Beef Stroganoff.

This is a traditional Russian dish, named, according to one story, after Russian diplomat Count Pavel Stroganoff [1772-1817], although there are suggestions of a much older version of the dish that originated in Hungary. It is properly made with sour cream, which I often use if I have it on hand. If not, I make do with coconut milk, which gives it a pleasant creamy taste, or simply whole cream, which makes it very rich. Sour cream, whole cream or coconut milk, the quantities remain the same.

Ingredients.

1 teaspoon paprika[1].

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper.

Salt to taste.

1/4 cup olive oil.

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped.

1 medium onion, chopped.

½ cup red wine.

1 tablespoon tomato paste.

250g finely sliced topside beef.

1 cup sliced mushrooms.

½ cup sour cream[2].

Method.

Mix the spices and the salt together in a small bowl and set aside. Prepare the onion and garlic and set aside. Beat the wine and tomato paste together and set aside.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a hot flame and quickly stir fry the meat until sealed all over then add the spice mix. Sauté for 5 minutes then add the onion and garlic, cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, stir through until well mixed and add the wine mixture. Continue to cook until the wine has almost disappeared then stir through the coconut milk/sour cream/whatever, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently until slightly thickened. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Serves: 2.

Variations: Kidney Stroganoff [using lambs’ kidneys], Chicken Stroganoff [using diced lean breast meat], and Lamb Stroganoff [using diced backstrap].

[1] Or to taste: paprikas vary considerably in strength.

[2] Or fresh cream or yoghurt. If using coconut milk, get one of those dinky little 160ml cans that are made in Thailand.

***

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