Saturday, 5 January 2008

Beef Stroganoff

Okay, so I know that it’s not really Beef Stroganoff weather (or ‘Beef Strongenough’, so named by one reader of the Jamie Oliver forum) right now, but just before Christmas, Melbourne threw down one of those characteristic wet and cold patches that make you want to yank the Le Creuset out of hibernation and crank up the electric blanky.

It was during this wild week that I happened to catch an autumn episode of Jamie at Home, and found myself salivating as he prepared a fetchingly dark and succulent Beef Strog. Big chunks of meat, garlic, onions, mushrooms and the seemingly out of place pickled gherkins to go with the usual sour cream and parsley sauce. I wasn’t sure about the gherkins, but I was prepared to give it a crack, especially given that years ago, Jamie put me on to anchovies in stew, and I’ve never looked back. I may well complain about him a lot, but it’s definitely thinly disguised jealousy, because I will ogle his food and his garden at any opportunity. It’s practically stalking. Lucky he lives in the UK.

So, despite Channel Ten’s advertisements claiming that Jamie at Home recipes were available on their website, there were none to be found. As a matter of fact, the blurb on the program page still says ‘not currently showing – new episodes coming soon’. Might I tactfully suggest that the PR Ho-Ho-Hoes at Network Serious get their shite together? Anyhoo, I googled the recipe, found afore-mentioned Jamie forum, which contained recipe queries from several similarly inspired Australian viewers. I also happened upon this old thread on Kitchen Wench’s blog. If you don’t have time for a look, let’s just say that there is a lot of anti-gherkin sentiment out there. In fact, the recipe itself did not receive rave reviews. In the end I decided to go with a combination of Rich Stein’s recipe (thanks Wench-reader-Mellie) and the Bill Granger version from the August '04 Delicious. (does anyone else find that full stop annoying?) that I have been using faithfully for the last couple of years.

As you can see, it’s still not the most photogenic of dishes, however I do think the tomato paste adds a bit of richness to the colour (and flavour). This one we ate with steamed rice (because that is what Mini Chef requested), but it is lovely with fresh buttered noodles.

6oog beef fillet or rump steak, trimmed and cut into thick strips
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons of Hungarian paprika
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
400g mushrooms - I prefer swiss browns, but whatever takes your fancy
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
fresh pepper and sea salt

fresh lemon and hot buttered noodles, to serve

Melt butter in a large heavy-based frying pan and cook onion and paprika until onion is soft and sweet. Add garlic, thyme and mushrooms and fry gently for a few minutes. Remove to plate.

Heat olive oil in the same pan and add the meat in batches, seasoning with pepper and sea salt as you go. Brown the meat quickly on all sides, remove to a plate and add the next batch until all of it is done.

Turn down the heat, return the meat to the pan and add the tomato paste and mustard, cooking for about a minute. Add the mushroom mixture, stir, then add the sour cream and parsley. Stir through and simmer for no more than a minute, then remove from the heat. Season if necessary.

Serve with the hot buttered noodles, a squeeze of lemon juice and a blob of sour cream.

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Anonymous said...

That looks delicious.

Anna said...

Thanks :-) let me know if you try it.

Anonymous said...

Is there a point you could prepare this up to, then finish off?