Fillet of beef stroganoff with riz pilaff

Beef 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 all evaporated, otherwise the dish can turn out 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:
450 g fillet of beef
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp vegetable oil
30 g butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
115 g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp tomato purée
50 ml white wine vinegar
75 ml white wine
200ml double cream
115 g dill pickle, julienned
125 ml 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:
50 g butter
50 g onion, finely chopped
250 g long-grain rice
500 ml 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/400F/Gas 6.
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 coloured.
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 greaseproof paper 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 greaseproof paper until ready to serve.

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