Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kurzeme stroganoff (Latvian pork stroganoff recipe)

Kurzeme strooganov (Mailis & Leena)

Latvians, our southern neighbours, celebrate the 92nd anniversary of an independent Latvian Republic today. I thought it's a great opportunity to blog about one of the best-know Latvian dishes (at least here in Estonia) - a pork stroganoff that gets its name from historical Courland region. While boeuf stroganoff is a dark beef stew, then Kurzeme stroganoff is pale (colour-wise, not taste-wise) and just as delicious, if not as sophisticated.

Excellent autumn and winter dish that's best served with fried or mashed potatoes.

Kurzeme stroganoff
(Kurzeme strooganov)
Serves 4 to 5

400-500 g pork, cut into this strips (stir-fry pieces are excellent)
1 large onion, chopped
50 g smoked bacon, cut into small pieces
1 pickled cucumber
1 Tbsp plain flour
a cup or a-cup-and-a-half of hot beef stock
100 g sour cream or creme fraiche
salt and black pepper
fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

On a hot pan, fry the bacon until golden, then add the onion and pork and fry until the meat changes colour (remember, Kurzeme stroganoff is a light sauce, so there's no need to achieve a perfect Maillard reaction here and brown the meat all over).
Stir in the flour, cook for a minute or two, then add the hot stock. Simmer on moderate heat until the meat is cooked (the cooking time depends on the cut you use - pork loin cooks very quickly, obviously).
Cut the cucumber into thin strips, add to the sauce along with the sour cream. Simmer for another minute or two, then season to taste and serve.


Cheeky Spouse said...

This sounds really nice. I like the idea of the pickled cucumber in it. I enjoy stroganofff and would love to try this version, can't wait!

Keith And Lolli said...

That sounds divine! I love a good stroganoff. Its good comfort food and full of amazing flavours. I've not heard of this style before so I'm sure I'll be giving it a try at some point. What particularly interests me is the flavours of the pickle with the bacon. We have no ties with Latvia but we did make some Latvian gingerbread cookies last night. There was no connection with the declaration of independence, that was coincidence, but these are great for christmas just around the corner now!

elpi said...

It must be irresistibly good!!! Very yummy recipe

Chef Basket said...

Thanks for the Kurzeme Stroganoff recipe. The pictures alone are great!

Erika said...

Hey, there should be some Lithuanian dish for Feb 16, um? Something with herring, beetroots or cepelinai.

Pille said...

Cheeky Spouse - the pickles really work, trust me!

Keith & Lolli - I was quite suspicious about "cooking" with pickles few years ago (they're also a must ingredient in a Russian rassolnik-soup), but somehow it works.

Elpi & Chef Basket - thank you!

Erika - well, I'd love to try cepelinai ;)

Rore said...

I had the time to cook this for lunch today, and it tasted great :) Many thanks for sharing this recipe.

Pille said...

Rore - brilliant! Thank you so much for getting back to me!!

Mara said...

I am born of Latvians in Australia and love my Latvian heritage. I will be making the Kurzeme stroganoff for my Latvian friends tomorrow. Wish me luck !!!

Pille said...

Good luck, Mara! I hope your fellow expat-Latvians loved (and most importantly - recognised!!!) the dish!

Maija said...

There is one thing- pickled cucumbers are made with vinegar. But real Latvian pickled cucumbers are made with dills, black and red currant leaves, little bit of a garlic and horse radish root. Sometimes one oak leave, which makes them crispier. Add salt and water, let to fermentate for 3-4 days, then boil the marinade, pour on pickles and place in cold. When use them in Kurzemes stroganoff, do not boil, add at the end.

Unknown said...

Amazing recipe! Just found this through Pinterest and made it for my dad who is half latvian and half estonian. LOVED IT! So good, and highly recommend for people to try this!

Liza L @ FB (Estonian cooking) said...

Well, there's an idea! My husband doesn't usually want stroganoff...but if I threw some (fries) on top, it just might work! :)