This mushroom stroganoff is a little bit of a cheat. Rather than dealing with the worry that your cream will curdle or separate you’ll be using cream cheese so there’s no chance of a weird texture. You still get all the scruminess of caramelized onions and paprika, served in a creamy sauce.
September is National Mushroom Month, which makes sense. At this time of the northern year you can find a wide range of mushrooms and toadstools growing in the woods. I don’t advocate going out and picking your own unless you really know what you’re doing or you live in France. One of the coolest things about France is that anyone can go into any pharmacy with the funghi they’ve picked and the pharmacist is duty bound to tell them which are safe to eat and which are poisonous. Why can’t all countries have that facility?
I opt instead for the bargain packs of mushrooms available at the market as the weather turns cooler. Often sold as “mushrooms for soup” they tend to be oddly shaped and a mix of open and closed cap. This batch were mostly closed cap chestnut mushrooms, which can be used whole. Field mushrooms are best sliced. I rather prefer when there’s a mix of types as it gives a little more interest to the texture.
I use sherry in vegetarian mushroom stroganoff as it adds a little zing and an underlying sweetness. You could substitute some dry white wine if you like. In either case the alcohol will evaporate off during cooking, but if you avoid alcohol then you can just make the liquid up with stock.
If you don’t have Dijon mustard you can use French or English, but tone it down to a half teaspoon to avoid overpowering the stroganoff.
- Prep time: 45 min
- Ready in: 45 min
- Yields: 4
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion
- 4 cloves garlic – crushed
- 12 oz mushrooms
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 1/4 cup sherry or dry white wine or extra stock
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp Paprika (make it one if it’s hot Hungarian Paprika)
- 1 cup cream cheese (reduced fat is fine)
- fresh ground black pepper
- Slowly cook the onions in the olive oil until they start to brown, you want them to color without catching or burning so keep the heat medium low.
- Add the garlic and the mushrooms and stir around.
- Keep cooking the mushrooms for about 10 minutes until they’re starting to get juicy.
- Add the mushrooms and paprika and stir around.
- Add the sherry, tomato puree, mustard and stock and simmer for five minutes
- Add the cream cheese, stir it around to make sure it’s all melted in and well distributed, you want it to be fully integrated into the sauce.
- Simmer for a couple of minutes to give everything a chance to blend.
- Add as much black pepper as you like.
- Serve on brown rice.
Real Hungarian Paprika is an absolute treat. I love the hot, but it is Paprika dialled all the way up to 11 so sometimes the sweet is what you need to avoid overpowering a dish.
This Paprkia is more expensive than buying the generic jumbo tubs, but it lasts a good long while and you get such a flavor hit with it that I find it worthwhile.
Make Room For The Mushrooms!
If you’re British, and of a certain age, it’s impossible to make a mushroom based dish without singing this jingle.