Beef Stroganoff with Tobacco Onions

Beef Stroganoff with Tobacco Onions

Beef Stroganoff is one of my all-time favourite comfort foods. I love the combination of the depth of flavour from the brandy, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and earthy mushrooms. Counteracting these rich flavours the dish also has the ability to taste quite light with the acidity derived from the sour cream and gherkins. Traditionally made with beef fillet, which is inherently tender but expensive,  I think you can use any cut of premium beef as long as it is cut thin and not overcooked. Rump or sirloin work very well and also impart bigger flavour.



Serves 2/3

  • Steak Strips 600g
  • Sour Cream 150g
  • A large glug of Brandy 
  • Paprika 1 Teaspoon
  • Dijon Mustard 3 Teaspoons
  • Garlic 4 Cloves
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Red Onion 1
  • Mushrooms 250g
  • Gherkins 2 
  • Worcestershire Sauce 2 Tablespoons
  • Salt 1 Teaspoon
  • Cracked Black Pepper 1 Teaspoon
  • Butter 1 Tablespoon


1. Finely chop the onion and fry on low heat with 1 teaspoon of butter for 5 minutes. You aren't aiming to caramelise the onion but merely soften until translucent.


2. While the onions are cooking season the beef strips with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Also, ensure that the beef is at room temp before adding to the pan at step 4.


3. Chop the mushrooms quite thick so they don't lose their texture while cooking. Add to the pan along with the onions and another teaspoon of butter and cook for a further 5 minutes. 


4. In a separate pan crank the heat up to max until it starts to smoke. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and sear the beef in batches. Ensure the pan is not overcrowded as the beef will stew rather than fry. Each batch of beef should only take 1 minute to sear as the idea is not to fully cook but to impart as much colour in as little time as possible. If overcooked at this stage the beef will ultimately be tough and dry when combined with the sauce.


5. Add the seared beef to the other pan along with the mushrooms/onions and mix. At this stage add the Worcestershire sauce and finely chopped gherkins.


6. Now for the fun part, flambe time! Tilt the pan, add the brandy and ignite. Be careful as the flames burn fairly aggressively but should burn out after 20 seconds or so. 


7. Once the flames have died down add the dijon mustard and mix well.


8. The final step is to add the sour cream, fresh parsley and test for seasoning. If you want more heat add a drop more mustard, for more acidity add a few more gherkins.


9. Bring the pan to a simmer for 1 minute then serve on heated plates with basmati rice, pasta or French fries.


10. I also went a bit left field and garnished with tobacco onions which added a crispy contrast to the dish.