Poor Man's Stroganoff with Wild Mushrooms
This is so called because the most expensive fillet steak was traditionally used. In this version giving it slow instead of fast cooking enables you to use a cheaper cut of beef – but with a better flavour, I think.
This recipe is taken from The Evening Standard Cookbook. Serves 4
First of all, heat the wine or cider in a small saucepan until it just begins to bubble around the edges. Then remove it from the heat, add the dried porcini mushrooms and leave it aside to soak while you trim the meat.
What you now need to do is cut the steak into thin strips, about ¼ inch (5 mm) wide and no more than 2½ inches (6 cm) long. The onions should be peeled, cut in half, then each half sliced and the layers separated out into half-moon shapes.
Now melt the butter in the thick-based saucepan and gently soften the onions for 5-6 minutes or until they have turned golden brown. Then, with a draining spoon, remove them to a plate.
Next, turn up the heat up high, add the pieces of meat to the saucepan (a few at a time in about 6 batches). Brown them all over and transfer them to join the onions.
When all the meat is browned, return the whole lot to the pan, along with the onions.
Next, season with salt and freshly milled black pepper, and pour in the wine or cider and the soaked mushrooms. Now bring it up to a gentle simmer, put a lid on and let it cook very gently on top of the stove for about 1½ hours – stirring it just now and then.
When the time is up stir in the sliced fresh mushrooms (which will add a lot of juice, in case you think it seems a little dry), put the lid back on and leave to cook very gently for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.
Now taste to check the seasoning, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche with a few good gratings of fresh nutmeg.
Reheat very gently without allowing it to come back to the boil and serve with plain rice and a green salad or some lightly buttered spinach.
Menu suggestion: Serve with plain rice and imported fresh shelled peas.