Beef Stroganoff

You'll soon discover that I have a more savoury tooth than sweet, although that is not to say I don't enjoy making and scoffing desserts! I will certainly try to keep this blog balanced but I fear there will be more recipes for dinnertime than anything else. You see, dinnertime (teatime, supper or whatever it is you like to call it) is a special time for me. Most people might come in from work and dread the thought of making something from scratch but I don't. I can't think of anything more essential to my winding down than laying out those ingredients on the counter, chopping, stirring, seasoning and finally consuming. I would feel cheated if I just popped something in the microwave, it just wouldn't do. Another thing I should add quickly is that I cook for two. Me and my husband that is. So, all recipes will be designed for two people with a healthy appetite, which essentially means it could probably stretch to three. Double it for four (obviously) or if you're a singledon you've got dinner for two nights, et voila! Cooking in the evening has it's restrictions too though. It has to be semi-quick and with that in mind many of my dishes will be fairly simple but always divine. Ingredients:

1 medium size onion

1 green pepper

125g closed cap mushrooms

200g beef (stir fry or any kind you can easily slice into strips)

150 ml sour cream

salt and pepper


To serve:

brown rice

First things first, slice the onion, pepper and beef into fine strips. I try to slice the green pepper very finely so it cooks at the same speed as the onion.

Heat a tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of oil in a fryingpan (a pot will totally change the flavour) together - don't have the pan too hot, a medium heat will do, the butter/oil should be nicely bubbling but not going crazy. Add the onion, a pinch of salt (I mainly use rock or similar), grind some black pepper and fry for a few minutes - don't let this brown, you're only trying to soften the onion a little. Then add the pepper and fry until they're fairly soft but not fully cooked. At this stage slice and add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes, mushrooms don't take long to cook and you don't want them to disintegrate into nothing. Have a bowl/dish waiting and transfer the veg mixture to it.

There should be no need to add any more oil. Turn the heat up on the pan a notch or two - we're going to quickly stirfry that beef! Season the beef before adding to the hot pan and stir ensuring the meat is evenly browned but not cooked through - it should only take a minute. Avoid the temptation to cook the beef right through.

Turn the heat down - you could even take the pan off the heat entirely before returning the veg mixture to the pan. Give it all a good stir and add the sour cream. Let it come to a very gentle simmer and let it cook for a minute or two, it won't take long. Remember to taste and season - I like to do this frequently but everyone is different. I'm also pretty heavy handed with the old pepper mill in general.

The whole process should take 20-30 mins, so what I do is put the rice on at the very start - I do 1 part rice to 2 parts water, bring to the boil and then return to a simmer for 30mins until there is no liquid left. There should be no need to drain the rice. By the time it's done your Stroganoff will be ready to serve.

And there you have it, my first recipe, Beef Stroganoff.

miscellaneousAine Carlin