February 24th, 2011
Beef Stroganoff is a classic Russian dish, probably named after, Alexander Grigorievich Stroganoff or Count Pavel Stroganov. It does however seem to have been included in Elena Ivanovna Molokhovet’s, “A Gift to Young Housewives” cookbook and the basic recipe may predate its namesakes.
My recipe is a slight variation – I wanted to use up some roast beef from Sunday and I couldn’t get sour cream at short notice so used crême fraîche – which worked so well I’d use it again. Apparently, in Sweden they substitute sausages for the beef.
Beef Stroganoff recipe:
1lb raw steak (or, roast beef cut into strips)
1 large onion (sliced)
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
8 button mushrooms (sliced)
2 teaspoons of hot paprika (add to taste – you might like a little more or less)
a good slug of olive oil for frying
2 glasses of white wine
a splash of white wine vinegar
200ml crême fraîche
the juice from half a lemon
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon of chopped parsley (optional)
If you have one, fry the onions in the olive oil, in a shallow, cast iron casserole with lid – otherwise a normal cast iron casserole will do. When the onions turn translucent, add the paprika and stir it in. If the steak is raw, add that next and brown. If using cooked meat add it after the vegetables. The garlic and mushrooms come after that. Once everything has been stirred and coated with oli and paprika, pour in the wine and vinegar, along with a little salt and pepper. Some recipes call for this to be cooked on the stove, but I prefer to put the lid on and place the casserole in a preheated oven at 100º C. That way it can cook slowly for a long time without burning. This is particularly good if you use cheap cuts of meat, since they will tenderise with slow cooking. Do check it from time to time, to make sure it doesn’t dry out – you can add a little more wine or water if necessary.
After about 90 minutes (or when your beef is tender), remove the Stroganoff from the oven and mix in the cream – have a good taste to check that the seasoning is right, then stir in the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley. Beef Stroganoff is generally served with rice, pasta or very thin chips. I’ve noticed in a few recipes, that they use Worcestershire sauce and Cognac to add flavour, so if your taste buds are crying out for something additional, you could start there or perhaps try some Kallo beef stock and anchovy paste.