always on the go, but that still enjoys sitting down to a freshly cooked meal at a table together. Plus, it’s perfect for introducing your child to cooking because there’s little to no chopping involved and you usually only need to measure one or two things – water and milk. I’m also kind of nostalgic for it since it’s one of the first meals that I learned to cook as a kid and by adding a can of English peas as a side I felt like an accomplished chef.
This recipe came to be because I decided to try to make a homemade version of Beef Stroganoff since so many years after his toddler stage my son will now eat a pan of Beef Stroganoff practically by himself. Can I get an amen if you have raised a boy! You know that you need to make a plate before they eat every last bite of food.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the Beef Stroganoff you grew up on but want to try making a homemade version, I hope that you’ll try this recipe. It’s 100% teenager approved at our house.
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Slice mushrooms and dice onions. Boil 1 package (4 cups) of medium egg noodles or other curly noodles according to directions on the bag for al dente since they will continue to cook in the sauce, drain them when they are finished and set aside.
While the noodles cook, in a large skillet over medium high heat brown the ground beef with the diced onions, mushroom slices, and half of the parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. When the meat is finished browning spoon off any excess grease (use lean ground beef for less fat). Place the meat in a bowl off to the side and use the same skillet to make the sauce.
For the sauce, over medium high heat, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour and cook the two together for about 2 minutes (whisking constantly) to remove the raw flour flavor. Add the bullion cube and mix it in until it dissolves. Slowly whisk in the water until a gravy forms.
Lower the temperature to medium low and stir in the half and half and sour cream, continuing to whisk to avoid lumps as it thickens. Once the sauce is thickened and warmed add the noodles and beef to the pan. Taste it and add more parsley, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper as needed. Continue to stir and cook the Beef Stroganoff for 3-5 more minutes so the sauce coats the noodles and adds flavor to them.
Once the heat is turned off the sauce will continue to thicken. If you like a thinner sauce add a little more water or milk as you cook the mixture.
If you prefer to serve the Beef Stroganoff over noodles then cook them completely and don’t stir them into the sauce when you add the meat to the sauce. I always serve this with English peas.