5 Mar 2012

Real Beef Stroganoff with Oven-Roasted Potatoes

Hot Paprika from Spain

This dish originates from Russia and first appeared in a Russian cookbook form 1861. It has changed dramatically since it made its debut for connoisseurs. First accounts claim that it was made simply with mustard, beef stock and just a smidgen of creme fraiche. Now the mustard and the stock has been set aside. In the years following its debut many versions appeared in cookbooks and restaurant menus but the dish got its proper name when a chef called Charles Briere, working in St. Petersburg, sent in his version of the recipe to a contest, L'Art Culinarie in 1891. But this has also been disputed. Chef Alton Brown had an antropologist look into it and discovered that it originated from a resturant in New York in the early 1900's. Believe what you like

Many recipes call for a piece of meat that requires slow cooking but one of my favourite TV chefs, Mr. Rick Stein recommends that you use a cut that can be cooked fast so it will be soft and tender. He even claims that this dish lends itself to the possibility of cooking at the table - with the guests looking on in wonder and anticipation. The meat is supposed to be sliced thinly and cooked shortly so that it is red in the middle - rare. It is to be served with paper string fries. There I said STOP. I thought that was too much. 400 ml of full fat creme fraiche and deep fried paper string fries - even I have my boundaries. So I went for simple oven roasted potatoes. It is easy to think that is a lighter version?

This dish was cooked on a lovely autumn Friday evening. The meat was obtained from our friend the butchers, Holmgrens. I am regular at his facility every weekend where I gaze at his appetising selection. These bits of beef, from a farm outside Gothenburg, just begged to be bought and cooked. And they were perfectly suited for this dish.

I am very aware that Beef Stroganoff has a mixed reputation, it has been used and abused in various circumstances reaching its culmination about two decades ago. Some might have overeaten this dish and never want to eat it again - but it is an absolute classic and for a very good reason. Made with the right ingredients it is a stunning weekend dish.

Real Beef Stroganoff with oven-roasted potatoes 

Наибольшее Бефстроганов известно слишкомчеловек

As I said in the introduction this is a fast dish - at least this version which is cooked to the liking of Mr. Rick Stein. And it is very simple. Just prepare the produce and get going. You will be eating a beautiful meal in just minutes.

Slices onions and mushrooms

First prepare the potatoes. Cut them down to bite size pieces. Roll them in 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt&pepper and a little bit of fresh timian. Place in a pre-heated oven 180 degrees and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown. Every ten minutes shake the oven drawer so the potatoes bake evenly.

While the pototoes are cooking away in the oven - prepare the remaining ingredients. Slice a whole white onion into thin slices, do the same with 10-15 mushrooms.

Beautiful beef
This meat was very appetising, I sliced it down thinly. Season lightly with salt&pepper.

Fry the onions in butter

Put some butter on the pan, heat and when it stops foaming, fry the onions for a few minutes until they soften. Then add two heaped teaspoons of paprika powder and stir into the onions. Then add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes.

Add mushrooms

Then set the vegetables aside to rest. Put some oil on the pan, add the meat and fry a short moment only to brown it on the outside.

Bubbling away

Then add the onions/mushrooms and stir together with the meat. Add 400 ml of creme fraiche and bring to the boil. Add some chopped fresh parlsey and serve.

Served with some green leaves and the oven-roasted potatoes. 

Finca Monasterio
Baron de Lay

We drank some great red wine with the meal. Baron de Lay Finca Monasterio from 2007. This is a spanish wine from the Roija province. It is made mostly with Tempranillo grapes but has 20% Cabernet Sauvignion grapes. This is a dark wine, dense looking. On the palate mild spices, dark fruits and hints of chocolate. Full bodied. Delicious wine that paired well with the meal!

Beef Stroganoff
Bon appetit.


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