Serves 4-6 people
1½ lb/700g lean chuck steak
1lb/450g mushrooms, sliced
2 large onions
½ pint/275ml dry white wine or dry cider
½ pint/275ml soured cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
First trim the meat and cut it into thin strips, about ¼ inch (1/2 cm) wide and no more than 2 ½ inches (6 cm) long. The classic recipe for Stroganoff is made with thin strips of fillet steak, cooked and served very quickly, it needs exact timing. This version is made with strips of chuck steak, which costs less, has more flavour and can be cooked slowly on top of a stove or cooker.
The onion should be peeled, cut in half, then each half sliced and the layers separated out into half-moon shapes.
Next melt the butter in a thick-based saucepan or flameproof casserole and gently soften the onion for 5 minutes or until it has turned pale gold. Then, with a slotted spoon, remove it to a plate.
Next, turn the heat up high, add the pieces of meat to the casserole (a few at a time) and brown them. Then reduce the heat, return the onion and all the meat to the pan, season with salt and pepper and pour in the wine or cider. Bring to simmering point, cover and let it cook very gently on top of the stove for 1 ½ hours – stirring it just now and then.
When the time is up stir in the mushrooms (which will add a lot of juice in case you think it seems a little dry), put the lid back on and leave to cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.
Then taste to check the seasoning, and stir in the soured cream with a good grating of fresh nutmeg. Let the cream heat through (but not boil) and serve the Stroganoff with plain rice – basmati or brown are the healthiest options.