Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

Well, kinda. This recipe has adapted and evolved so much since my mum first made it 15 or so years ago. It is almost nothing like the original and it is probably so far from being traditional that I am probably lying to say it is even a stroganoff at all. But you know what? Who cares! It's damned tasty, whatever it is.

2 heaped tbsp of crushed garlic
2 heaped tbsp ground sweet paprika (Can replace half with Smoked Paprika)
250mL sour cream
250g tomato paste
1/4 cup port (Marsala, Madeira or sherry may be substituted)
1/2 cup stock (I used chicken today, but I usually use beef)
350g mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, finely diced
300g sliced stirfry-quality beef steak such as rump
Extra paprika and sour cream to serve
1. Heat a large frying pan and add a splash of oil. Add the mushrooms, onions and garlic2. Stirfry until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent. Remove from pan and set aside.3. Pour the port over the onions and mushrooms.
4. Add another splash of oil to the pan and heat until it just starts to smoke. Add the beef strips and cook very rapidly until just sealed. The beef should be still very rare.
5. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook until it changes colour slightly and has a toast smell. This should take 2-3 mins, depending on how hot your pan is.
6. Add the paprika and stock and return the vegetables and port to the pan.
7. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat and let stand for 2 minutes.8. Stir through the sour cream and serve with a small dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika.

This dish is quite versatile and goes well with rice, a jacket potato, mash potato, flat Hungarian noodles or just some nice crusty bread. I had mine with brown rice.

Kitchen list

Today, I am going to tell you a secret - To cook well, you don't need to have a well stocked kitchen, but it definitely helps. Here is what you need to have in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer so you can whip up a gourmet meal at the drop of a hat.

  • Brown Onions
  • Potatoes - a good multipurpose spud like coliban
  • Dry Pasta - Spaghetti and a shape (Spirals, penne, macaroni etc)
  • Rice - Medium grain white
  • Plain White Flour
  • Self Raising Flour
  • Sugar (I usually keep raw, white, caster and brown sugar on hand, but you can get away with just white and brown)
  • 7gram Sachets of instant dried yeast.
  • Vanilla (essence, extract, paste)
  • Tinned Tomatoes (at least 1 can)
  • Large Jar of tomato paste
  • A large variety of good quality dried herbs and spices in sealed glass containers. I recommend the following: Rock salt and peppercorns (in grinders), cinnamon, nutmeg, ground paprika, lemon pepper blend, garlic salt blend, mixed herbs, Italian herbs, chives. Chinese 5 spice powder, ground ginger, chili powder.
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Soy Sauce (and Kajup Manis)
  • A good quality olive oil, a flavourless one like canola and oil spray (I used garlic oil)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Some kind of canned fruit - I usually have pineapple, peaches and apricots
  • Some kind of sweet biscuit - I am a softy for Arnott's Shredded Wheatmeals
  • Tea Bags
  • Instant Coffee
  • Chicken and Beef stock powder or cubes and/or "real" stock in UHT packaging
  • Long life packet of Asian noodles (either dried or vacpac pouches) such as ramen, hokkien or Singapore style
  • Long life UHT cream (250mL packs)
  • long life UHT milk (250mL packs)
  • Some kind of instant gravy powder (I like gravox supreme chicken gravy sachets and greens gravy granules)
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Barbeque Sauce
  • Alcohol - 1 bottle of White wine, 1 of red wine and 1 bottle of a nice tawny port, at bare minimum. You may also like to add brandy, dark rum, tia maria and/or Kahlua to this
  • Puff pastry
  • Frozen berries
  • Bacon
  • Ice cubes
  • Beef mince
  • Frozen veges - corn, peas
  • Oven fries
  • Vanilla Ice cream

  • Eggs
  • Capsicum
  • Carrots
  • Milk
  • Butter (Yes, I said butter and NOT margarine)
  • Some kind of fruit - apples, oranges, pears
  • Hoi Sin sauce
  • Cheese
  • Kraft Parmesan cheese
  • Jam - Strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and/or plum
  • Real maple syrup.
  • Minced Garlic
  • Minced ginger
  • Dijon mustard
  • Seeded mustard
Cookware and other stuff:
  • Aluminium foil
  • Cling film
  • Non-stick baking paper
  • Paper towels
  • Clip-lock bags - sandwich size
  • Bamboo Skewers
  • Meal-sized take'n'toss plastic containers
  • Non stick frypan - 1 large, 1 small
  • Stock pot
  • Good heavy based saucepans with lids.
  • Wooden spoons
  • Big metal spoons
  • Silicon tongs
  • Pastry brush
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Egg Flip
  • Wire rack
  • Large baking dish - I have a giant oval shaped Corningware one, that we gone as a wedding present, with a pyrex lid, but a lid is not necessary
  • Cookie slides/baking sheets
  • Round 20cm cake pan
  • Muffin pan
  • Knives - Bread knife, carving knife, paring knife, steak knives.
  • Whisk
  • Colander
  • Grater
  • Various size metal or pyrex mixing bowls