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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Beef Stroganoff

BEEF stroganoff recipe
We wondered what to do with some LEFT OVER BEEF, and after surveying the contents of the fridge, we opted for a simple BEEF STROGANOFF. What better way to use up the solitary green pepper and some mushrooms.
We were undecided whether to use greek yoghurt (and save calories) or sour cream for authenticity. Sour cream is around 200 calories per 100ml whereas the same amount of full-fat Greek yoghurt contains around 135 calories. With little difference in calories - we decided to use sour cream on our first tasting attempt. We estimate the stroganoff recipe below at around 350 calories per portion. Add a small portion of rice (50g dried weight each) at 175 calories and you have a very tasty dish at around 525 calories per portion.However, divide by three portions and you will be looking at a satisfying dish (with rice) at around 350 calories - amazing! Here's the recipe we used and what we thought of the end result:

Makes two large servings - or three medium portions
150-200g lean cooked beef
2 teaspoons oil
4 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon paprika (we used smoked)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 green pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon tomato puree
dash of brandy or worcestershire sauce (for a bit of a kick)
150ml stock - beef or chicken
250g pack of chestnut mushrooms
2 to 3 tablespoons of sour cream
10-15g of flat leaf parsley
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chopped shallots. Fry until softened.

Add the chopped garlic, paprika, mustard and pepper and cook until softened (around 5 minutes).

Add the tomato puree and dash of brandy. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.

After a couple of minutes, add the chopped mushrooms. We quarter ours to give the dish a bit of texture.

Finely chop the parsley stalks and add to the sauce. Save the rest of the parsley for later.

Reduce the sauce completely - around 15 minutes - until there is just a thin layer at the bottom of the saucepan.

Here's how the sauce looked before reducing.

If the sauce isn't reduced enough it will be very watery when the cream is added.

Here's how the sauce looks after reduction and before adding cream. Now this will give you a lovely thick sauce…

Once reduced you need to taste the sauce - does it need a little salt and pepper? You decide. Caution - just a small amount of salt can be enough to enhance whatever flavours are going on, so don't be too liberal with it.

We prepared the sauce to this stage, and went out. 

Upon return, we gently reheated everything through with the addition of the beef slices. Once the beef was hot, we removed from the heat and added the sour cream and the rest of the parsley. 
A brilliant way to use leftover beef! Love this dish, more tasty than the beef and mushroom pie we were originally thinking about. A MUST TRY in our books. We used sour cream instead of yoghurt and felt it added a richness which filled us up enough not to want to eat more.
The sauce had a real depth of flavour to it and we think it's the tastiest way to use your leftover beef. In fact, the sauce was so intense, we felt the ingredients would serve three portions adequately. It's a brilliant party dish as it can be prepared ahead and quickly completed when required. Whether making it ahead and letting it marinate in its own juices had anything to do with that, we're not sure. The TIP with most sauces is to get that reduction and intensify the flavours - which is what we did here.
REMEMBER:  - Do you know how many calories you are allowed each day?
Here's a link to our very first blog post about our weight loss journey, which we began in January 2011. We started this blog as a way of recording what we ate while losing weight. The blog is a food diary, and contains lots of recipes, tips and ideas about losing weight.
You'll find our WEIGHT LOSS PLAN here. 
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