PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS | SERVES 4
THIS CREAMY BEEF AND MUSHROOM STEW HAS BEEN PUTTING SMILES ON MANY PEOPLE’S FACES SINCE THE 19TH CENTURY. Photos by NICHOLAS RIDER.
I have to admit that I could happily eat this stew by the bowlful. It’s warm, hearty and packed with smokey paprika and earthy mushrooms that bring out the beautiful flavour of the beef. It definitely puts a smile on my dial on the coldest winter evening and has been doing the same for people all over the world since its inception in 19th Century Russia. Being such a staple dish, I couldn’t help but wonder where the original Stroganoff recipe came from? In researching the info for this piece I was surprised to find out that the dish was probably named after Count Pavel Stroganoff who lived between 1774-1817 and in his lifetime served as a diplomat to Britain and as a general during the Napoleonic wars. You can read more about the Stroganoff legacy in this article by bon apétit. In the original recipe served to the Stroganoff family by it’s French Chefs, beef strips were cooked in a French mustard sauce and finished with sour cream. According to A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality (Darra Goldstein, 1999, Russian Life Books), mushrooms aren’t technically authentic. I do have a weak spot for golden, caramelised mushrooms so naturally I added them in with some smokey paprika which is currently my favourite spice. I love the pungent smokey flavour that it adds to the stroganoff. Serve it with quinoa, rice or mashed potatoes and you’ll be in heaven!
What The Food? What cut of beef is best in stroganoff? Any thinly cut premium steak works a treat. Just make sure you don’t overcook it. I used sirloin but I later achieved better results using minute steak that I cut into 1cm strips.
FOR THE Stroganoff
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 large brown onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 300g mushrooms, sliced (I used swiss brown)
- 300g beef sirloin or minute steak, cut into strips
- 250mL beef stock
- ½ cup sour cream
- Handful chopped parsley
- Quinoa, rice or mashed potato
- Steamed vegetables
Make the base. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic, onion, paprika and tomato paste and cook stirring for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the mushrooms and fry for 5-10 minutes until golden brown on each side. Doing this will result in a more flavourful stroganoff later on. Add the beef strips and cook for 5-10 minutes or until browned.
Finish the stroganoff. Add the beef stock and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat to reduce slightly. Stir through the sour cream and parsley until well combined. Cook for another 1-2 minutes to warm through. Serve with quinoa or rice and steamed vegetables.
Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,