Ziska's beef Stroganoff

    1 hour 45 min

    Everybody seems to have a favourite Stroganoff recipe so here's mine. I like to use as many fresh ingredients as possible, but I'm not snooty about the dreaded mushroom soup; here I combine a white lasagne sauce and condensed mushroom soup for the sauce, and I also add peppers for extra colour and texture - aroma and flavour too. Again this isn't traditional but I'm addicted to cumin and fennel seeds, which in fact are used widely on the continent and although cumin is used in curry powder, it isn't 'hot' - it enriches a dish without being obtrusive; the same with fennel. Lastly, this is good made the day before and reheated; the flavours have had time to mature. It freezes well too. I like it with steamed Basmati rice to provide extra texture.

    3 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 750g frying steak
    • 2 medium onions, chopped
    • 450g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
    • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped small
    • 1/2 large red pepper, chopped small
    • olive oil for frying
    • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
    • 1 heaped teaspoon paprika, or to taste
    • garlic, to taste (fresh or puree)
    • 1 tablespoon mushroom ketchup, or to taste
    • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, or to taste
    • salt to taste
    • 1 (380g) jar white lasagne sauce (I used Lloyd Grossman's creamy sauce)
    • 1 tin condensed mushroom soup

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:1hr45min 

    1. Trim fat off meat, according to taste, and snip into strips; prepare vegetables to have to hand.
    2. Take a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a lid, add enough olive oil just to cover the bottom, fry cumin and fennel seeds to release flavour; when they start to pop, add meat and paprika and saute quickly, turn heat down and put on a back burner for a couple of minutes.
    3. While this is happening you may find it convenient to saute onions and peppers in a little olive oil in a separate pan, then add to meat.
    4. Now add mushrooms, garlic, salt and condiments. (Mushroom ketchup is runny and a good sloosh goes a long way; it imparts a meaty taste to any dish. You could substitute Worcester sauce, but I wouldn't add much; it's a bit obtrusive.)
    5. Add the lasagne sauce and mushroom soup without diluting, although I can't help rinsing out the containers with a little water.
    6. Cover pan and place on very low heat (a diffuser is perfect.) Or you could use a hob-to-oven casserole or slow cooker. Stir occasionally and adjust seasoning if needed. Cooking time depends on the meat. You want it to be tender without losing its appearance and texture. This time it took 1 and a quarter hours; other cuts might be different.
    7. Now you're done. Leave it till tomorrow if you can, to let the flavours develop. Thanks for reading!

    Cook's note

    But if you don't want to use an ingredient, this is a flexible dish, and will still taste good. Many of the condiments I list as being 'to taste', as everyone's taste is different.

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