Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

The Diet Keys here are reducing the fat used and substituting a small quantity of yogurt for the usual soured cream. Compared to recipes I checked online, this version has at least 100 fewer calories per portion as a result. It’s not as creamy, of course, but quite acceptable


Quantities are approximate and per person – multiply as necessary if cooking for more than one!

  • 150g Fillet or Sirloin steak (ask at the butchery counter for fillet “tails”, they’re ideal for this and much cheaper)
  • 100g mushrooms (I used a mix of button and wild mushrooms, but any variety works
  • 10g butter
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 50ml whisky, brandy, vodka or cachaça (or any spirit that doesn’t taste of anis!)
  • 1 tbsp thick yogurt (Lancashire Farm, Greek or similar)
  • 1 generous teaspoon of crushed/ground black peppercorns or, if you have them, crushed green peppercorns
  • Pinch of salt (to taste)


  1. Remove any fat, skin or cartilage that the butcher may have left on the steak. Cut steak vertically into thin slices, about 4-5mm thick.
  2. Wash, then chop or slice the mushrooms
  3. Thinly slice (or mince if you prefer) the garlic
  4. Melt the butter in a nonstick frying pan. Add the mushrooms and fry very gently for just a minute or two until glossy – don’t keep frying as water will escape and make the next step more difficult
    Frying the mushrooms in minimal fat – just enough to cover the base of the pan


  5. Remove the mushrooms from the pan with a slice, leaving as much of the butter behind as possible – it will only be enough to gloss coat the pan.
  6. Add the garlic to the pan and fry gently for a minute
  7. Make sure you have the mustard and spirit (if using) to hand, as the next steps need to happen quite quickly
  8. Increase the heat under the pan, and add the sliced steak. Fry quickly and turn each piece to sear both sides. This should take no longer than 20-30 seconds per side – any more and you may have tough meat
  9. Add the mustard and pepper to the pan
  10. Immediately add the spirit and set light to it – if you’re cooking on gas, you can do that by tipping the pan gently to one side until the liquid is nearly at the rim, and it will catch from the gas. If you’re cooking on electric, you’ll need to find another way to set light to the spirit (blowtorch would be good, a match may work but you’ll need an assistant to light it!). If it doesn’t light, don’t panic, just stir the mixture and boil hard for no more than a minute or until the liquid is reduced by about half
    Flash frying steak and garlic


  11. Remove from the heat, add the yogurt and salt and stir to combine
  12. Optional – if the sauce is too liquid, or you like creamier sauce (and are not counting calories too much), first remove the meat and mushrooms to a plate, then dissolve a teaspoon of cornflour in about 100ml of milk, add to the liquid in the pan, stir and bring to the boil. When you have the consistency you like, adjust seasoning and return the meat and mushrooms to the pan.
  13. Serve with vegetables of your choice (tenderstem broccoli in my pictures) and, if you need carbs as well, pasta, rice or couscous.

By Oliver Dowson

Over the last 40 years, I’ve built companies in many countries from the ground up. I have created, managed and sold businesses in UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, India, China, Germany, Czech Republic and Spain. I have travelled extensively in over 120 countries, spending an average of 8 months a year over the last 20 years away from my home base.
In my early business life, I successfully created 7 new businesses in different sectors in the UK for overseas owners. I moved on to invent and build one of the world's first energy and environmental management consultancies – long before Global Warming became a headline issue. Over the following 30 years, I grew that company, EnTech, into a true international business by opening 11 offices in 9 countries - and along the way, set up many more international companies for others.

I’m fortunate and proud that EnTech became the international energy management company of choice for Fortune 100 multinationals, selling services directly to GE, GM, HSBC, Citi, Honeywell and many others. Working closely with them gave me invaluable insights both into how multinationals work and the different business cultures in countries around the world. In April 2014, I sold EnTech to EnerNOC, becoming a Vice President and overseeing a seamless M&A transition over the next 18 months.

In all my business activities I’ve also used my languages and programming/software development expertise.
I am also now a Business Angel, investing in companies with international ambitions where I can provide mentoring and support from my practical experience, especially those headed up by women and minorities.

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