Beef stroganoff is the type of meal that one is prone to crave – creamy, meaty and pretty simple to throw together.
After a friend messaged me saying she was coming over for the night, I headed for the kitchen and began brainstorming what I could feed her. She’s notorious for eating as much as a man so I knew I had to bring my A game. Alas, upon opening the fridge, I was met with a lacklustre selection of dinner foods: an old Greek yoghurt container (really, just the container, there was no yoghurt inside), a shrivelled green onion, five blocks of butter, a cucumber, and a half eaten apple among others. My parents had gone away for the week, leaving me with next to no food, and therefore with nothing to feed my hollow-legged friend. We did have an impressive selection of 20+ sauces, though somehow I don’t know how she would have felt about drinking plum sauce and aioli for dinner.
I decided on a quick beef stroganoff; it’s always a crowd pleaser and most of the ingredients are kitchen staples. All I needed from the supermarket was sour cream, which took me about a year to find because it was located next to the cured meats instead of the other dairy products. Really, what were they thinking??
Most stroganoffs are made with mushrooms, but I am yet to acquire the taste so I left them out. If you are partial to a mushroom or two, I suggest you use a handful in this recipe. Additionally, you can use pasta instead of rice, but I reckon there is nothing better than soaking up the sauce with rice. This gherkin salad is a perfect side dish, with the sharp, salty gherkin complementing the creamy stroganoff sauce.
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Simple beef stroganoff
600g (21oz) fillet steak
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 ½ teaspoons normal paprika (if you don’t have smoked paprika, use 2 ½ teaspoons of normal paprika)
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Rind of one lemon
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ red onions, sliced thinly into rings
Handful of mushrooms, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon butter
¼ cup red wine
1/3 cup sour cream
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pepper to taste
Extra chopped parsley, for garnish
Cooked rice, to serve with (about 2 cups)
- Put the rice on to cook while doing the other steps, so it will be finished by the time the stroganoff is done (if the rice is cooked too soon, keep it warm)
- Cut off the fat and grisly bits from the steak, then tenderise the it by bashing it with a rolling pin until it flattens slightly (or by using a meat tenderiser if you have one)
- In a small bowl mix the lemon rind, salt and paprika, rub over both sides of the tenderised steak, cut into strips.
- Using a pan, pour in enough oil to just cover the bottom, and heat over a medium flame. When hot, throw in the red onions and garlic (and mushrooms, if using), and stir around for a few minutes until softened. Set aside.
- To cook the steak, heat a frying pan over a medium-hot flame with a swig of oil, and brown the meat very slightly (bearing in mind it will be heated again later and you don’t want to overcook it).
- Reheat the onion and garlic mixture, adding the butter and steak, stirring, then pour in the wine.
- Reduce for about a minute, or longer if you want a thicker sauce, then remove from the heat and stir in parsley, sour cream and lemon juice.
- To finish, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with rice and a salad.
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