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Big Joe’s Beef Stroganoff [Recipe]

There is a big misnomer that most guys can’t cook. I’m not talking about the big chefs that you see on TV and in the kitchens of fine restaurants, I’m talking about the working guy who enjoys a good barbeque or putting together an outstanding meal for his family and friends.

Most of my male friends are pretty good cooks. We all share the same passion for great restaurants and the thought and preparation that it takes to put together a remarkable meal. I’ve taken several cooking classes and while I’m in a minority as one of the only guys there at the class, I think the trend is that men are fending more for themselves in the kitchen and enjoying it.

One such guy is my good friend Cleto J Augusto from Long Branch. He’s a great cook, taking the time to gently meld the flavors of spices and sauces. We call him Bubba. Bubba’s the best, very funny with a great personality and a passion for sports and politics. His impressions of Joe Torre and Hank Stram are priceless.

Bubba’s married to the lovely Leslie and they have two beautiful children. As an actor Bubba frequently spends his time between Jersey (New York) and L.A. You’ve seen Bubba on Seinfeld, Frazier and was the Geico fairy in pink tights (and we still don’t let him forget that one!) He’s been in dozens of commercials and sitcoms.

A few summers back, while spending time back here on the east coast, Bubba stayed with me at the Ranch to cut down on expenses. It was great. He would whip up great dishes and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. My summer with Bubba was filled with great eats, watching the ballgame every night, smoking cigars and having an adult beverage or two. Life is good when Bubba is back in Jersey.

flickr – sergeant killjoy

I asked him to send me a recipe. He sent me 100, all very good but this one I especially enjoy! Thanks, Bubba, and thanks, Leslie, for allowing Bubba to spend the summer at the ranch.

What you’ll need:

3 tbls. vegetable oil, separated

1 1⁄2 lbs. beef stew meat, 1⁄2 inch pieces

1 small onion, diced

1⁄4 cup of Worcestershire Sauce

1 can of beef broth

1 tbls. butter

1⁄4 cup corn starch (dissolved in water)

8oz. container sour cream

salt & pepper to taste

white wine (amount is a guy’s choice)

(Chopped mushrooms, celery, carrots and bacon may be added at your choosing. Bacon should be cooked before hand and crumbled after draining and added at the very end to maintain crispness.)

How to put it together:

In a large pan heat 1 1⁄2 tbls. of vegetable oil and brown beef over high heat. Browned meat droppings on the bottom of the pan are very acceptable. Remove meat from pan and set aside.

In the same pan add the other 1 1⁄2 tbls of vegetable oil, and the butter, and sauté onion and any other vegetables that you want to use. Sauté vegetables to medium softness. Stir in Worcestershire and beef broth, then salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to boil, add meat and some (?) white wine. Bring to a second boil. Then turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours. Once the meat is tender, bring the stew back to a boil and slowly pour in cornstarch mixture, while stirring, to thicken.

Lastly stir in approx. two tbls. of sour cream. (and the bacon, if you chose it) before serving over noodles or white rice. A special Guy note….you may skip the corn starch/water mixture simply by coating the meat with flour right before you brown it. The flour will do the work right before your very eyes as you continue the recipe.

This recipe comes from Big Joe Henry’s Big Jersey Cookbook

Click here for more of Big Joe’s Weekend Recipes

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