Creamy beef stroganoff

It’s been a lovely Christmas holiday at home in Switzerland (check Instagram for pictures of the heavy snowfall), and my final evening also happened to be my parents’ wedding anniversary. To celebrate, my sister and I decided to make them dinner! The first course was the garlic soup from the Weekend of Food, which went down a storm, and the second was a beautifully creamy beef stroganoff, inspired by Switzerland’s own Annemarie Wildeisen (inspiration here).

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Annemarie’s recipes are often a little complicated and long-winded, and this one appeared to be so as well. Upon second glance though, we realised that it was really quite simple, as the act of putting the beef in the oven whilst making the sauce was no more tedious than keeping it aside on the plate, and the tenderness of the beef was definitely worth the ‘extra effort’. With this recipe, it is really important to have good beef and good red wine, as they make all the difference.

Serves 4

Prep time: Around 40 minutes

  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, de-seeded, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 400g good-quality beef, cut into chunks/cubes
  • 30g plus 30g butter
  • 100ml good-quality red wine
  • 1 flat tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 50ml single cream
  • 150g creme fraiche
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Curly parsley (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 80 degrees Celsius.

Melt the first 30g of butter on high heat in a large, non-stick frying pan until it bubbles. Sprinkle the beef pieces with salt and pepper and add to the pan, making sure they are in a single layer (if not, then fry the beef in 2 batches). After one minute, turn the pieces so they are browned on all sides. After another 30 seconds, remove, place in an ovenproof dish (make sure it isn’t completely flat, as you want to collect those juicy juices), and keep in the oven for 25 minutes (be sure to set a timer!).

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Turn down the heat to medium and pour the red wine into the pan. Scrape off the ‘Bratensatz’ (basically the meat residue) and then pour the liquid into a separate bowl. Keep aside.

Melt the second 30g of butter in the pan and fry the mushrooms and red pepper for 4-5 minutes. Then, add the paprika and tomato puree and stir for one minute. Pour in the beef stock and wine mixture, turn up the heat and let it reduce by about a third.

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In a separate bowl, mix together the cream with the creme fraiche and once the sauce has reduced, add it into the pan. Stir to combine.

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If the 25 minutes are already up, proceed to the step below. If not, turn the heat down to very low whilst you wait for the beef to be ready.

Remove the beef from the oven and add back into the pan with all the juices. Stir to combine, let cook for 1-2 more minutes and then serve with fresh egg tagliatelle. Top with curly parsley if desired!

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