Inexcusably boastful, I'm sure, so I wanted to back that up with something concrete. Something on a plate. Something you can actually fucking well eat!
The influences are myriad, drawing upon research into very old and traditional Russian recipes for the dish, but I've added a wider Eastern European angle through the inclusion of chicken livers.
There's even a hint of the good old curry house about it, as I looked for ways to include tomatoes, which are apparently one of the traditional components, along with the wine and cream.
And so, this is what I've come up with. Enjoy.
Beef StroganoffIngredients - serves two:
Frying steak, about 1lb, cut into strips
Chicken livers, two or three, roughly chopped (be sure to wash them and remove any manky bits!)
Woodland / Chestnut Mushrooms, a few, roughly chopped
Onion, one large or two small, roughly chopped
|In goes the liver...|
Rice, long grain / wild
(and perhaps some slivers of gherkin as an authentically Soviet garnish)
Prepare a spice rub by combining roughly two parts paprika to one part garlic salt and one part black pepper. Coat your beef with a dusting of the spicy mix.
(I know a lot of people these days are squeamish about liver, but it's only a small quantity, it's a staple of Eastern European food, and it really adds something).
After maybe three more minutes you can put in the seasoned beef, along with any of the spice rub that you didn't use. Stir everything well in the pan, making sure all the ingredients get mixed up.
Once the beef and liver has started to brown, you can add the big chunks of tomato.
Another five minutes and you can add a generous splash of wine, before covering and turning the heat down.
Now is the time to start cooking your rice, by the way.
Keep the Stroganoff on the hob for 15 or 20 minutes or so to allow the flavours to infuse, before finally adding a glug of sour cream and stirring it all in.
A couple more minutes - make sure it's all hot - and you're ready to serve.
Wine - if you feel like drinking the rest of the bottle with it, that's fine. Many Russians would have a beer and a vodka simultaneously, but then they're frequently alcoholics...
And there you have it: a kind of modern-traditional-Russian-global-fusion Stroganoff!