Syrovania is a restaurant within a cheese factory in a guarded industrial estate in Moscow’s old manufacturing district. Like many other cheese factories it sprung up when food imports bans from the EU came into force. The name means ‘Creamery’, but is correctly written in Russian Cyrillic like this:
This recipe it dedicated to its creator, Yuri Rozhkov, TV celebrity, Michelin-starred chef and Maître Cuisiniers de France who has sadly died aged just 45. Fresh cheese, demi-glace stock, fried potatoes, parsley and a finish in the oven were his take on the classic dish…….
Although it looks like a one-pot dish it isn’t, the main parts are cooked separately, then combined and finished in the oven. There’s absolutely no reason why certain bits can’t be done beforehand…even the day before…and finished after a starter course in just 10 minutes.
The five main components are as follows:
Sliced onions and garlic cloves gently fried until lightly coloured and soft, with a beef demi-glace stock added at the end, then put aside. Demi-glace stock is hard to find and even harder to make, buy a good beef stock or some good gravy and reduce it, but do watch it doesn’t get too salty.
Fried sliced mushrooms, again with a good colour on them. If you have to rely on supermarket ‘farmed’ mushrooms just finish them with a little Chinese Oyster Sauce..it really brings out their mild flavour. The pour over sour cream, or crème fraîche…you can always ‘sour’ double cream with some lemon juice and white-wine vinegar.
New potatoes, boiled in the skins, cooled and sliced. If you do these the day before cover them in kitchen paper overnight in the ‘fridge, slice them and store them in a plastic bag, with a sheet of folded kitchen paper to absorb even more water. I used Vivaldi from the Eastern villages of Cyprus, with the famous red soil still clinging to them….so good!
Fillet steak strips seasoned as they are cooked, cut in a special way and beaten into ribbons. In truth, cut and beaten the correct way, the meat is so tender you might use a slightly cheaper cut with a lot more flavour. Fillet steak was used for Count Stroganoff because he had toothache! He was also very rich……..
Grated cheese to garnish…Yuri said their cheese is like Edam or Gouda
Preparing the beef.
The idea is to cut the beef into strips in such a way that the natural meat fibres are facing upwards, before beating the strips into ribbons with a steak hammer ( smooth side) or rolling pin.
In the case of a fillet joint, sometimes called a Tenderloin, the fibres run up and down the meat, so you cut 1/4 inch steaks from the joint and cut these into strips. You will feel the difference if you try and beat a strip to a ribbon from the wrong side…it just doesn’t want to flatten..turn it through 90 degrees and feel the difference!
Now you can imagine the fibres running through the thin steaks from one cut side to the other. Cut these steaks into strips and beat from a side that was the top or bottom of the steak…they will spread out into thin, tender ribbons. If you try and beat on the wrong side of the strips they feel far, far tougher.
You can imagine why you don’t really need fillet steak for this…battered and beaten, …. any steak is going to be tender and a cheaper cut will be more tasty too!
I imagine rib-eye steak and Sirloin would be even better than fillet
The grated cheese, Gouda in this case, the onion and garlic mixture in beef stock and the potatoes.
The beef ribbons and the sour cream and mushrooms.
So, you now have the five main ingredient groups ready….just the potatoes to fry in a little olive oil and butter, put aside …and then fry the steak ribbons….time to turn the oven or grill on!
Fry the potatoes to get some nice crisp edges. Meanwhile add the stock and onions and the cream and mushrooms to a gently warming oven-proof frying pan or shallow casserole dish. Stir to combine slightly.
When the potatoes are done fry the steak strip to get a little colour and season with a little steak seasoning….maybe Keg Spice that I’ve mentioned before.
Turn the meat out over the mushrooms and onions, stir to combine a little and layer the potatoes over the top. Finish with the grated cheese and a little parsley to garnish, before putting in the oven or under the grill to melt the cheese. Serve with some fresh green vegetables for contrast………
Спасибо Юрий or Spasibo Yuri!….Thank-you
Serve with shots of frozen vodka…put a small bottle in the freezer in the morning, it will go thick with the cold and the bottle will ice over when you take it out of the freezer.