We are sharing our recipe for a Traditional Beef Stroganoff. Tender flash-fried sirloin in a silky smooth, creamy and rich sauce flavoured with brandy, paprika and a hint of cinnamon is just perfect! The traditional Russian beef dish tastes luxurious but isn’t difficult to make. Believe it or not, you can make it in just 20 minutes!
Seb has been nagging me for a couple of months now to make my Beef Stroganoff. For some reason, we haven’t made it for a couple of years now, although it used to be one of our favourites. It was actually the very first meal I’d ever cooked for Seb. Now that I’ve tasted again, I won’t let it be that long again. It is simply delicious!
For me, the very first memory of this Russian classic was going to a fancy restaurant in the old town of Vilnius with my Grandmother when I was about 10 years old. It was always such a special treat. She would take me there twice a year for special occasions. The restaurant was extremely old fashioned, with decor similar to the famous Russian Tea Room, but with a fountain in the corner of the room as well. I would always order a Traditional Beef Stroganoff and my grandmother would have a Chicken Kyiv.
If you are interested in Russian Cuisine, I believe one of the best cookbooks is written by Lynn Visson. You can get it here: The Russian Heritage Cookbook.
When I grew up and moved far away from that restaurant, I still thought about how I could recreate the experience. I made beef stroganoff every time I was homesick, but it was only when I made it for Seb, that this dish was named one of the best things he’s ever eaten.
So here it goes, the best thing Seb’s ever eaten (that may be the reason Seb could never be a full-time vegetarian…).
First, prepare all of the ingredients ready to go. Thinly slice the onions. Wash and dry your button mushrooms. Then halve them. And start cooking whatever you’re going to serve your beef stroganoff with. I love it with french fries, mashed potato or white rice, but I have seen people eating it with pasta too.
The preparation of the beef is of ultimate importance here. Cut the beef into thin strips in the opposite direction to the natural muscle fibres. Season and sprinkle a tbsp of flour all over. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Then add button mushrooms and carry on cooking for another 3 minutes until both onions and mushrooms are starting to soften. Gather onions and mushrooms to one side of the pan.
Increase the heat to high and tip in the beef strips. Stirring, flash fry them for 1-2 minutes until just browned all over. Then add 2 tbsps of brandy and boil vigorously for 10 seconds. Crumble in half a stock cube, add 1/2 tsp of paprika and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon. Then pour in 4 tbsp of water and stir swiftly. Add 70g of creme fraiche and cook stirring until just warmed through.
It is important to add ingredients quickly and stir promptly. You don’t want the beef to overcook, so it should take no more than 4 minutes from the minute the beef hits the pan to serving. Just before plating, add a squeeze of lemon to the creamy beef and stir it in.
We served our Traditional Beef Stroganoff with some french fries (yes, they came from our freezer…) and some simply boiled broccoli. In the words of Seb: “Yes! Epic! Love this meal. Great. Meat! Yes! Legendary!” He said it, not me!
For other meaty dinner ideas, have a look at our other recipes:
- Crispy Chilli Beef | Chinese Take-Away Favourite
- Modern Colcannon with a Poached Egg
- Indian Spiced Chicken Fajitas with Mint & Coriander Mayo
Traditional Beef Stroganoff with Creamy Brandy Sauce
- 200 g sirloin steak cut against the grain into thin strips
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 20 g butter
- 100 g button mushrooms halved
- 1 small brown onion thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp brandy
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ stock cube + 4 tbsp of water
- 70 g creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- fries, mashed potato, rice or vegetables to serve
- Place your beef strips in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp of plain flour and mix to coat.
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter. Add onions and fry for 2 minutes on medium heat. Then add mushrooms and carry on cooking for another 3 minutes, until both the onions and mushrooms have softened.
- Gather the mushrooms and onions to one side of the pan. Increase the heat to high and tip in the beef to the other side of the frying pan. Stirring, flash-fry the beef for 1-2 minutes until just browned all over.
- Add the brandy and let most of it evaporate, stirring the beef, mushrooms and onions together (this shouldn't take longer than 20 seconds). Crumble in half a stock cube. Add paprika and cinnamon. Then pour 4 tbsp of water in. Add creme fraiche and mix together. Only cook until it's warmed through, then take off the heat before the beef has time to overcook.
- Just before serving, stir in a tbsp of lemon juice.
- We served our Traditional Beef Stroganoff with french fries and boiled broccoli.