Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is it really Russian?

I am hoping that there is a reader who has some Russian in them and can tell me if anything I have made seems even remotely familiar.  I bought a book a few years ago that was Russian, Polish and German recipes.  It was one of those always on sale at Borders $5.99 cookbooks:
I was immediately drawn to one of my favorite dishes, Beef Stroganov.  What is very interesting about this recipe, is that it is different than the Americanized version that we are used to seeing in restaurants, cookbooks and the frozen food or hamburger helper aisle.  This recipe is missing two key ingredients that are fundamental of the average American's idea of beef stroganov: noodles and mushrooms.

With this recipe, you start with cooking cuts of beef and then when that is finished you cook sliced onions in the same pan.
Then when the onions are cooked and tender, you add the flour in to create a small roux, then add a splash of stock (or white wine in my case), the cooked beef, mustard and sour cream.  You also add a squirt of lemon juice as well as a squirt of tomato puree'.  A lightly seasoning with salt and pepper and you are left with something so healthy and flavorful that it makes you wonder why you ever ate the other version.
Now, this is freakin' delicious.  I highly suggest that everyone make this and even more so, if you have a chance, make this recipe and then get a hamburger helper version and see for yourself.  I took a picture of the recipe and I have it below.

It is interesting to note that the earliest written account of this recipe had no mushrooms and onions as well, in 1861.  In 1912, the recipe was changed to have onions and the tomato paste and is very similar to the recipe I have above, which is considered the national dish of Russia. 

1 comment:

  1. Good post. I know next to nothing about Russian cooking, but I was in Russia (St. Petersburg) a few years ago, and had some Beef Stroganov at an "authentic" Russian restaurant. The details are hazy (we had authentic vodka shots with the meal) but I don't believe there were mushrooms in the dish. What I absolutely recall, though, is there were no noodles. Instead, it was served with potatoes (shredded and fried). And it definitely had onions. Your version looks pretty similar to what I recall having. Thanks for a great post.