I think everyone has their own rendition of this Russian classic that is a whole lot different from the traditional recipe.  Mine is no exception and is quite a bit different from the version I grew up with.  Admittedly, I was never a huge fan of the meat……thin strips of rump that were always a little chewy and dry (no offence Mum!), so I decided to make a new rendition a few weeks ago.  Instead of it being a quick meal I decided to cook it low and slow, with a juicier cut of beef that really benefits from this method of cooking.  I also added a blend of sweet and smoked paprika that gives the sauce a rich, smokey flavour that makes the earthiness of the mushrooms really pop.  The addition of chopped dill pickles and fresh herbs on top, cuts through the richness of the sauce and gives this warm, hearty meal the perfect balance……in my eyes, anyway.


I have also cooked this dish in the pressure cooker and it was just as good.  It will need about 40 minutes in the pressure cooker with about 10-15 minutes afterwards to reduce the sauce a little before adding the sour cream.


Prep time:  20 Minutes                   Cooking time: 3 Hours                       $$  Medium Budget


Serves 4-5


Oil for frying

1kg of gravy beef, cut into decent sized chunks (approx 2.5cm)

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large brown onion, halved and sliced

4-6 large portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced  (depending on size but aim for about 1 large mushroom per person)

1 cup of dry red wine

1 cup of beef stock

8 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and stalks discarded

1 tbs of sweet paprika

1 heaped tsp of smoked paprika

3 tbs of tomato paste

1 tsp of sugar

Sea salt and cracked pepper

2 tbs of parsley, finely chopped

2 tbs of dill, finely chopped

125gm of sour cream (full fat for best results) + extra for garnish

2 unsweetened Dill pickles, finely chopped

Rice or pasta to serve (I like to use arborio rice mixed with a cup of cooked baby peas, a knob of butter and a generous seasoning of salt and pepper)


Heat a large heavy based pan, add a little oil and brown the meat in batches, on all sides.  The more caramelisation you get on the meat, the better the flavour so try not to overcrowd the pan.  Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.


Add a little more oil if needed and fry the onion until soft before adding the mushrooms, thyme and garlic.  Fry for a few minutes until the mushrooms soften and colour and then add the meat back to the pan, juices and all.  Sprinkle over the sweet and smoked paprika and stir to combine before pouring in the red wine.  Allow to reduce for a few minutes and then add the beef stock, tomato paste, sugar and season with salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and reduce the heat to low.  Scrunch up a piece of baking paper and tuck it over the Stroganoff before popping a lid on.  Cook on low for approximately 2 hours,  or until the beef is super tender, stirring occasionally.


After 2 hours, remove the lid and baking paper and allow the sauce to reduce for 10-15 minutes.   Stir the sour cream through the sauce until it has dissolved (there may still be a few little white lumps in there), allow it to heat through for a few minutes before folding half of the parsley and dill through the sauce.


Divide rice or pasta between serving bowls and spoon over the Stroganoff.  Top with a little sour cream, scatter over the chopped pickles and remaining herbs and serve.


Leftover Dill?  You may want to cook this…….