Wednesday, March 18, 2009

beef sorta-stroganoff

I haven't posted a recipe in a while, and this was a fun one because Rowan helped a lot. With the mushrooms, anyhow.


bit of steak, sliced thinly (this is easier if it's still partially frozen)
2 large portabello mushrooms (or equivalent mass of whatever mushrooms strike your child's fancy at the store. Most mushrooms you see in the grocery store come from the lower mainlaind and therefore count as local if you do the 100-mile radius thing. Or you can get fancy and get the Vancouver Island dried wild-harvested ones, which are tasty but not anything resembling cheap.)
1/2 an onion
about a cup of beef-like stock (mine is made with scraps and often contains things that aren't beef)
balsamic vinegar & olive oil (not local. You can get local, but you need major connections and a huge grocery budget.)
splash of red wine
loads of greenery (I used spinach, but mild chard, kale, beet greens, braising greens or most chinese veg would work. Just use lots, because they all cook down and you want texture. You might want to blanch the kale first if you use it.)
1/2 cup of either sour cream or creme fraiche (which is sour cream, only twice the cost and minus all the guar gum and stabilisers and crap - you can make it yourself for cheap, but only if you plan well and have a day to let it thicken.)

First have your toddler prepare the mushrooms. Little fingers are perfectly suited to peeling and removing the stems. Slice the mushrooms yourself. Put them in a bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar, and coat the mushrooms with this. Toss to make sure every bit is covered, and let sit while you do the other stuff.

Slice the steak while a large sautée pan heats up. Add a bit of fat to the pan (good lard works best, but if you're still brainwashed by industrial agriculture, you'll be using canola oil.) Fry the steak quickly so it gets nice and brown, sprinkling lightly with salt as it cooks. Remove the steak, add some more fat to the pan, reduce the heat to med-low and put the onion (sliced) in. Cook until golden, turn the heat up to medium, and toss the mushrooms with all the marinade in. Cook until mushrooms are soft and the liquid has evaporated. Return steak to the pan, and deglaze with a splash of wine.

Once the wine has cooked off, add the stock. Bring it up to bubbling, then add the greenery. Stir and fold in the greenery until it's nicely cooked.

Add the creme fraiche, whisking to combine smoothly. Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary. At this point you can turn the heat down and let the excess liquid evaporate to thicken the sauce while you enjoy a relaxing glass of wine and catch up on your e-mail, OR if you have a hungry family circling like sharks, you can mix a little stock with a bit of cornstarch and thicken the sauce quickly.

Serve over broad noodles or mashed potato. Or nothing, it's good as-is.


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