While we’re in Russia, let’s look at a Classic Dish that everyone’s heard of but not so many have tried to make: Beef Stroganoff. It’s a celebration of Beef, Mushrooms, Onions and Sour Cream that comes together in one pot. You can even make a no-fuss version in the slow cooker if you want…
This Classic Dish first came to the world’s attention in the late 1800s. It’s believed to have been named after one member or another of the aristocratic Stroganoff family, which figured prominently in Russian politics and diplomacy at the time. The dish is as elegant as it’s name suggests. But it’s dead simple to make!
What you need…
1 1/2 lb. / 600 g Beef Steak, 1/2 in. / 1.5 cm thick
2 cups / 500 ml White Mushrooms, sliced
1 large Onion, thinly sliced
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
4 tbsp. / 60 ml Butter
2 cups / 500 ml Beef Stock
1 big pinch Salt
1 big pinch White Pepper
2 good shakes Worcestershire Sauce
2 heaping tbsp. / 30 ml Flour
2 cups / 500 ml Sour Cream
1 cup / 250 ml Dray Egg Noodles
1 tsp. / 5 ml ground Paprika
1 tsp. / 5 ml ground Nutmeg
What you do…
Get a big pot of Salted Water boiling for the Noodles. Let them cook while you’re preparing the Stroganoff. Drain and set aside when they’re just al denté. They’ll be refreshed in boiling Water later, just before serving. Have a pot of boiling Water going on the side while finishing the Stroganoff.
Sweat Mushrooms, Garlic and Onion in a large fry pan or braising pan over medium low heat. When the Onions are just turning translucent, remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.
If you want, you can marinate the slices Beef in the Worcestershire Sauce, Salt and Pepper beforehand. A little Red Wine wouldn’t be out of place.
Otherwise, season the Beef Strips generously with Salt and Pepper and brown on both sides over medium High heat in the same pan as you used for the Veggies. This will take no more than one minute per side. Don’t worry about the meat being done in the middle. It will be cooked again, briefly in the Sauce.
Now, add half the Beef Stock and – if you didn’t marinate the Beef – add the Salt, Pepper and Worcestershire. Stir well to deglaze the pan. The brown bits on the bottom of the pan are pure flavour! Bring to the boil and reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes after that.The Beef Stock should be reduced (concentrated) by about one half its original volume.
Add the Flour to the remaining Beef Stock and stir well to form a smooth Slurry. Add the Slurry and the Veggies and combine all ingredients well. Bring to the Boil, then simmer another 5-10 minutes thereafter, until the Beef Stock reduced by about one half and the Sauce has thickened.
Dunk the Noodles in the boiling Water for a minute or two, until they’re heated through and glistening. Drain and portion out to serving plates.
Add the Sour Cream to the Stroganoff and stir in quickly but thoroughly just before serving over the noodles. If you leave it to simmer. it might break and broken sauce is a very bad thing anytime; in a Stroganoff, more so! Sprinkle a dusting of Paprika and Nutmeg over the plates for garnish.
Dine like a king!
You’ll love this elegant, sumptuous dish and you’ll impress the guests at your next dinner party.
Hint: If the Beef is not tender enough for you, you can simply slice it thinner, next time. It should melt in your mouth!
~ Maggie J.