06 May 2009

I Like Beef Stroganoff And I Cannot Lie

Now, I'm not normally one for complaining about random, stupid stuff (feel free to stop laughing RIGHT THIS DAMN MINUTE), but this has been bugging me for decades and I feel that now's the time to drag it all out in the open. This post is about beef stroganoff (or "stroganov" if you're feeling particularly Russian heritage-ish). So prepare yourselves for a roller coaster of excitement.

You know I love me some Mormons. I have to. I go to church with them every fricking week. But there is one subgroup within the Mormon community that just bugs the crap out of me sometimes. Let me say that I admire a good Mormon who can actually live within his/her means, which is something that escapes many, many of their fellow churchgoers. But what bugs me are the pretentiously cheap Mormons. They also coincidentally happen to be the same Mormons who proudly brag about their pioneer ancestors who heroically swam the Atlantic Ocean with their handcarts clenched between their teeth. You know who I’m talking about. Them. I grew up in a convert family. Our family took every opportunity to make fun of this group and I'm certainly not going to turn my back on family tradition now. On with the beef stroganoff rant.

A quick lesson for all you pioneer-heritage handicapped folks out there: traditional beef stroganoff is made with high quality sirloin steak, egg noodles, a sour cream sauce, and mushrooms (among other things). It is NOT made with 82% lean ground hamburger, rice, and a can of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup. I'll let you soak that in for a minute. Now that the shock of the moment has worn off, allow me to elucidate. If you really want to eat hamburger, rice, and cream of mushroom soup, by all means. It's a nice, cheap dinner and if it's tasty to you, go right ahead. But don't call it beef stroganoff. Because it's not. It's like calling a ham and cheese sandwich "chicken cordon bleu." Surely you see the problem there. And the problem I have personally with this whole mistaken-identity issue is this: I say I am going to/already have made beef stroganoff for my family and you, the snobbishly cheap Mormon, have the gall to look down your prissy nose at me and declare with disgust, "Beef stroganoff? That stuff's disgusting. I don't care for it at all." Well, of course it's disgusting. Or rather, it's disgusting the way YOU make it. I make it properly, which leads to a most exquisitly culinary piece of perfection.

These people's cheap and easy version of a fine dining experience has sullied the good name of what would otherwise be congratulated in every eating circle. Instead, I have yet to meet a Mormon who likes beef stroganoff because in reality they have never experienced what it's supposed to taste like, or that a better and more classic, traditional version is even in existence. Now, you see what happens when you call something something it isn't? YOU MAKE ME LOOK BAD. KNOCK IT OFF. So the next time I talk about making stroganoff for my family and the fact that it was superb (because it was; because I know how to make it), don’t pretend like I’m crazy and lack a discerning palate. BECAUSE I WILL BEAT YOU WITHIN AN INCH OF YOUR CHEAP, LAZY LIFE.

Oh, and speaking of which, I think you left an oxen or two back there in the Atlantic. Better run and fetch 'em.

24 comments:

Ryann said...

I agree. However, I do not like beef stroganoff and I have made it the correct way. Terry and the kids liked it thought and one day I will make it again for them.

But what you say hits home. I make a dish of chicken enchiladas but by the end I'm too lazy to actually roll the mixture in the corn tortillas and so I just tear em up and put them in. Terry declares that by so doing that, I can no longer call them chicken enchiladas and that it is now chicken casserole.

As I too am a convert, I abhor all things casserole and so I refuse to so label my dish. But I will concede that Terry has a point-as do you!

Janie said...

Yes people do this all the time with Cajun food. - Don't judge red beans and rice if you have gotten them from Popeyes - YUCK

They also say I don't like cajun because I don't like spicy food. Well cajun does not automatically mean spicy!

But I do have to say I fall in the camp of liking a good cheap cream of something every once in while.

You would like this post:
http://whatmormonslike.blogspot.com/

Heidi said...

I can't do beef stroganoff because mushrooms make me gag. So if I make it without mushrooms what should I call it? Don't want a case of mistaken identity ruining someone's day, after all.

You know, I come from one of those everyone's a pioneer, my great-grandfather pulled a handcart and had five wives lines, but I belong to the subset of the group that was sent to colonize Nevada and subsequently either drowned their woes in alcohol or helped build the casino business. Of course that line married into the pretentiously cheap side...

Abby said...

Ryann, you hate anything with a sauce so your objection doesn't count. And Terry's right: it does now qualify as a enchilada casserole, as much as it makes you squirm to say it. Still sounds good though.

Oh heidiness, so many handicaps to overcome, so little lifetime in which to do it.

greta said...

you know that beef stroganoff also has some white wine in it too... (but that's another discussion)
anyway, i refuse to eat anything with cream of crap in it. every thanksgiving i make green bean casserole from scratch to avoid that stuff. AND it tastes a million times better. i have never had the beef stroganoff the "mormon" way. it sounds pretty gross to me. i do however LOVE the real stuff and make/eat it quite often.

