beef stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a dish of Russian origin, most likely named after the Stroganov family, whose last member died in 1923. Members of the Stroganov family were some of the most successful merchants and businessmen in the Russian empire from the 16th to 20th centuries (think of them as enduringly popular Kardashians, albeit with a bit less drama). It’s hard to say how long this dish has been around, but the most popular Russian cookbook from the early 20th century, A Gift to Young Housewives (Подарок Молодым Хозяйкам), contains one of the oldest recorded recipes in its 1907 printing.

This is a dish I first tackled nearly four years ago, but my old version never sat well with me – the sauce was too thin, and used a bit too much sour cream. So I set off to redevelop the recipe by keeping it fairly close to the original (putting my Russian translation skills to the test, see my notes below the recipe); at the same time, I kept the modern American interpretation of the dish in mind, which uses wine, mushrooms, and onions (in my case, shallots) to add some complexity to the dish.

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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.

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