Fillet of beef stroganoff with riz pilaff

beef_stroganoff-1Beef stroganoff is one of my favorite beef dishes and it’s quick enough to prepare for a weeknight supper.
The secret to a good stroganoff is to saute the beef very quickly to keep it as rare as possible while still browning it. Another secret is to reduce the vinegar until almost evaporated, otherwise the dish can end up too sour.

Serve with a medium bodied red wine, like a Sangiovese or a Fleurie.

This recipe serves two [hungry] people.

Ingredients for the beef stroganoff:
450g fillet of beef
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp vegetable oil
30g butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
115g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp tomato purée
50ml white wine vinegar
75ml white wine
200ml double cream
115g dill pickle, julienned
125ml sour cream
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 pinch sweet paprika

Preparing the beef stroganoff:
Sprinkle the beef strips with the paprika and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat a large frying pan with the vegetable oil. Quickly flash-fry the beef strips, making sure you keep them as rare as possible, then tip the meat into a colander, reserving any juices that drain off.
Using the same pan, add the butter, shallots and sliced mushrooms and cook for one minute. Add the tomato purée and cook for few more minutes, stirring the ingredients together. Add the white wine vinegar and cook until completely evaporated.
Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half then pour in the double cream, bring to a boil, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the seared beef and the reserved juice and gently warm through, taking care not to boil or you will overcook the beef.
To serve, pour the stroganoff into a large warmed serving dish and sprinkle with dill pickle. Drizzle the sour cream over the top then sprinkle with chopped parsley and dust with paprika. Serve with the rice along side.

Ingredients for the riz pilaff:
50g butter
50g onion, finely chopped
250g long-grain rice
500ml hot white chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparing the riz pilaff:
For the rice, preheat the oven to 200C.
Heat an ovenproof sauté pan until hot, add half the butter and the onion and cook gently for a few minutes until softened but not colored.
Add the rice and stir well then fry gently for another minute, again without colouring, and add the hot stock, seasoning and bay leaf.
Bring to the boil, stirring with a wooden spoon, then cover with buttered grease-proofpaper and a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes until the rice is cooked but still firm.

Remove the bay leaf, add the last of the butter and separate the grains of rice with a fork.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper then transfer to a clean warmed serving dish and keep covered with a clean piece of grease-proof paper until ready to serve.


Slow Cooked Fillet Steak, Pommes Puree, Braised Shallots, Veal Jus

steak_jus-1This was a nice dinner where I got to use a few different techniques.
I wanted to make a salad or something green to go with it but ran out of space and time.
Cooking the fillet steak at around 60C in the oven for a fairly long time (55 minutes) ensures that 95 % of the steak is medium rare (around 56C core temperature) and you also get a very uniform result throughout the steak.
It’s important to use a fairly hot pan when you sear the steak before roasting them in the oven since this step have to happen very quickly so you don’t overcook the steak.
The sauce is quite simple, just sauteing some mirepoix and then reducing veal stock. It has a fantastic umami flavor that really complements the beef.

This recipe serves two persons.

Ingredients for the steak:
2 fillet steaks, 175g each
Groundnut oil (or other neutral oil with high smoking point)

Preparing the steak:
Bring the steak out of the fridge at least one hour before cooking to ensure that the steaks come up to room temperature. Cooking the steaks from cold will lower the temperature of the pan.
Turn on the oven to 60C, preferably use an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Heat a frying pan on high heat.
Oil, then salt and pepper the steaks on all sides.
Have a small oven tray ready for the steaks.
When the frying pan is very hot, sear the steaks one by one on all sides. It’s easiest to hold the steaks with a tonge when doing this step. This step should take maximum 30 seconds per steak. Once seared all over put steaks on oven tray.
Transfer to middle of the oven and roast for 55 minutes. Half way through the cooking time flip the steaks over. Once removed from the oven let the steaks rest on a rack for a few minutes.

Ingredients for the braised shallots:
6 shallots, peeled with root area left intact
500ml chicken stock
1 sprig of thyme
2 garlic cloves, peeled
25g butter
Rapeseed oil

Preparing the braised shallots:
Saute the shallots in a bit of oil until golden brown all around. Add the butter, thyme and garlic and cook for another two minutes.
Add the chicken stock, cover and let simmer gently for about 25 minutes or until the shallots are very soft and tender.
Check for seasoning.

Ingredients for the pommes puree:
500g Ratte potatoes (or Charlottes), scrubbed but not cleaned.
125g unsalted butter, chilled
125ml whole milk
White pepper

Preparing the pommes puree:
Cover the potatoes with 1 liter of cold water and 0.5 tablespoon of course salt. Bring to the boil and once it reached the boiling point lower the temperature to a simmer and cover with a lid.
Boil the potatoes for 25 minutes. Drain and peel.
Put the potatoes (while still warm) through a potato ricer or a mouli fitted with the finest disk into a clean saucepan.
Put the mashed potatoes over a medium heat and stir vigorously with a spatula for 5 minutes to dry out the flesh a bit.
Meanwhile rinse a small saucepan with water, pour it out (do not wipe dry) then add the milk. Warm the milk until boiling point and then take it off the heat.
Lower heat for the potato pan to low. Add the butter bit by bit while stirring with spatula, keep adding until it’s all incorporated and the puree is homogenous.The potato and butter might separate a bit at this stage but keep stirring and it will come together.
Add the milk in a thin stream while stirring briskly. When all the milk is incorporated you should have a silky smooth puree. If you want it even smoother you can pass it through a fine sieve.
Check for seasoning.

Ingredients for the veal jus:
1 carrot, diced
1 leek (white part only), diced
0.5 medium onion, diced
1 sprig of thyme
Rapeseed oil
Red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz or something similar)
300ml veal stock

Preparing the veal jus:
Heat a saute pan (preferably the same one you cooked the steaks in) to medium high heat. Add a splash of oil and then saute the carrot, leeks and onions until golden brown, add the sprig of thyme. Deglaze with a generous splash of red wine. Boil until red wine is evaporated.
Add the veal stock and let this simmer for a few minutes. When the sauce had a bit of body, pass through a sieve into a small sauce pan. Reduce further until you achieve a semi-sticky consistency.