I read a recipe for beef stroganoff this morning and really fancied making it for tea. Unfortunately I was lacking some of the ingredients but I improvised and came up with something very tasty!
1 large potato
Beef dripping for deep frying
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp paprika (hot or mild)
800g minced beef
1 cup stock (anything but fish - I had chicken)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup soured cream/creme fraiche/Greek yogurt
1 tbsp butter
Cut the potato into matchsticks (this link is useful for this). Put them into a bowl of cold water and set them aside. Then finely chop the onion and fry that and the paprika in the butter over a low heat. When the onion is translucent, add the garlic and sliced mushrooms and fry gently for another 5 minutes. Switch off the heat and set aside.
Rinse and drain the potato matchsticks then dry them using a clean tea towel. Heat the beef dripping (or whatever fat you are most comfortable deep frying in) in a very deep pan until a cube of bread turns golden and floats quickly. Add the matchsticks in small batches and fry until golden brown and crispy. Put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper and keep them warm in the oven until you're ready to serve.
Take the onion and mushroom mixture out of the frying pan and set aside. Season the mince and form into meatballs. Heat some cooking oil in the pan and brown the meatballs, in batches if necessary. Pour off the excess oil in the pan if your meat was fatty and then de-glase it with the stock. Put the meatballs back in and cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the meatballs are done. Remove the lid and put the meatballs in a dish in the oven to keep warm. Reduce the stock until thick at the bottom of the pan. Add the onion and mushroom mix and turn off the heat. When it has come off the boil add the lemon juice and add the soured cream slowly, mixing into the sauce. Taste to check for seasoning.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve topped with the potato matchsticks.
We all really liked this although I would have preferred the sauce a little sharper. You could also add a dash of brandy to the stock while making the sauce. Another thought I had was to do mixed root vegetable matchsticks instead of just potato. I can see this recipe being made a fair few more times and tinkered with! But as it is it's very tasty.