Saucy Beef Stroganoff
A timeless Russian classic, this Saucy Beef Stroganoff is all about tender thin strips of beef smothered with a creamy mushroom and onion sauce.
Sydney weather has been very unpredictable of late; swinging from scorching hot days to ‘l think l need to pull out my winter pyjamas’ temperatures. It was one of the cold spells that started a craving for a stroganoff.
There are numerous variations of stroganoff based on the cut of meat and the spices. When l was reading about the origins of this dish, l was surprised to learn that the original version didn’t include onions or mushrooms; just sautéd beef cubes with a mustard and sour cream sauce.
While l love to stick to the traditional ways of cooking, l have included mushrooms and shallot onions mostly because they give the sauce more flavour and body. You’d also be hard pressed to find a beef stroganoff recipe without them!
The cut of meat l prefer is round steak. When sliced thinly, it can be as tender and juicy as more expensive cuts of meat, but the rule is you must slice thinly. The second absolute must is to sear or flash fry the beef strips for a very short time in a very hot pan (30 seconds on one side, then flip for another 30 seconds on the reverse side). I do this in small batches so l can control the timing more effectively. By flash frying you are only sealing in the juices; don’t be tempted to cook the strips longer or they will be tough and dry. If you notice that the beef strips are not cooked all the way through, that’s fine as they’ll be finished off in the sauce.
Total Time: 35 minutes Serves: 4
- 500 g (16 oz) round steak (thinly sliced) (Note 1)
- 60 g (2 oz) plain flour/all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 3 shallot onions (finely diced) (Note 2)
- 250 g (8 oz) button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- 50 g butter
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 – 1 1/2 cups beef stock (Note 3)
- 2 – 3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra
- salt, pepper
- 1 tsp chopped chives
- Combine the plain flour, paprika and a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl. Toss the beef strips through the mixture. It’s not necessary to totally coat the beef strips with the flour mixture. It’s just a quick toss! Shake off any excess.
- Heat the oil over high heat in a medium fry-pan. When very hot, cook the beef strips in 2 – 3 batches. Allow to cook for 30 seconds on one side, then turn over for another 30 seconds. You may need to add a little more oil between batches. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl.
- Turn the heat down to medium – high and add the butter and diced onions. Sauté until very soft. This should take just a few minutes as they are finely diced. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they have softened and turned a golden colour.
- Add the beef stock and stir. Reduce the heat to medium – low and stir through the Dijon mustard and sour cream. Simmer gently for a couple of minutes.
- Return the meat (including any juices in the bowl) to the pan. Stir the meat through the sauce. The flour mixture that coated the beef strips will help thicken the sauce. Simmer for a further 2-3 minutes only. Remove from the stove. If the sauce seems a little too thick, thin it down by adding a little more stock or water. Just don’t keep it on the stove too long or the meat will dry out.
- Served with pasta, rice or over a bed of mashed potatoes with some cracked pepper and chopped chives sprinkled on top.
1. Place the round steak in the freezer for about 1 hour. This will firm up the steak, making it a lot easier to cut into thin slices.
2. I use shallot onions (as pictured) for my stroganoff. l find them easier to dice and they are also a little sweeter in taste too. Alternatively, use a regular medium brown onion.
3. While l don’t make my own beef stock, l don’t scrimp on buying a good quality stock powder or stock cube either. Buy a good one!
My Saucy Beef Stroganoff is not only great as a family dinner but it also makes for a nice romantic meal for two (that’s the real reason l called it ‘saucy’). 😉