Recipe: Camp cheat's beef stroganoff

This simple bush recipe takes very little time to put together. It might not quite be a stroganoff, but it’s close enough.

Recipe: Camp cheat's beef stroganoff

This simple bush recipe takes very little time to put together. It might not quite be a stroganoff, but it’s close enough.


  • Serves 2 to 4 (depending on amount of meat used)
  • 500g-750g round or rump beef – cubed or cut into strips 
  • (the better the cut of meat, the quicker the cooking time)
  • 1 or 2 onions – chopped
  • 1 medium tin mushrooms in butter sauce
  • 1 medium tin tomatoes (crushed would be best)
  • 1 pack French Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 pack (250ml) long-life cream or sour cream 
  • Salt & pepper
  • Spring onions or parsley flakes (optional)
  • Cooked pasta, rice, noodles or mashed potatoes (hot)

Optional hop-ups

  • Big splash of port or wine 
  • Squirt of tomato paste (for a richer tomato flavour)
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Hit of sweet paprika
  • Garlic – crushed (or use minced garlic from a jar)
  • Sprinkle of chilli flakes or minced chilli if you want a bit of a bite

Cooking it

Step 1: Heat a little oil in a large, heavy-based pan and brown the beef (in batches) over a high heat. Remove and set aside.

Step 2: Add a little more oil, heat and add the onions. Sauté until the onions are slightly softened.

Step 3: Add mushrooms, tomatoes, and soup mix. Stir to mix through and then add cream. Return the meat to the pan and stir through.

Step 4: Add some of those optional hot-ups.

Step 5: Bring to the boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until the meat is tender. Cooking time will depend on the type/cut of meat used.

Step 6: Serve over hot cooked pasta, rice, noodles or mashed potato.

For extra campsite ooohs and aaahs, sprinkle some chopped spring onions or parsley flakes over the top.

Viv’s extra hints

This recipe makes plenty of sauce, so you can store the leftovers and have enough for another meal. The extra sauce is delicious over two-minute noodles for lunch the next day!
To make this meal even quicker, use beef strips already prepared. You can also use sour cream instead of cream.

Viv’s camp cooking hints: Browning meat

Cooking the surface of a piece of meat at a high temperature until browned gives it both an attractive colour and a deeper flavour. When browning meat, it’s important to have the pan very hot and add the meat in batches. If you overcrowd the pan, it will cool down and the meat will stew rather than brown, thus becoming tough. This happens because moisture from the meat is released faster than it can be evaporated. Rather than searing, you end up simmering and steaming your meat pieces. The result is dry, tough and chewy meat.

Want more recipe ides? Browse our Bush Cooking collection for inspiration.


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Viv Moon

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