You can't go wrong with this creamy and delicious beef stroganoff

Lilly Higgins: A good quality home-cooked meal is the only to celebrate Valentine’s day

A good quality home-cooked meal is the only to celebrate Valentine’s day and you can't go wrong with this creamy and delicious beef stroganoff. Video: Lily Higgins

 

With Valentine’s day a mere heartbeat away the shops are bursting at the seams with chocolates, heart-shaped flavoured butter to serve with steak and champagne-flavoured everything.

It was only last month that we were knee deep in Veganuary and juice cleanses. Now it seems we have a little bit of luxury coming our way and an excuse to pop open a bottle of something nice to honour the people we love in our lives.

I love any excuse to celebrate so am delighted to see a date on the calendar being observed. Throughout the years I have gone through various different approaches to cooking on this romantic occasion – from the cooking everything from scratch, seven-course feast to the ready made “dine in for two” option.

The fancy bells and whistles option can often cause stress and a messy kitchen, as well as an extensive shopping list 

What I’ve discovered is that the takeaway or ready made option, whilst cutting down on the hassle of cooking and the clean up, just never tastes as nice. The fancy bells and whistles option can often cause stress and a messy kitchen, as well as an extensive shopping list. So my approach, as ever these days, is to buy good quality, cook it simply and enjoy it.

I chatted to my friends and took a poll on my Instagram account. I asked what they were going to be eating this Valentine’s day and the answer was a resounding “steak”. There were a few seafood and fish comments, with the odd mention of pasta. But unsurprisingly it was mostly steak. I very rarely cook steak but I do think it’s perfect for this occasion.  

Instead of cooking steak as is, I’ve decided to opt for beef stroganoff this year, based on Rick Stein’s effortless recipe. Yes, it does have plenty of butter and cream but it’s a once-off celebratory dish that everyone loves.

No need to serve fried onions and mushrooms on the side with a creamy sauce, as beef stroganoff has it all. I serve this with skinny home fried chips but pasta or rice are perfect too.

A baked potato was another option suggested. I always find baked potatoes get forgotten about but it’s the perfect prep ahead carbohydrate that can be reheated whilst the steak is being cooked.

Serve a salad or some lightly steamed greens on the side.

This recipe serves two very generously but can be stretched to serve four.

Beef Stroganoff

Serves 2-4

45g butter
1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
200g mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp olive oil
2 fillet steaks (about 300g)
200ml sour cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt & black pepper

Melt the butter in the pan over a medium heat, add the sweet paprika and fry for a few seconds before adding the onions. Cook these over a low heat till just soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for another few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set the onions and mushrooms aside in a bowl.

Increase the heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan along with the steak. Fry over a high heat till just beginning to colour. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the steak from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

Return the onion mixture to the pan along with the sour cream. Leave it bubble and reduce for a minute before adding the steak to the pan once more. Finally squeeze in the lemon juice and add the flat leaf parsley.

Serve right away with skinny chips and a green salad or some fresh pasta.

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