Note: an updated version of this recipe is here.
Beef stroganoff (бефстроганов) is a Russian dish that dates back to the 19th century. The dish became popular here in the US after World War II, when Russian immigrants and American soldiers returning from war brought it stateside.
Historically, the dish was served in a sauce made primarily of mustard and sour cream. Other variations include a little tomato paste for zing. Here in the US, it’s generally served with onion and mushrooms as well; it turns out that a little of everything is what tastes the best.
1 1/2 lbs beef cubes or sirloin steak, cut into strips
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp lard
10 oz white mushrooms (1 pkg), sliced
1 medium-sized onion, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup red wine (sweeter is better)
1 tsp tomato paste
2/3 cup sour cream
a dash of mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste
First of all, slice your mushrooms about 1/2″ thick. Also, cut your beef cubes or sirloin into slices that are no more than 1/2″ thick on one side.
Heat the coconut oil on med/high heat for a few minutes. Brown the beef on both sides, it should take about eight minutes. Set the pieces aside.
Add the lard and warm it up, should take about a minute. Add the mushrooms, onions, and a little salt; sauté for about six minutes, until the water has evaporated from the mushrooms.
Mix in the tomato paste, then stir in the broth, wine, and beef (including its juices). Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. If the beef isn’t tender after 30 minutes, keep checking it every five minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Temper the sour cream by adding a couple spoonfuls of the pan sauce to the sour cream, stir it all around, and then add everything to the pan, stirring constantly until it’s well mixed. This will prevent it from spoiling and turning into a lumpy mess. Stir in the dash of mustard, taste it and add salt/pepper as needed.
You can serve it over buttered potatoes (Russia), rice (Asia, Australia, UK), egg noodles (US), or enjoy it as-is.