Main Dishes / Meat

Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff served with white rice

I’m typing up this entry because I was doing up the poster for my final year project, and then I got bored. There comes a point in time when you’re just so sick of school, you can’t wait to start work. I’m counting, by the way: I finish university in exactly 7 weeks. It does seem an eternity away. Oh dear.

I actually meant to post this recipe quite some time ago. The first time I made it, I was convinced that it was an absolute keeper: I love beef stroganoff. And it really doesn’t take that much time or effort to make. A bit of sour cream, a bit of parpika, onions, mushrooms, beef, ta-da. I could eat an entire pot. The trouble is, of course, finding the right cut of beef. Ideally, you should use a very tender cut, such as tenderloin. But tenderloin is a bit pricey and I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary. I think beef strips cooked just right can be equally tender and juicy, which is why I only add the beef at the very last minute. Then again, to me, the main point of the dish isn’t really the meat – it’s the lovely, creamy, tangy sauce which goes so perfectly with rice. Honestly, the dish is equally wonderful without the beef, if you really want a vegetarian alternative.

Raw beef and onions

Mushrooms

I’ve adapted the recipe from Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food. It’s an amazing book filled with lots of easy, quick recipes. Of course, this is Nigel Slater – he tends to be a bit snooty about ingredients and some of the recipes are a bit of hit-or-miss for me. Do you really have to coat the beef strips in paprika and salt before cooking? I don’t think it makes a difference, really. Do you really need to use two pans to cook this dish? I don’t think so. So I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit so it’s easier to make and cut down the better so it’s healthier. And you should try this recipe. Really, you ought to. One thing I’ve kept from Nigel Slater’s recipe, though, is using quartered mushrooms rather than the conventional sliced ones. I do agree that it makes the mushrooms juicier and very pleasant to bite into.

Mushrooms and onion in the pan Finished stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Serves 2 (or 4, if you have smaller appetites)
Inspired by Nigel Slater’s Real Fast Food.

220 g beef, cut into strips about 5 x 0.5 cm in size
1 medium onion, sliced
200 g brown mushrooms, quartered
Knob of butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
100 mL sour cream

Heat half the butter and the olive oil in a pan. Brown the strips of beef. You may have to do this in batches; be quick, since beef cooks very quickly. You don’t necessarily have to brown the meat thoroughly, just enough to make sure they outside is somewhat cooked. Transfer the browned beef strips and the meat juices to a bowl and set aside.

Then add the remaining butter and olive oil to the pan. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, stirring often. Then add the mushrooms and cook until soft and tender and all its water evaporates. Add the paprika and Dijon mustard and stir well. Now add the beef strips and the sour cream. Stir well until the beef is cooked. Remove the pan from the heat and season well with salt and black pepper. Serve with rice or flat pasta.

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