Meatball Stroganoff recipe

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-09-10

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One of my favorite comfort food recipes.

Growing up on a small rural farm far from all culture of any kind, beef stroganoff was pretty fancy international cuisine. But as a child I had a strong dislike for sour cream. I somehow had it stuck in my brain that sour cream was the same category of spoiled food as spoiled milk or rotten vegetables. Cream was suppose to be sweet.

So I had this contradictory palate where obviously stroganoff is delicious, but my brain made me think it was a bit off. Spoiled cream. Ick.

Tangentially, my memories of growing up on a farm are largely related to poop. Cow poop, chicken poop, even people poop. I think it made me hyper paranoid about things being spoiled. Maybe that's one of the reasons I prefer living in the city so much. Sure, a dumpster in the summer sun doesn't smell like roses, but we have way less poop just lying around everywhere.

Maybe I shouldn't talk about poop when posting recipes........

Thankfully these days I've figured out how cultures work and enjoy all sorts of fermented things. And when I want some comfort food, stroganoff is one of my favorites. I do prefer the meatball version to the more traditional meat strips.

I also recommend using fresh pasta rather than dried. I don't make my own, though I suppose I should. but since I'm a lazy American, luckily I can get it at the grocery store.

Tip : Try not to burn any of the bits the stick to the pan when browning the meatballs. If it does burn, take out the meatballs and start over with fresh oil and butter.

Also, this recipe calls for clarified butter. But if you can find it, use Ghee. It's probably in the international foods section, rather than with the dairy. It's hard to find in many grocery stores, so I just get mine on Amazon. I go through a lot of it.

Instructions :

  • Cook the pasta so that it's ready right as the meatballs and sauce are done. I use fresh pasta so it only takes a couple minutes. Dried pasta will take longer.
  • Mix together all meatball ingredients. Use your hands, as it's hard to get it really mixed any other way. Form it all into 1 inch balls.
  • Heat the olive oil and clarified butter to medium heat. I use a non-stick pan. Once the oil is hot add the mushrooms. Let them brown and cook through completely. When they are almost done add the onions and garlic and let them cook through.
  • Remove the mushrooms and onions, but leave the fat in the pan. Add enough of the meatballs to the pan to loosely fill it. Be sure to leave room between balls. Turn them as they brown to brown on all sides, but try not to cook too long.
  • Once the meatballs are done, remove them to wherever you put the mushrooms. Deglaze the pan with wine, and add the beef stock. Let that simmer until reduced by about 1/3.
  • Add in the dissolved flour and stir well until thickened. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well. Finally add back the mushrooms and meatballs. Stir to combine juices.
  • Let that all simmer for a couple minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and add to the meatballs and sauce. Toss to combine.


    8 ounces fresh pasta (I use wide noodles)

    For the Meatballs:

    16 ounces lean ground beef
    1/4 cup breadcrumbs
    1/4 cup milk
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 teaspoon Italin herbs
    1 egg yolk
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon clarified butter

    For the Sour Cream Gravy:

    16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
    1/2 cup diced yellow onion
    2 teaspoons crushed fresh garlic
    1/2 cup white wine
    1 cup beef stock
    1 tablespoon flour dissolved in 1/4 cup stock
    2/3 cup sour cream
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    Dash of nutmeg
    Salt & pepper to taste
    4 sliced gherkins


    Minced parsley

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    2019-09-10 13:12:48 : For all that is right and holy in the world.... Where are the pickles??!! Are you insane?!

    2019-09-10 13:36:00 : Oh, shit, now I see the gherkins. My bad.

    Jon Sullivan
    2019-09-10 14:04:13 : On the other hand, beef stroganoff does NOT contain pickles.

    2019-09-10 19:20:12 : What, the actual hell, are you talking about? Pickles belong in Sullivan family stroganoff. It's a rule.

    Jon Sullivan
    2019-09-11 06:20:48 : I may have missed that family meeting.......

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