1-2tablespoonsunsalted butter or vegetable oil(if needed), plus extra for oiling the pan
1small yellow onion, chopped (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
12ouncescremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2largegarlic cloves, minced
1/4cupcognac(can also use dry white wine)
3tablespoonsall purpose flour
1-2teaspoonssweet Hungarian paprika, to taste (and depending on how fresh/fragrant your paprika is)
1-1/2teaspoonschopped fresh thyme leaves, divided
3-1/2 to 4cupsbeef broth or stock(see note)
8ouncesdried extra wide egg noodles
1/2 to 2/3cupsour cream(depending on how creamy you like your stroganoff)
3tablespoonschopped flat-leaf parsley
1teaspoonfresh lemon juice(optional)
kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Lightly-oil a large nonstick skillet or saute pan (12.5 to 13" diameter by 2.5" high, or a 4-quart cocotte) with vegetable oil (2-3 teaspoons, depending on the percentage of fat in your ground beef; chuck will need less than round).
Brown the ground beef with a few small pinches of salt and black pepper over medium-high heat. Let the beef develop a good crust before you start to flip it. Break up any really large pieces with a spoon or spatula after it starts to brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
You'll need 3 tablespoons of fat in the pan--if the beef hasn't released this much fat, add enough butter or oil to make up the quantity.
Add onions, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the pan. Sauté until onions and mushrooms are softened, starting to brown, and most of the liquid that has been released has evaporated. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the cognac and simmer for 1-2 minutes, until almost completely evaporated.
Stir the ground beef back into the pan. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stir it in to evenly distribute, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the beef broth, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Stir in the uncooked egg noodles, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes, until the noodles are cooked through.*
Add the sour cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and 2 tablespoons of parsley to the pan and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The amount will depend on the beef broth you used.)
If desired, stir in lemon juice to brighten the sauce (whether you need it will depend on the tanginess of the brand of sour cream you're using and your personal tastes), or serve the dish with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze over your bowl. Sprinkle remaining parsley over the top of the pan and serve immediately. (This dish doesn't reheat well the next day.)
For pantry swaps, see the "Substitutions" section in the article above.*Different brands of egg noodles, as well as the type of pan you're using, might require a varying quantity of liquid, within the range of 3-1/2 to 4 cups. The noodles shown in the blog post and video are Manischewitz Extra Wide, and they always cook to al dente within this range, without making the dish too liquidy. I've had consistent results with Pennsylvania Dutch and Light 'N Fluffy extra wide noodles as well.If you prefer your skillet stroganoff to be less saucy, start with 3-1/2 cups of beef broth and watch it closely. If it's starting to look dry as the noodles are cooking, add up to an additional 1/2 cup broth. Remember that the sauce will continue to thicken as it stands. If the sauce seems too thin after the noodles are al dente and you've stirred in the sour cream, let it stand, uncovered, for 5 minutes. If it's too thick, thin it out with an extra splash of beef broth.