CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Meatball Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff has become an extremely popular dish ever since it originated in 19th century Russia. In fact, there are probably as many variations of the dish as there are cultures in the world.

For example, in Brazil, host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, it is known as estrogonofe, and chicken or shrimp sometimesis substituted for beef. The Swedes make a variation — korv-stroganoff — that uses a traditional sausage, Falukorv, in lieu of beef.

Another simple and delicious version I’ve taken a liking to features meatballs instead of cubes or strips of beef. What is most appealing about the recipe is that premade meatballs cut the preparation and cooking time in half.

That’s something even record-chasing Olympians would relish.

Meatball Stroganoff
1 10½-ounce can cream of mushroom soup
1 10½-ounce can cream of celery soup
¾ cup milk
¼ cup sour cream
¾ pound cooked meatballs (recipe follows)
16-ounce package egg noodles
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 small onion, diced
Start sauce base by combining soups and milk. Add sour cream if it gets too runny or more milk if it gets too thick for your tastes.
In a separate skillet, place the meatballs and add the sauce. Stir in onion. Reduce heat to low.
Meanwhile, cook egg noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain noodles and put back in pot. Add meatballs and sauce. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Make-Ahead Meatballs
2 pounds ground chuck
½ pound ground pork
2 cups Italian bread crumbs
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1½ cup cheese, grated
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 onion, minced
½ cup pine nuts (optional)
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Let stand ½ hour. Shape into medium-sized meatballs. Fry gently in olive oil until lightly browned, or place on foil cookie sheet and bake for ½ hour at 350 degrees. Gently place in your own sauce and cook on medium for 1 hour.
Yield: 25 to 30 meatballs.

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