Reduced to clear: steak and mushroom stroganoff

Reduced To Clear is back! Like the shelf in the supermarket where you often find a bargain amongst the dented cans of beans and kosher popcorn, this feature is about some of the recipes that praps haven’t gone so well but have redeeming qualities.

I like to keep things realistic. We all have our off days…

Tonight’s supper was a rapid version of the Russian classic Stroganoff. I picked it out of this month’s Good Food magazine on my never-ending quest for family-friendly recipes to keep my boys smiling.

It’s the kind of dish you get in a naff pub served up with rice, and not something I think to cook. Having a quick perusal at the history of the recipe, apparently in 19th century Russia it would be paired with delicious sounding crisp potato straws… now you’re talking!!

So I had a go at making those too. I just cut a few potatoes into skinny strips, parboiled them, dried them with kitchen towel and then shallow fried them until golden. Easy. The stroganoff had other ideas however….

Steak and mushroom stroganoff (October Good Food Magazine)
(Serves 2)

1 tbsp oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 green pepper, chopped
200g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
150ml beef stock
200g lean rump steak sliced and all fat removed
150ml fat-free fromage frais

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion for a few mins, until soft. Add the garlic and paprika, and cook for 1-2 mins untiil fragrant. Add the pepper and mushrooms, and fry for 5-8 mins until softened.

2. Add the vinegar, boil to reduce until almost evaporated, then pour over the stock and bubble for a few mins until thickened slightly. Add the beef and cook for 2-3 mins depending on how rare you like it, then stir in the fromage frais and season.

I have to say this was tasty, but the fromage frais went all bitty when I stirred it in making it look hideously unappetising.

It looked so creamy in Good Food magazine – I felt a bit cheated.

Maybe the fact that I used very old red wine vinegar let me down?

Appearance is everything with Sam so he instantly didn’t want to eat it. Great. Matthew thought it was okay, but didn’t go wild for it. Arlo and I enjoyed it though!

Thank goodness I’d made the fries or I’d have had a mutiny on my hands.

Not attractive…


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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8 Responses to Reduced to clear: steak and mushroom stroganoff

  1. Michelle (Utterlyscrummy) says:

    Hello lovely
    I tried the same recipe last week for our tribe and it worked OK. The kids weren’t that fussed by hubby and I liked it. Great tip serving it with chip strips :o) What I think may have happened with yours is that the fromage frais may have split and curdled as the stuff in the pan was too hot. It needs to cool before you add it and you can’t let it boil. Instead of fromage frais you could use single cream and it is more stable and less likely to split because of the added fat content. Keep up the great recipes hun, fab site xx

    • rhwfoodie says:

      Thanks Michelle – you’re definitely right on the temperature issue – I was in such a rush to feed the troops I didn’t wait long enough. I turned off the heat before I added it, but didn’t let it cool down. Should’ve used my common sense instead of blindly following the recipe.
      I think i’d use cream next time – low fat versions of classics are never as good!

  2. Tara says:

    What a pity it looks so good in the mag. Do u reckon it’s cos they used fromage frais instead of cream? I know it’s more fattening but I don’t think it wld have curdled.

  3. Gary says:

    I think their option of fromage frais is bonkers. I’d use a low-fat creme fraiche for a great texture and almost no chance of splitting. (This is one low-fat alternative that rocks!)

  4. Elsie says:

    I cooked this recipe as well but due to a grocery list mix up, I used creme fraiche. My son loved the taste of it while it was cooking but then wouldn’t try it when it was out on the plate – we have this a lot *sigh*

    • rhwfoodie says:

      Hi Elsie! Yes I think it should be creme fraiche in this recipe – I reckon fromage frais was a printing error.
      Picky kids eh – I try not to get wound up by my 4yo but it’s hard when you spend ages making lovely food only for them to tell you it’s disgusting!!!

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