Lean Beef Stroganoff
The colder weather has inspired me to cook healthy comfort food at home. What I love about this stroganoff is that it’s a one pan dish that’s easy to cook. I like to vary the depth of flavours and use earthy herbs such as thyme, that marries perfectly with the mushrooms. Use what ever mushrooms you like in this recipe, i’ve used Swiss browns. I often like to fold through a little quince paste at the last minute if I have some in my pantry, it adds a richness that is just delicious and contrasts well with the beef. You can also add a splash of madeira in place of the quince, to deglaze and caramelise in the pan once the beef is cooked.
I like to vary my cuts of meat when I make this dish – eye fillet and sirloin are prime cuts that are perfect for quick cooking such as this. Traditionally stroganoff is finished off with a few spoonfuls of sour cream or cream fraiche, but I like to use natural yoghurt or a splash of coconut cream if I decide to use it at all; I find adding it tends to tame the robust caramel flavours of the dish so I often go without. I also throw in a few handfuls of spinach at the end for added nutrition and serve this dish with steamed broccoli, cauliflower mash or a side of oven roasted pumpkin.
If you decide you want to make this stroganoff into a slow cooked budget friendly meal, just use a good diced chuck steak or beef cheek that gives a tender result and slow cook it for about 3 hours. You can replace the beef with chicken if you like for a delicious chicken stroganoff or if you’re vegetarian, replace the beef with firm organic tofu or tempeh. Finish either of the recipes with a sprinkle of gremolata (lemon zest, parsley chopped + a little fresh garlic).
What’s good about it:
Beef is a delicious form of complete protein that supplies amino acids to build and repair, as well as sustain lean muscle. A protein rich diet can also naturally increase levels of GH and testosterone when combined with nutrient rich vegetables, quality sleep and getting regular exercise. Grass fed or game fed meats have a higher ratio of omega 3 fatty acids and less saturated fat compared to grain fed contemporaries.
2 brown onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
few sprigs thyme
300 g (10 1/2 oz) mushrooms (choose Swiss brown, portabello, button)
350 g (12 1/4 oz) lean beef fillet or sirloin, thinly sliced
1 cup (250 ml / 8 3/4 fl oz) beef or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon quince paste (optional) or a good splash 1/4 cup (60 ml / 2 oz) of madeira
1/2 – 1 teaspoon arrowroot (optional)
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
chopped parsley or gremolata (see below)
Saute onions, garlic and thyme in a little olive oil over a medium heat for a few minutes until browned.
Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until lovely dark and caramelised.
Remove the cooked mushrooms and onion from the pan into a bowl then return the pan back to the stove.
Add the beef and saute quickly for a minute until browned.
Deglaze the pan with the stock then add the quince paste.
Return the mushroom and onion back to the pan and heat through.
Thicken if necessary with arrowroot…but this is optional.
Add the spinach just before serving and serve.
Garnish with chopped parsley or gremolata.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
To make gremolata combine 1/2 cup chopped parsley + zest of 1/2 lemon + 1 clove chopped fresh garlic. Use as required as a topping for all hot pots, soups, meat, chicken, fish + vegetables.
Vegetarians can use firm organic tofu / tempeh or white cannelini beans and vegetable stock in place of the beef.
You can get quince paste from specialist grocers (remember this is only optional in my recipe so don’t worry if you can’t get it.)
You can get madeira from any liquor store if you decide to use it.
I’ve used Cape Grim grass fed beef in this recipe.