MY COOKBOOK

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22.1.18

HAM STROGANOFF

Even though this is a ham dish, given the 3 cups of mushrooms, it tastes like stroganoff. Beef or pork would have taken a lot longer to cook, but the ham is tender in only a few minutes. Ham is better if paired with a mild onion. I used red onion; it is milder than yellow, but considerably less expensive than shallots.

The easiest way to thicken a sauce is with a flour slurry. Simply combine flour with COLD water and when smooth, stir it into the sauce. By mixing the flour with cold water first, it ensures the starch in the flour will not form clumps with the hot liquid. The sauce may appear a bit thin at first, but it isn't. Even while you sit down to your meal, sauce that is thickened with flour slurry keeps on thickening, so it is a good idea to let it sit for a few minutes before serving. The sauce will become more solid as it cools so a little bit of thickener goes a long way. Now if you make the sauce just the right consistency, it can become thick like a wallpaper paste. There is a fine line between stew consistency and soup, so aim for stew... but not for a type of stick to your rib kind of thickness. If you want to use whole wheat flour for the slurry, keep in mind that it has less starch than white flour so, you’ll need to add slightly more.

The other thing that just kills the sauce is rapid boiling versus slow and steady simmer or even cooking it too long. Simmer the sauce with the thickener for 5 minutes. This will cook away the raw flour taste, but longer than that and the thinner the sauce will become. Sour cream should always be full fat; it will make the sauce creamy and rich. Reduced fat sour creams are ghastly things and in sauces they invariably throw off the balance of what would have been an otherwise good sauce.

Ham Stroganoff

300 g uncooked, lean cubed ham
1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup chopped red onion
3 cups sliced mushrooms
1+ 1/4 cups water
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup sour cream, 14 %

  • Since ham is salty, do not salt this dish at any point.
  • Place a large skillet on low medium heat and add the oil and the butter.
  • Add the onions and sauté until almost soft.
  • Next add the ham and sauté for a couple of minutes longer.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the skillet and bring it to a simmer.
  • Keep simmering until the ham is tender.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and continue to simmer for a few minutes longer.
  • In a small bowl, make a slurry from the flour and the remaining cold water. The water must be cold. If lumps should form, force the paste though a fine sieve.
  • Stir the cold slurry into the simmering sauce.
  • Bring it back to a simmer and continue to simmer for 5 minutes but no longer. 
  • Finally, stir in the sour cream and heat it though, but don’t let the sauce come to boil after the sour cream is added.
  • Serve the stroganoff on pasta or rice.


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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!