Indulge in this from-scratch recipe for a seriously delicious, slow-simmered beef Stroganoff. With tender rump steak, white button mushrooms, and a light sour cream gravy, pair with your pick of egg noodles, crusty bread, potatoes, rice and more.
When a comforting meal beckons, you’ll be hard pressed to beat stroganoff. This retro Russian dish, adored widely, features tender strips of meat, smothered in a rich sauce that begs to be mopped up. In a few words: it’s utterly delicious.
While many stroganoff recipes are speedily prepared, this version takes a more leisurely route. It’s slowly cooked, but not in a slow-cooker. Instead it uses slow-simmering as a culinary technique, where food is cooked at a low heat over time; here in a heavy-bottom pot, like a Dutch oven.
Why invest the extra time? Think the deepest of flavours (flavour you can’t short cut!) and luscious, tender meat —all within two hours of simmering. Best of all, while there is a little slicing and dicing prep, the actual hands-on cooking time is minimal. Once underway, you just have to occasionally stir the pot. So, pour yourself a glass of wine (or kombucha), and let’s get cooking🍷.
From a nutritional standpoint, this dish boasts a generous portion of mushrooms (as a Registered Nutritionist, I’m unashamedly wild about vegetables). It also uses a lite sour cream – while key to stroganoff’s creamy and velvety texture, this helps reduce the overall saturated fat content, naturally found in beef and butter.
Rump steak. This lean meat cut is usually quick-cooked at high heat. But, this recipe shows how you can also cook it low and slow, breaking down its connective tissues, until tender.
Brown onions. Foundational for flavour. The onions slightly sweet flavour perfectly complements the rich beef and creamy sauce.
Bay leaves. Fresh or dried, to infuse in a subtle earthy aroma.
Ground paprika. A spice created by grinding dried sweet peppers into a fine powder, and perfect building on the dishes mild, slightly sweet, undertones.
Cayenne pepper. While not a traditional ingredient, this hot spice offers a subtle heat kick that builds flavour complexity. Key word here is subtle, a spicy stroganoff is not what we’re after!
Mushrooms. A popular stroganoff addition. They helps stretch the dish and add a nutritious vegetable boost.
Lite sour cream. A reduced-fat version of traditional sour cream, but with the same tangy and creamy qualities. You can sub in regular sour cream.
You’ll also need the basics: butter and olive for cooking, salt and pepper to season to perfection, tomato paste for background flavour and colour, and your pick of a carb-rich food to serve, whether egg noodles, pasta, rice, potatoes or crusty bread.
Your Kitchen Tools
The right cookware is a must here. A thick-walled, heavy-bottomed pot will distribute heat evenly, prevent burning and trap moisture – all necessary to make our from-scratch sauce. I used a 28cm cast iron round casserole pot.
You’ll also need measuring spoons, a chopping board or two (for the vegetables and meat), knives to slice the former, a wooden and slotted spoon each, a medium fry-pan and whatever else you may need to prep your carb-rich side.
Step-by-Step: Slow-Cooked Beef Stroganoff
Here are tips and tricks to help your kitchen skills grow while improving the outcome of this dish:
Test the meats tenderness. At the two-hour simmer mark, test a large piece of meat for tenderness by taking a nibble (ensure it’s cool first!). If not soft enough yet, simmer with the lid on for a smidge longer or until done.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms from fry pan. The watery liquid left behind is fabulous added to the stroganoff, but only after reducing to intensify the flavour and thicken it. To do this, once you’ve removed the mushrooms, simply turn up the heat to high for a few minutes.
Fish out the bay leaves before eating. They’re tough, sharp and inedible. Use this herb to impart flavour; not as a part of the dining experience🤙.
Serving & Storage
While delicious, stroganoff isn’t a standalone looker – so a sprinkling of herbs, like a pop of fresh green parsley, goes a long way. Sidewise, pair with simple grains or starches that won’t overshadow the flavour show. Try:
Egg noodles. The classic choice, ideal for soaking up the creamy sauce.
Oven-baked jacket potatoes. My pick! Seemingly plain, but their crispy outer skin and fluffy soft inner is a divine match.
Mashed potatoes. Creamy on creamy, what’s not to love?
Rice. Whether white or brown, rice works as a versatile and neutral base.
Pasta. Egg noodles 2.0. Fettuccine, pappardelle or penne work well.
Crusty bread. What better to mop up that delectable sauce. Cue drooling.
Cauliflower rice or mash. For a lower-carb option.
Quinoa. A modern twist, though the creator of stroganoff is probably rolling in their grave at the thought.
This dish serves 4-6, 4 hungry bellies or 6 lighter eaters. When plated with extra vegetables on the side, not only does it become more nutritionally balanced, but it’s a great way to stretch the dish🥦.
What is the nutritional benefits of white button mushrooms? These unassuming fungi come with an array of nutrients to boost your nutrition. They’re:
A unique source of vitamin D. White button mushrooms can naturally produce vitamin D2 when exposed to UV rays or sunlight, much like human skin. When eaten, this can contribute to your daily intake (1).
One of the richest sources of selenium within the produce aisle. Selenium is a potent antioxidant that supports immune function, and may play a role in protecting against inflammation (2).
Low in energy (aka calories), making them a good addition to stretch the more energy-rich dishes – like this delicious stroganoff!
Place a large, thick-walled, heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop. Add 2 tablespoons of butter (28g) and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat over low-medium heat.
While the pot heats, peel and slice the brown onions into half-moons.
Once the pot is hot, add the onions and cook for twenty minutes, occasionally stirring.
While the onions cook, prepare the rump steak. Trim off excess fat using a sharp knife, and slice the steak into pieces approximately 1cm thick and 5cm long. Ensuring uniform size will help with even cooking within the 2-hour time frame.
At the twenty-minute mark, add the bay leaves, spices, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, pepper and salt. Mix and cook for a few minutes.
Add the rump steak, mix well, and turn the heat to high for a few minutes to raise the meat's temperature. Once it gently sizzles, reduce the heat to low and place the lid on.
Allow it to cook for two hours, stirring every thirty minutes. Leave it uncovered for the last 15 minutes to slightly reduce.
During its simmer time, prepare your sides. Egg noodles may only need a few minutes to cook, but roasted jacked potatoes will need to be started earlier.
In the last thirty minutes of simmering your stroganoff, slice the button mushrooms into thick slices (3-4 slices per mushroom). Cook over medium heat with the remaining butter until softened.
At the two-hour simmer mark, test a large piece of meat for tenderness (ensure it's cool first!). If it's not tender enough, simmer with the lid on for a bit longer until done.
Once cooked, remove the bay leafs and discard.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms from fry pan and add the to the pot, along with the sour cream.Note: the watery liquid left behind is fabulous added to the stroganoff, but only after reducing to intensify the flavour and thicken it. To do this, once you’ve removed the mushrooms, simply turn up the heat to high for a few minutes until it thickens.
Mix well. Taste test and adjust salt if needed. Enjoy!
Thank you to the most wonderful home-cook, Trudy Armitage, who inspired this recipe and has taught me so much about cooking.