Bonny said...

So glad you and I have never had any discussions about beef stroganoff so I could happily read this post and not squirm uncomfortably wondering if you were talking about me.

Jody said...

I come from a family of converts, so I have no idea how this impostor of a beef stroganoff recipe made it into my family. Maybe we're just cheap. But Vann squirms each time I make it, but knows better than to say anything.... He has once tried to tell me the way beef stroganoff should really be made. With my limited talent in cooking, I told him it's this or nothing. Sorry. I guess I'll just pretend like I didn't read your post and continue to live in ignorance.

Bonny said...

After I left my last comment, I thought about it and realized that I too love cheap beef stroganoff. And if it's made by Hamburger Helper, I love it that much more.

Abby said...

Some variations of stroganoff do indeed call for white wine. I make it without.

Hamburger Helper has MSG. It is not my friend.

Jody, remind me to shake Vann's hand the next time I see him.

Stephanie B said...

I love cheap beef stroganoff, but after reading your way - I'm sure I would love that even more. When I came home from my exchange in Mexico, my mom asked me what I wanted her to make for my first meal I told her beef stroganoff. She didn't make it she said, "Really?"

I would love to have your recipe. Is it like the potsticker recipe that calls for a "pinchish" of this and a "smidge" of that?

Loralee and the gang... said...

If you weren't so funny, I Might be offended - I make a version of B.S. (hey, That's a REALLy good name for it!) and I have NEVER used rice, but - don't shoot me - I always use a can of cream of mushroom soup. But, and hopefully I will partially redeem myself here - I ALWays add fresh mushrooms. And I like it, but since I am always looking for a way to improve my cooking - well, you asked for it - I'm putting in another request for your recipe - the way it's Supposed to be made.
Thanks in advance!
:~D

Benteti5 said...

I like the real stuff and the cheap stuff. Guess I'm just not picky, but I love almost anything with a mushroom in it. I know those pioneer types you're talking about. I think they must have mixed in a little magoo gene in there somewhere because they're a little off.

nativemainer said...

Greta-I would love to see your recipe for green bean casserole from scratch! My 16-year old stepson came for Thanksgiving dinner and his only request was green bean casserole. I, having just completed a 24-hour flight back from the heart of AFRICA, gladly, but in a jet-lagged manner, honored his request using the time-tested recipe on the French's can. His response: "My grandmother's tastes better". Nice. Next year YOU cook T-Day dinner. And I bet that'll go over well since the only thing you know how to cook is Hot Pockets. (Oops, just a bit of cynicism slipped through there!! Sorry!)

Anyhoo, since this is Abby's blog I will also respond to Abby by saying it's about darn time you posted!! I'm all unemployed and crap over here in Europe and you are my entertainment!! Get with it, sistah! :)

Love ya!

Monica said...

Amen and AMEN!

Gwennifer said...

Oh, Beef Strog. A college staple the cheap way, so I've very well acquainted with the in's and out's of this stuff. I've never had a really high quality strog I'm afraid, but I daresay only 20 years of existence still gives me ample opportunity to chastise my palette for being so ignorant to the undoubtable wonder that is legit strog.

judiroso said...

Abby, I to am a Mormon with no pioneer heritage, yeah for us. The gaul to call that crap beef stroganoff, thank you for making it the correct way.

karen said...

Well, when I'm down sick in bed and the RS has to bring me dinner (although I'd rather pull my eyelashes out) I want YOU to bring me dinner. Specifically beef stroganoff. YUM!

Anonymous said...

Fred said: Abby you don’t have to be from a convert family to mock that group, my great, great, great, great, great grandfather crossed the planes with Brigham Young in the advanced party. I know this because Brigham had to rebuke some of the party for “gaming, conducting mock trials, and the use of profane language” which would describe every family get together we ever had while I was growing up.

Alyssa said...

My mother used to make beef stroganoff, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't how you make it. (but nor was it as you describe the cheapass way of doing it.)

can you post a recipe so I can try it out for myself? :)

Jody said...

All this talk of beef stroganoff.... As I was walking through the aisles of the grocery store today, all I could think was how tasty cheap beef stroganoff would be. And, lucky for Vann, he's not here so I won't have to watch him squirm.

Loralee and the gang... said...

Hey Happy Mom's Day! And hop on over to my blog - I'm doing a little giveaway, and the drawing is Monday at 5 pm!
:~D

Abby said...

BTW, Monica, "Amen and Amen" cracked me right the heck up. Way to throw in the old Mormon reference there to make a point. Well done.

elesa said...

I'm sure it will please you to know that I am completely offended! Maybe even incensed. I'm sure that the reason I didn't have good beef stroganoff until i got married is not because the people i know are cheap, but simply because they are bad cooks!

Liz Autry said...

Congrats! you just inspired me to go and make a casserole with cream of mushroom soup in it!