When I think of Beef Stroganoff, the first thing that comes to my mind is our old neighbour back in Edmonton, London. She came to England from Russia as a young girl and carried along many favourite recipes from her homeland. I don’t remember her name, but what I remember is her Beef Stroganoff.
I was a skinny child with a large appetite and my mother often complained she never knew where the food disappeared (probably into the year 2010). So whenever our Russian neighbour made Beef Stroganoff, she would bring a big bowl over for us. “It’ll put some meat on her bones”, she would say.
What my mother neglected to tell her is that I hated Beef Stroganoff- at least her version of it. It was uniformly grey in colour with big blobs of sour cream floating in it. I avoided the dish for years, always steering clear of it in restaurants and buffet tables. Then recently, another friend gave a bowl of Beef Stroganoff that she had prepared and I was pleasantly surprised.
It was light and flavoursome, with the right mix of sourness and a slight punch of acidity. I immediately asked her for her recipe and started experimenting.
Tip 1: Use a good cut of Beef, sirloin, tenderloin or rib eye.
Tip 2: If you are health conscious, you can replace the sour cream with yoghurt and the butter with vegetable oil
Tip 3: If you find it difficult to cut the beef into strips, pop it into the freezer for half an hour. It becomes much easier to handle.
Tip 4: You can use ground beef instead of beef strips; remember it will look different if you use ground beef.
Tip 5: The measurements are all approximate. You can adjust them to your taste as you like.
700 gms of Beef, cut into strips
3 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of plain white flour
2 onions finely diced
1 teaspoon garlic finely chopped.
1 cup beef stock
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (Cremini or button mushrooms work best)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Egg Noodles, or Pasta to serve with the beef
Chopped parsley for garnish
Dust your beef strips in 1 tablespoon flour with a ¼ teaspoon of salt. Leave aside for some time.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a pan till quite hot while not burning the butter. Drop in the beef in batches and brown them on all sides to seal up the juices. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of butter and add the onions, garlic and mushrooms. When the onions are slightly brown, remove and keep aside with the beef.
In the same pan, heat the rest of the butter and add the remaining flour. Cook the flour till thick then pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce. Stir till smooth, and then add the beef, onions and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine and cook for 15-20 minutes till the beef is tender.
Just before serving, add the cream and lemon juice and stir till mixed thoroughly. Warm gently; do not bring to boil after adding cream to prevent curdling.
Serve with pasta or noodles, garnished with parsley.