Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Stroganoff and Doce de maca

Stroganoff

Stroganoff or ‘Estrogonofe’, in Brazilian Portuguese, is a version of the classic Russian Beef Stroganoff. This sweet and sour dish is popular all around the world, and in Nordic countries stroganoff is a must-have on menus. I’ve had it in Finland, Sweden and Denmark during my travels, and apparently Japan and China also have a love affair with Stroganoff too.

Traditionally in Brazil stroganoff is served with straw fries and rice. Another option (more Russian or Lithuanian) is with cabbage and mashed potatoes.

Beef Stroganoff

In this Brazilian version, it is absolutely mandatory to cook with ketchup and alcohol, but don’t let that stop you from getting creative. I’ve explored adding sour cream, creme fraiche, passata and plum tomato sauce. This recipe was passed onto me by my Auntie Davina, a great cook that travelled the world in times when only few Brazilians did that because it was insanely expensive and restricted. She introduced my family to new flavours, dishes, ingredients and changed our culinary life forever. Her recipe is for quite a big crowd. She loved a large table!

Serves 10-12 people

Ingredients

1,5kg diced steak (filet mignon or rump steak)
2 tbsp butter
2 finely chopped onions
500ml double cream
1 jar ketchup
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 preserved mushroom (this how it was done back on the days!) or 1 tray of mushrooms (I used chestnut mushrooms)
1 teaspoon plain flour or maize
25-50ml rum or cognac (I used rum, Wray & Nephew White Ovenproof)

Method:

Season the beef with salt and pepper. Fry onions in butter. Make sure to stir it so it won’t stick to the pan. Let it change colour and become transparent. Add the beef and let it fry until it’s dry. Start the flambé́ process (be very careful!). Pour the rum or cognac on top of the beef and ignite the flames (this is how I do it!) and give it a quick stir.

At this point you can either add the flour in or leave it to the end, when everything is cooked, dissolve in water just to add a bit of texture. I preferred to add it with the meat.

The original recipe says to combine on the side, mixing the cream, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and mushrooms. You can:

Mix everything in a bowl and pour into the pan
Make the sauce in a separate pan heating up and stir the mix, then pour the mix into the meat already hot, reducing the cooking time
You can also add all of it into the mix at this point (like I did!). Cook your stroganoff until it becomes bubbly.

Chicken Stroganoff

Chicken ‘estrogonofe’, dried mushroom and fresh mushroom by Luciana Berry

This is a truly excellent and unique take from Top Chef @lucianaberry (Semi-finalist Masterchef 2014 and winner of Brazil’s Top Chef TV show) to the Brazilian ‘estrogonofe’ (stroganoff) traditions, with dried mushrooms giving a delicious flavour and a simple, easy going method that will blow off your mind. No need to turn off the pan, just go along with it.

If you’d like to make mushroom only, just start from the butter and olive oil step!

Serves 4 people

Ingredients

600g diced chicken breast
100g dried mushroom (shitake or other), dehydrate for 2 hours in water and use 200ml of this water (you can replace the water for chicken or vegetable stock)
150g fresh mushroom
70g butter
1 onion (chopped)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2-3 tsp mustard (if it is English mustard, use only 2)
2 tbsp ketchup
80 ml whiskey or cognac
350ml single cream
1tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Prep the dried mushrooms by hydrating them, and be sure to reserve the mushroom water when they are done.
  2. Add a splash of olive oil to your pan on a high heat and let the pan get really hot. You should hear a nice sizzling noise.
  3. Add the chicken and season it in the pan with salt and pepper. Let the chicken seal but do not let it overcook (this is very important). Carefully add your alcohol to the pan and flambé. Be sure to take necessary precautions, don’t burn the kitchen down! If you are new to flambéing, add a smaller amount of alcohol, just enough to create a little fire.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add some butter and olive oil. Add onions, then garlic, then the hydrated mushrooms (just a handful). Add the fresh mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, mustard (about two spoons), ketchup, a bit of broth from the hydrated mushrooms, single cream and the chicken. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Serve with rice and Brazilian straw fries or if you prefer a Russian vibe, cabbage and mashed potatoes.
  6. Optional: if you do not have dried mushrooms on hand, just use fresh and use some vegetable or chicken stock as a substitute for the dried mushroom stock.

Doce de maçã

A fantastic recipe from one from Daniela’s grandmother’s book. This is called ‘Doce de maçã’ in Portuguese, but it’s an apple pie with no crust. We warn you: it can take a while to master, it’s not too difficult, but it’s a long work at first. Once you’ve made it a few times it gets easier and easier, and it’s so rewarding! Serve with whipped cream.

Ingredients

1kg apple (We like to use Gala)
200g sugar
Juice of 2 small limes
2 cloves
Cognac
Water

Method:

Peel the apple and chop into petal shapes and reserve with the lime juice and cognac. Don’t discard the seeds and the stems!

Add the seeds, the stems and the cloves to a pan with water enough to cover. When it is well cooked, drain the water with a sieve without pressing it down.

Add the sugar to the water and let it boil. Gently wet a cake tin with a hole in the middle.

Cook the apples slowly and in batches in the water until translucent. Organise the apple petals vertically, one by one, making one layer, then the other on top and so on. If the water for cooking the apples runs low, keep adding a bit more. Cook the rest of the water with sugar that is left until it becomes a syrup. If there is a lot left, save it. If there is not enough syrup in the cake tin, just add a bit of the rest left. Leave it in the fridge, preferably for at least 4 hours to overnight. Turn it into a nice plate. Serve with whipped cream on the side or in the middle!

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