One of the things that I started doing that is very simple but added a few excellent meals to my repertoire is cutting a roast into cubes. In order to do this properly you need a longish sharp knife (“sharper than the devil himself” if you’re Tarantino fan). Start cutting at the part of the blade that is next to the handle and in one long pulling motion pull the blade across the meat until you reach the tip. This way you avoid using a sawing motion. Never saw meat. If you find that you need to saw at the meat then your knife is not sharp enough. Serrated knives are only good for cutting lemons, tomatoes and bread. Investing in a few good knives will open up the world of cooking for you. I may even go so far as to say you haven’t really cooked until you cook with a good knife.
1 Beef Roast cut into cubes
1 Leek (or an onion)
2 Large pots
I always cook my sauces in a large pot. i have found that they spatter less and that this way they have room to grow just in case I get carried away. If you don’t have two large pots just use your largest frying pan because you will need your large pot for the noodles. Noodles don’t turn out right if they don’t have lots of water around them to wash away the starch.
Add some oil to the pot heated to medium high heat. They say never to add oil to a cold pan. Throw your beef cubes into the oil and sprinkle the seasoning salt and pepper over top. Let the meat fry for a bit. If you were to take a spoon and try to stir the meat at this point you would find that it is stuck to the bottom of the pot. this is normal. Don’t panic and try to scrape the meat off just let it sit until it’s ready to come off. This little tip is especially important for fried chicken.
While your meat is frying chop up your leek (learn how to chop a leek) or onion (no tear onions) and your mushrooms. Once the pan is nice and brown and beef easily stirs add the leek and a dollop of butter to the pan to get that nice browned meat off of the bottom of the pan. Fry until the mushrooms shrink down. This is a good time to get the water boiling for your egg noodles.
One the mushrooms are cooked down reduce the heat and pour in your heavy cream. Stir it often at first making sure that it is not too hot. You don’t want the cream to curdle from the heat. If it does it will still taste fine it just will look grainy and not really creamy which is the goal. In the event of this occurrence I suggest a candle lit meal. Dim lighting can be a cook’s best friend.
Add the egg noodles to the pot of water and when they are done coat them in butter and give them a generous sprinkle of dried basil. Beef Stroganoff doesn’t usually call for this but I can’t eat it with out. Sometimes I think I may like the noodles better than the sauce.
In a Hurry/ On a Budget?
A quick easy version of this is to fry a pack of ground beef with the mushrooms and add a tin of mushroom soup. Just add that as a sauce on the noodles. Still good but not nearly as good as the from scratch version.