Ok, vegetarians, come on back to the fold! This post is one I planned to write a while ago, and so the photos are of the old kitchen. But that doesn’t make it any less wonderful! I wrote a favorite things post a while back, and mentioned one of my go-to’s for easy every night cooking is a mushroom soup base that is vegetarian. The product is called Better Than Bouillon. It comes in Vegetable Base, No Chicken and No Beef flavors as well, so there are lots of options flavor wise, but to do this stroganoff well, you need a really deep tasting broth. Just as an aside, they also do kicking Ham, Beef, Clam, Fish and a Lobster Bases that are amazingly good. And, as an aside, I am not endorsing this product for any other reason than I love it.
So, yes, this recipe is vegetarian, but I wouldn’t recommend it be vegan. Having said that though, if you can find a vegan sour cream style product, go for it! For the meat lovers out there, yes, this is the same recipe as beef stroganoff, just with no beef. If you want to do beef, add browned beef cubes to this, and you’ll be away with yourself! I often make this for myself, because I love mushrooms, and I don’t add meat, but I sometimes add fake beef strips, to up the level of protein.
I use an array of mushrooms in this, but honestly the lowly button mushroom is also great here. For mine I used oyster, Shitake and mini portobello mushrooms. I would stay away from enoki, they really don’t have any flavor. I also sometimes use dried porcini or morels if I have them handy.
3 medium packages of mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic minced finely, or crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine, sherry or marsala (optional)
2 cups good broth (mushroom or vegetable, just make sure it tastes good)
16 oz container of sour cream (low fat, regal, no fat, makes no difference)
1 container/bag beef substitute (I used Gardein Beefless Tips)
1 bag of egg noodles, or rice or couscous, your preference
In a heavy bottomed pan that is cold, place the garlic and oil and turn on the heat to a medium flame. Once you can smell the garlic, toss in all the mushrooms, and quickly stir to coat them in oil. The mushrooms will absorb all the oil, but if you sprinkle the salt and pepper over them, stir and clamp a lid on them, they will start to cook and release their juices. Once this starts to happen, take the lid off the pan and sauté the mushrooms so they are looking limp and cooked.
At this point, I add the wine of you’re using it, and raise the heat up so it bubbles down, all the while stirring. If you’re not doing that, add the 2 cups of stock, keep the lid off the pan and stir well, then turn up the heat to a low boil, and keep an eye on it, stirring as you go.
You may want to taste it at this point, for seasoning. Adjust as you feel is necessary. After about 10 minutes of high heat, the liquids should be reduced enough that when you stir with your spoon, you should briefly see the bottom of the pan. Add the fake meat if you’re adding it and stir well. This will lower the heat in the pan, so cover it and allow it to cook and heat through. Once you get to that point, take the pot off the heat, and add the sour cream, stirring well to combine. It may look as though it’s curdling, but it’s not, it’s just a bit shocked. As you stir, it will all mix and turn a lovely buff color.
At this point, I would set this aside, on a very low flame, and cook the starch you’re eating with it. If it’s noodles, once they’re cooked and well drained, add them to the mushroom mixture and stir well. If you’re using another grain or starch, pile it up on a plate and spoon the mushroom over it.
Yummy! Enjoy it!