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Beef Stroganoff

Introduction & method

Back in the seventies, beef stroganoff became massively popular in the west. But it's been around for a lot longer - at least since the middle of the nineteenth century. It's generally believed to be named after somebody in the Russian industrialist Stroganov family, although nobody seems to know who exactly. Whatever its origins, it's rich and creamy and meaty. And really easy to make.

Beef Stroganoff Recipe

About the Steak

In 70s England, chefs would use the tail end of beef fillet which butchers were unable to sell. If you don't want to take out a mortgage for boring meat, rump or ribeye steaks are perfectly fine, just cut off any fat. Beef stroganoff is featured in the bible of retro cooking, 'The Prawn Cocktail Years' by Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham, althoug this isn't quite their version.

Prep the Veggies

Rinse any dirt off the mushrooms and cut them into quarters. If you have very small button mushrooms, leave them whole. Top and tail and peel the onion. Cut it in half from top to bottom, then slice it thinly, about 3-4 millimetres thick. Depending on the size of your onion you might want to cut the half-moons in half.

Prep the Steak

Cut any fat off your steak and season generously with salt and nutmeg (or black pepper if you're not using nutmeg). Cut the meat into strips - don't make them too small or they'll shrivel up and not be meaty.

Cook the Stroganoff

Melt a generous lump of butter in a skillet or small frying pan and gently cook the onion until it is golden but not browned - about 10 minutes. Using a slotted or perforated spoon, remove the onions from the pan. Melt some more butter in the pan and add the mushrooms. Cook them for 5-10 minutes until they've released their moisture. In a separate, bigger frying pan, heat a good glug of oil until it's smoking. Put the strips of steak in and cook them for 1-2 minutes each side. Don't overcrowd the pan - you may need to do it in 2 batches. When the beef strips are seared, put them on a warmed plate to rest. Turn down the heat on the big pan and add the soured cream. Stir the teaspoon of mustard into it, and then slowly stir in the beef stock. When it's all incorporated, add the onions and the mushrooms with their juices, and then the steak. Let it all cook gently for 5 minutes.

Serve the Strog

The traditional Russian accompaniment for beef stroganoff is straw potatoes. The Prawn Cocktail Years serve it with plain boiled potatoes. I recall it usually being served on a bed of rice, but lots of recipes serve it with tagliatelle or noodles. It's pretty versatile. Sprinkle it with smoked paprika and maybe some chopped parsley.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Beef Stroganoff on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 300 grams beef steak
 125 ml beef stock
 1 medium onion
 150 grams chestnut mushrooms
 150 ml soured cream
 1 tsp English mustard
 half a tsp ground nutmeg or allspice
 half a tsp sea salt or kosher salt


Rapeseed (canola) oil or extra virgin olive oil for sautéeing. And some butter too.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 2 
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 15 minutes.
Total time: 25 minutes.