I love Beef Stroganoff – that smoky, creamy sauce with beef, mushrooms and onions. But truly, it’s a complete pain to make the real thing. I once spent a small fortune on fillet steak, to create the real deal, but it was a disaster. This is where my cheat’s version comes in – this has all the flavours, and just needs a splash of brandy and some crème fraiche at the end to elevate it to dinner-party worthy.
Does that sound like I’m blowing my own trumpet rather loudly? Perhaps I am, but the only way you’ll find out if it’s justified is to try this recipe and see! If you’d prefer a vegetarian version, have a look at the NOTES at the bottom of the recipe.
- A deep frying pan
- an oven-proof casserole.
- 500g good quality beef pieces, all visible fat removed
- A tablespoonful of Rapeseed oil, or some low-fat spray if you prefer.
- 2 large onions, roughly chopped
- About 300g mushrooms – I use baby Portobello – sliced
- 20g dried Porcini, soaked in 200mls boiling water
- Half a red chilli, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- good splash of red wine
- 1 beef stock cube, crumbed
- 2 heaped teaspoons of Sundried tomato paste
- 1 heaped teaspoon of Smoked Paprika
- Brandy (optional)
- Crème fraiche
- Fine chopped parsley (optional)
- Heat the oil/spray in the pan on a high heat
- throw on the beef pieces and let them sizzle and char a little.(5-10 minutes)
- Then reduce the heat a little and add the onions and mushrooms. and let them soften a little (5 minutes)
- Add the garlic and chilli,
Add the drained Porcini mushroom and a little of the soaking liquid – don’t use all the liquid as it may have grit in it from the mushrooms.
- then pour over the wine; let it bubble up and reduce a little.
- add the sun-dried tomato paste
- Add the Smoked paprika and stir in.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Transfer the lot to the casserole, cover and put into a med-cool oven – about 120 Fan or the equivalent.
- Leave it there for a couple of hours until the beef is tender. Check a couple of times to make sure it’s not drying out – if it looks dry add a cup of cold water
- Once the beef is tender, it’s ready to eat. As usual, it tastes better the next day, just requiring re-heating when you’re ready, making it the perfect main course. if you are letting it sit overnight – stir in the brandy at this stage.
- TO SERVE: Add a tablespoonful of Brandy and two tablespoonfuls of Crème Fraiche, and mix in. The sauce becomes a beautiful café-au-lait colour.
- Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley before serving
- Vegetarian version: I made this for my vegetarian sister-in-law and niece, and they absolutely loved it. I followed the recipe exactly, apart from the beef and the stock cube. I used a lovely ‘Special Selection’ of mixed mushrooms from the supermarket. Obviously this won’t need as much cooking, so make sure the onions and Portobello mushrooms are well softened before adding the ‘Special’ mushrooms. You can actually make and finish this version on the hob, without using the oven at all.
- You’ll notice that I don’t add any extra liquid when I’m putting the dish into the oven – this is because mushrooms can release quite a lot of liquid as they cook – just keep and eye on it, and add the cup of water if you think it needs it.
- The smoked Paprika is essential for this recipe. It’s widely available in supermarkets.
- This sounds like quite a time-consuming recipe, but I find you have time between the various steps to prepare the next one – so while the beef is sealing, I cut up the onions and mushrooms. While they’re softening, I chop the chilli and crush the garlic etc. In this way, it actually takes very little time to get it put together and into the oven.
- As Mr Sat. Night and I were tucking into this the other evening – he reminded me that we always used to serve it with a fresh green crunchy salad. He’s right of course, because this is a very rich main course, and the salad lightens it a little.