This week my over-zealous mushroom lust had left me a fridge full of fungi, just crying out to be smothered in cream… so what to cook? BRING ON THE STROGONOFF! This was the first time I had tackled this classic dish, and I’m so glad I did. It’s easy, relatively cheap (as lot of the ingredients are cupboard staples), and most importantly, quick. Follow this simple recipe for a completely moreish post-work Winter dinner, you’ll be glad you made the effort, believe me.
1 pack of diced beef (about 400g)
1-2 tbsp of plain flour
1 large pinch of paprika
1 small pinch of chilli powder
1 large pinch of black pepper
1 small pinch of salt
10 medium-sized mushrooms (chestnut mushrooms are delish, but any will do really) roughly sliced
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 tbsp armagnac (traditional brandy is fine)
1 beef stock cube, disolved with 300ml boiling water
Large handful of mangetout
200ml sour cream
1 large pinch of parsley (fresh is probably better, but I used dried)
Fry the onions and garlic with a splash of oil in a large thick-bottomed pan (I love my cast iron Le Creuset) on a low heat, until golden, then throw in your sliced mushrooms, and cook for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms look silky (YUM). Remove the onions, garlic and mushrooms, including all the juices, to a bowl and set aside.
Put the beef into a large mixing bowl, sprinkle over the flour, paprika, chilli, pepper and salt, mix well until the beef is completely coated and there is no remaining powder.
Add another glug of oil to your pan, turn to a medium heat, then drop in the flour-coated beef and brown off the meat. Don’t be scared when the flour starts to stick to the bottom of the pan – this will come off later with the alcohol!
Once the beef is cooked through, return the mushroom mixture to the pan and stir continuously for a minute or two. Pour in the armagnac, allow to simmer for a couple of minutes while still stirring, this should lift the sticky flour mixture off of the bottom of the pan. Then add your beef stock to the pan and simmer for ten minutes, stir frequently.
Add your mangetout to the pan, and continue to simmer and stir for five minutes. Then turn heat right down, pour in the sour cream and sprinkle with parsley, stir ’til thoroughly mixed.
Serve with rice and a rocket, watercress and spinach salad… and a bottle of champers. Oh, just me then?