While my experience with fat-free sour cream and cream cheese in the past have been failures when they were main ingredients, if used as cream base/thickeners for gravy they are absolutely indistinguishable from the real thing. It's also terribly easy.
- 2 lbs chuck roast/steak or sirloin and slice it into strips, removing all fat/gristle etc.
- 4 Tb. flour, white or wheat or whatever floats your boat
- butter or margarine or olive oil or pan-spray
- 3/4-ish cup green or white or yellow or red onions, chopped
- 2-ish cups beef broth or reconstituted boullion
- a bottle of harsh red wine (I used something called a carmenere on clearance, but a cab sauv or a merlot would work just as well)
- sliced mushrooms, either a couple of cups sliced fresh, or a couple of cans of... uh... canned
- PREPARED mustard... AKA not mustard powder but actual gloopy stuff in the bottle or jar. It can be yellow or dijon or weird foofy NoCal stuff, whatevs.
- GARRRRRRLIC. Like, warding-off-Dracula-for-5-years amount. I used 3 heaping teaspoons from a pre-chopped jar.
- Worcestershire sauce. Yes, I can pronounce it. Even while drunk.
- Fat-free sour cream. Yeah, they make that.
- Fat-free cream cheese. Yeah, they make that too.
- Salt, black pepper (fresh ground if you have the means), paprika (smoked if ya got 'em!)
So basically, take the Boeuf O' Choice that has been cut into strips and toss it into a med-hot pan with the butter/margarine/pam/olive oil/ whatever you use to brown things in your house.
Brown it. Tossing in some salt and pepper is a good thing at this stage.
When the meat is seared on most sides, scoop it out and set it aside. Dump in the onions and the garlic and let them soften and start to get clear but not brown.
Now, you can do the next bit one of two ways: Dump the flour into the broth and whisk it into a pseudo-roux and add the whole thing to the pan, or add the broth to the pan and sift the flour in while whisking. Either one ends up the same, just go with whatever personally gives you less lumps.
Dump the meat back in and turn the heat back down to med-low, whatever gives you a decent simmer without bottom-sticking. Stir in a couple tablespoons of the mustard and likewise of the worcestershire sauce. Pour in a Healthy Snort (AKA about 1/3 to 1/2 cup) of the harsh wine. Cover. Remember the mushrooms, curse, and toss them in too. Re-cover.
Go play a video game for about an hour.
Come back, uncover. Toss in a small palmful (2 tsp) of salt or garlic salt, and as much fresh black pepper as you can stand. Dump in another 1/3 cup of wine just because you tried to drink a glass and couldn't stand it and you need something to do with the dregs. Sprinkle in about 1/2 tsp of paprika. Stir.
Boil a buncha egg noodles or rice, as is your preference.
Add to the sauce approx 1/3 cup sour cream and 1/3 cup cream cheese and stir through until totally dissolved and sauce has thickened. Taste one last time and determine if it needs any more pepper, wine, worcestershire, or what. If not, serve over noodles/rice/carb of choice. :)