Mike Simons cooks what he calls "cheap beef stroganoff" that is absolutely delicious and oh so easy to fix.
It is even easier if you have some of the ingredients prepared ahead of time by your home support team.
First, we begin with either ground beef or ground chuck hamburger meat.
Brown that in an electric skillet in the size and shape you prefer (hamburgers, hamburger shots or ground beef crumbles) and drain off the grease.
In this photo, hamburgers are prepared.
Set those aside.
Next, heat or sauté in oil some mushrooms.
We prefer to use drained canned mushrooms because of the taste and consistency.
In this photo, Mike cooked them in our hot pot.
To that, Mike added a small can of cream of mushroom soup.
We prefer to use Campbell's because it is creamy, delicious and consistent.
Then, Mike added about a half-a-can of milk.
In the truck, we use skim milk made from dry milk powder.
He blended the mushrooms, mushroom soup and milk together and heated the mixture through.
Then, he added the ground beef previously prepared and heated that through.
For richness and a little zip of tastiness, he added a couple of good-sized tablespoons of sour cream.
We prefer to use the regular sour cream instead of low fat or fat-free because it tastes better and is thicker.
We have found no discernible difference between name brand and store brand sour cream.
In this photo, beef stroganoff is being prepared with hamburgers.
Beef stroganoff can also be prepared with beef crumbles.
Mike usually seasons the preparation to taste with salt and garlic powder.
Most often, we fix beef stroganoff to ladle over some kind of cooked pasta.
We generally use the least expensive pasta we can find.
Rarely, we will treat ourselves to using "rotini" (spiral or corkscrew shaped pasta) or "radiatore" ("radiator" shaped pasta) because the sauce can fill the indentations.
However, these fancier versions of pasta are more expensive.
One of the nice things about this meal is that the soup and milk notwithstanding, the amount of ingredients do not have to be exact.
As of the time this page was originally written, we estimated the cost of the beef stroganoff as follows:
Please note that costs may have changed since this page was originally written and that your costs may differ.
Money saving tip: Sometimes there is a trade-off between cost and quality. While there are store brand and off-brand condensed mushroom soups for sale, we choose to use the Campbell's brand because it has the quality and taste we like.
You can save a bit of money by using the store brand ground beef, mushrooms, milk, sour cream and pasta.
If you cut back on the portion of this entree just a bit by eating more vegetables, you can stretch it into more meals.
The meat sauce is very easy to reheat and is just as delicious and filling the second day.
Portion control with both pasta and sauce is easy to achieve: just measure and pour into appropriate storage bags and/or bowls for a quickly-prepared meal when you need to eat but may not necessarily have a lot of time!