We went to the Aldeburgh Food Festival in September and bought some beautiful Red Poll beef steak (a native Suffolk cattle breed) from one of the vendors – we had some of it as a plain steak with salad but there was still a lot left in the freezer so I decided to make this classic bistro dish – beef stroganoff. It’s one of those ’70’s type dishes that has fallen out of favour but it’s so delicious and easy to make, I thought it was worth resurrecting. With prep and cooking, this takes about 40 minutes so it’s a pretty speedy supper for two that tastes simply wonderful. The key is to make it with good quality beef and to cook the onions slowly as that’s where the flavour is. A little lemon juice and finely chopped parsley added at the end cuts the richness of the sauce and adds freshness. Serve as the Russians do with fried potatoes, or with rice or noodles. Rediscover the stroganoff, you won’t be disappointed!
- 350g beef fillet, preferably cut from the tail end
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 level tablespoon of paprika
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 200g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 11/2 tablespoons of light olive oil
- 150ml soured cream
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- 1 small handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Rice, noodles or fried potatoes to serve
- This doesn’t take long once the onions are cooked – about 25 minutes total. So, put the rice, noodles or fried potatoes on to cook so they’re ready when the stroganoff is.
- Cut the beef into thin strips across the grain and set aside, slice the onions and mushrooms.
- Melt the butter with a dash of oil in a large frying pan, add the paprika and the onion and cook slowly until the onions are soft and sweet but not browned – this will take about 15 minutes on a low heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and fry gently for a few minutes. Transfer to a plate – just on one side – and keep warm.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan until very hot, add the fillet steak in batches and fry quickly (don’t overload the pan or the meat will reduce the temperature of the oil and it won’t fry/brown properly), season and turn for about a minute. Transfer the cooked meat to the clear half of the plate with the onion mixture but don’t mix them up.
- Return the onion mixture to the pan, pour in the soured cream. Stir, heat and simmer until it thickens slightly. Only add the beef when you’re ready to serve the rice, noodles or potatoes, then stir in the lemon juice and fresh parsley at the end. Serve onto warmed plates, enjoy!
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