Beef Stroganoff is a traditional Russian dish.
Beef Stroganoff is a traditional Russian dish. 123rf

Say stroganoff to additives... and open a bottle of red

I WAS reading the back of a sauce packet in the supermarket last week; I'd picked up a sachet of stroganoff simmer sauce out of curiosity and, as always, I was appalled at the list of ingredients - many of which I couldn't pronounce, let alone spell.

I know these things are produced for convenience, to help busy families cook reasonably nutritious meals in as little time as possible, but it only takes a few ingredients to prepare such a simple dish from scratch.

A stroganoff sauce, for example, uses onion, mushrooms, tomato paste and sour cream. I also throw in a little red wine if I happen to have a bottle open. This dish takes only a few minutes to prepare and cook. Give it a try next time you want a quick, tasty meal without all the additives.

I use fillet steak for a stroganoff as I only cook it a couple of times a year, but if fillet is too expensive, use rump. Don't use topside or the pre-sliced beef sold as stir-fry; it will be tough and chewy.

Beef stroganoff


500g fillet steak (use rump if fillet is too expensive)

2 tsp plain flour

2 tbs olive oil

1 small white onion, peeled and finely sliced

150g button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup red wine (optional)

2 tbs tomato paste

3 tbs low-fat sour cream

salt and pepper, to season

chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

fresh lemon wedges (optional).

METHOD: Slice beef into thin strips with a sharp knife. Toss in flour and set aside.

Heat a frying pan and add half the oil. Cook the onions over a medium heat until starting to soften.

Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove onion and mushrooms and add the rest of the oil; when pan is heated add the beef strips and cook over medium high heat, turning once.

When beef is cooked through, return vegetables to pan and season to taste.

Add wine if using and bring to the boil; reduce heat and simmer until wine is almost evaporated.

Add the tomato paste and sour cream and cook gently until heated through. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve immediately with pasta or steamed rice.

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