Today I’m going to start a food post with something completely unrelated….
GO JULIA!! I’m not sure I’ve ever been more impressed with the performance of our beleaguered Prime Minister than I was today and if that doesn’t shut the critics up for a while than the issues are with them and not her.
Okay, back to the main topic. Beef Strogonoff is a family favourite, one of the daggy dinners I wrote about a while ago and a mainstay on our dinner menu. It’s been a while since I’ve cooked it and seeing some gorgeous mushrooms at the farmer’s market last weekend inspired me to dig the recipe out again. While I enjoy the flavours and it’s popular with the family I have always found the meat (it’s usually done with beef strips) a bit tough. I thought it would be the perfect recipe to try to adjust for the slow cooker. I used chuck steak, but I imagine any of the cheap stewing cuts would work. The recipe I started with was from the CSIRO Total Well Being Diet cookbook, but with a few of my own modifications.
1kg chuck steak, cut into cubes
Plain flour and seasoning, for dusting the meat
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove crushed garlic
1 onion, finely sliced
500g mushrooms, sliced
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water
2 tablespoons sour cream or natural yogurt
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Dust the cubes of beef with seasoned plain flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then brown the meat in batches until golden on all sides. As each batch is cooked add it to the slow cooker pot. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms to the pan and fry for a few minutes until softened. Mix the beef stock, tomato paste and Worcestershire together and add to the pan to deglaze for a minute or two. Add this mixture to the pot with the mushrooms. Give everything a stir and set to cook on low for about 8 hours.
About thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time add the cornflour mixture and the sour cream or yogurt. The sauce should thicken well. Serve with cooked pasta and top with chopped parsley.
The verdict for this one was a bit mixed. The meat was super tender and falling apart, but the mushrooms were a bit lost in the dish. I couldn’t taste them as much as I usually do in a beef strogonoff and they had lost their texture through the long slow cooking. Next time I would leave the mushrooms out until closer to the end of the cooking time – I might need to experiment a bit with that one. I also found it very MEATY in flavour (is that stating the bleeding obvious or what?), which I finding a little less appealing than I used to. On the other side of the coin, meaty was just what Mr Good was in need of… you should have seen his face when I pulled out the hunk of meat from the freezer, I think he’s been feeling a little deprived.
And to finish the way I started… on something completely unrelated to this cooking post.
Who says fairies can’t be builders too?