Monday, 3 September 2012

Beef Stroganoff


OK, another 'fallback' recipe for you. I've already told you about my fallback dessert (Nutella Mousse Shots), but I thought I should share another with you. What's your fallback 'entertaining' dish? The one that you know you can rely on when you have people coming for dinner, not a lot of time to prepare, and your mind is empty of inspiration (never mind the countless cookbooks you might have on your shelves that you could turn to)?

Ours is Beef Stroganoff. I wont ask for a show of hands from those who've had it at our house (that would be embarrassing), but I know it's a lot of you. In my defence, it's not all my fault- it happens to be one of Mr E's favourite dishes, so if I bother to ask him for a suggestion for dinner you can bet your bottom dollar that "Beef Stroganoff" will be his response. So I've decided to share it with you, not only because it's packed full of flavour and really quick and easy to make, but also because hopefully this way we'll be encouraged/ forced to make something else for our guests now that we know our secret is out there...

... I may regret this.

Oh well, enjoy!

Beef Stroganoff
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1k.g. beef (we prefer rump steak, but this can be expensive, so just use whatever steak you can get most readily/ inexpensively), cut into thin strips
500g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup plain flour
6 tblspns Dijon mustard
1 tblspn paprika
1 tblspn tomato puree
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken stock
4 tblspns olive oil
Flat leaf parsley, to garnish
Salt and pepper, to season
Directions
1) This isn't really the first step, more of a side note. You may do this already, or you may think it unnecessary if your knife skills are better than mine, but just in case I thought I'd let you know that I do not have the patience to stand and slice 500g mushrooms. This is one of my "quick and easy" options for dinner, and while slicing all those mushrooms might be simple enough it certainly wouldn't be quick. Instead, I use my egg slicer on them- one swipe, and the whole mushroom is done. Laugh if you will, but it works for me!

2) Season the beef strips then toss them in the plain flour, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tblspns of the oil in a high sided pan until hot, then add the beef in small batches to sear until lightly browned. You need to do this in small batches (it took me about 3) because otherwise you'll crowd the pan and the meat will start to stew instead of brown. Remove the beef to a plate with kitchen paper to drain any excess oil/ fat.

3) In the same pan used for the meat, heat the remaining two tblspns oil and add the onion. Cook gently for 3 minutes, or until soft, and then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.

4) Add the white wine and cook on a fast simmer for one minute. Then add the browned meat, stock, tomato puree, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper, bring to the boil then reduce to a slow simmer for 5 minutes.

5) Turn the heat to the lowest setting and then add in the creme fraiche. At this point we don't want it to boil (or it might split), but heat it gently until warmed through.

Serve with a sprinkling of parsley on top and your choice of rice (we like a wild rice combination with this).

You can freeze this one very easily. When reheating, make sure it has been defrosted thoroughly then reheat very gently (again, we don't want it to boil). You may wish to add a dash of stock to the sauce to thin it slightly, as it will have thickened on resting.  


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