The outcome is always the same – immediate bliss followed by a food coma. And if you follow a few simple rules, you will make the best stroganoff around. First off, beef quality is paramount; avoid stewing beef and buy the best steak you can afford (you only need 500 grams). If steak is too expensive, buy more affordable pork loin. Really, many Russian cooks make stroganoff with pork. Then, use a heavy-based pan and avoid non-stick. You want the meat to get coated in brown bits that get released into the sauce; that’s where the wonderfully complex flavour comes from. Lastly, dill pickles and mashed potatoes make stroganoff the best dinner ever! Don’t even think about serving it with egg noodles. So wrong.
Beef stroganoff to a Russian is like a carbonara to an Italian. Something we just whip up without a recipe in little time using very few ingredients.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 20 g butter
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 250 g portabello mushrooms, sliced
- 500 g beef steak, such as scotch fillet or sirloin, cut into strips
- ¼ cup brandy
- 125 ml (½ cup) beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 3-4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
- mashed potato or steamed rice, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onions and mushrooms, and cook for 7-10 minutes or until softened. Remove and set aside.
Add the steak to the pan and cook over high heat for 3-5 minutes or until browned.
Add the brandy and cook for 1 minute or until the alcohol burns off. Add the stock, mustard and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release all the brown bits as they will add a lot of flavour to the sauce.
Return the mushrooms and onions to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until everything is heated through and bubbling. Stir in the crème fraîche and parsley, and remove from heat.
Serve with mounds of mashed potatoes or rice.
Recipe from Vikalinka by Julia Frey, with photography by Julia Frey.
Read our interview with Julia and find more recipes from her blog here.