My aunt gave me her recipe for beef stroganoff when John and I first got married. I used that recipe for years before adapting it to be made without cream of mushroom soup. Once you've made this recipe a few times, you'll probably be able to get the whole thing on the table in 30 minutes. It's a quick, easy, delicious meal. If you want to save a few calories and even more money, you can leave out the cream cheese. It's yummy but not essential.
1. Cook egg noodles in boiling salted water according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef until no pink shows; using a slotted spoon, remove beef to paper towels to drain. Drain most of the fat from pan, leaving just a tablespoon or so to cook mushrooms.
3. If you're using mushrooms, add them to skillet and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Remove them to the bowl with beef.
4. Again, in the same skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour. Whisk well to break up any clumps. Slowly add milk, whisking, and heat until bubbly and sauce starts to thicken. Add ketchup, cream cheese, and sour cream. Whisk until smooth and heated through.
5. Return beef and mushrooms to skillet. Add drained pasta and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.