Beef Stroganoff with Cream Sauce
|For the beef stroganoff:|
sliced, I used Portabellini mushrooms, but white button mushrooms work just fine as well
chopped (ready chopped garlic makes life sssooo much easier, plus it doesn’t make your fingers smell weird)
cut into strips (Type of steak is not essentially important, although softer cuts make for easier chewing! They’re unfortunately
twirls, 1 package
salt and black pepper
|For the english spinach:|
salt and black pepper
Imagine a day that goes something like this:
It’s been a long day, you found out that you were supposed to hand in an assignment at 12pm that you weren’t even aware existed, and to top it all off, your marks from your previous test came back. Well, let’s just say that the J. C can remain chilling in the fridge for a little longer because that dismal figure circled in red ink on your paper is not a cause for celebration. All in all, if you could rate this day out of 10, you would probably ask if negative numbers are allowed.
Now, maybe this WAS actually how your day went (or you at least feel like it went this way), or maybe you are just tired even though it was not as bad as this. The point is that not everyone has the ability to even step into a kitchen and cook something amazing for dinner qafter such a tiresome day. Now before opening your cupboard and deciding whether you would like the chicken curry flavoured noodles or shrimp flavoured noodles, I would offer you a much more appetizing solution. A solution that would not only leave you with a healthy meal on your plate to replenish all the energy exerted during the day, but also a meal that would make your grandma smile knowing that her grandchild has finally learnt how to live in the big bad world independent of her or your mother’s cooking. Today’s meal will be a very quick and easy beef stroganoff, served on pasta twirls with steamed English spinach as a side dish.
The end result should be a mouth watering, heart warming, comfort meal that really did not take up much energy and time. The sauce is thick and creamy, and has a velvety taste that 2 minute noodles, for all its convenience, simply cannot provide (oh, did I mention that they have almost no nutritional value? Hhmmhh...must have slipped my mind). The English spinach has a refreshing taste, and its creamy texture accompanies the stroganoff perfectly. I doubt that Swiss Chard would work as well with this meal as English spinach does; Pity that it is usually more expensive. Overall, excluding the spices and semi-perishables like butter, etc., this meal costed approximately R24. Considering that it serves 2 to 4 people, I’d say that that is a bargain if I’ve ever seen one.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente, which should take 8 to 10 minutes. I personally do not add any oil, but that is a personal preference.
Place 2 tablespoons of flour, paprika, salt and black pepper into a bowl and place the sliced beef into the bowl, coating the meat with the flour mixture.
For the beef stroganoff, take a medium to large sized pan, and place 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic until soft and translucent. Remove from the pan
If necessary, add the other 2 tablespoons of butter into the pan, and place the beef inside. Sear the meat for 3 to 4 minutes until it is brown (searing helps preserve the flavour of the meat)
Return the onions and garlic to the pan, and add the sliced mushrooms. Add the beef stock. Take 1 tablespoon of flour, and add a bit of water to it to make slurry, and add the slurry to the meat. Stir frequently whilst the sauce begins to thicken. Let the liquid reduce for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat on the pan to low medium, and add in the fresh cream. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the sauce that you desire. Season with salt and pepper if it is not adequate
Wash the English spinach and steam it for 2 to 3 minutes. If you do not have a steamer (as I do not), you can try a little trick I learnt recently: take a saucepan, and find a saucer which has a slightly smaller diameter than the saucepan. Place the saucer INSIDE the saucepan, upside down. Put a little bit of water inside the saucepan (the level of water should not reach the top of the saucer) and bring the saucepan to the boil (with the saucer inside). Place the spinach in the saucepan, and cover for 2 to 3 minutes). Remove the spinach and add black pepper to taste if desired.
Serve the food and get ready to enjoy a fully nutritious meal. A glass of red wine can accompany it well, or a cup of nice, warm tea (seeing as its winter and all in Cape Town) would be amazing to go along with it.