Russian Cooking: Beef Stroganov

A couple of weeks ago I took a Russian cooking class at The Russian House restaurant here in Austin, Texas. I’ve made the dish with my own twists since the class, and I’m sharing it here.

Here is the shopping list if you’d like to make it for Maslenita on February 16 — the Russian festival to welcome in the Spring! Go grab your groceries and come on back to make it along with me (below).

This recipe combines what I learned in the class with my own preferences, availability of ingredients, and techniques (which I cannot duplicate because I do not have a chef’s kitchen like at The Russian House). I’ll post more about the Russian House and the class I took in a separate post…including why I titled this with “Stroganov” as the spelling of the name of this dish.

The first two ingredients to prep are your beef tenderloin and onion. Pictured here is about half of the beef I used, plus a rather large onion. I used a large onion rather than a medium one this time.
Cut the beef against the grain into strips, sort of like steak fries in size and shape. Drop the strips into a bowl of flour as you cut.
Coat the beef strips in flour. Once you’ve got it all coated, you can use a collender to sift off the excess flour. Discard all of the flour you used to coat the beef.
Chop your onion very fine. According to my cooking class instructors, you don’t want big pieces of onion…you want it to be there for flavor, not texture.
Add the flour-coated beef and chopped onion to a large pan and brown the meat over medium high heat.
This is the meat and onions after several minutes of browning over medium high heat. Already the house smells awesome.
Add a bit of truffle oil (any oil or butter will work as well) and stir it into the mixture on high heat. Then add mustard and horseradish. Pictured here is a horseradish mayo because I was out of regular horseradish. Next time I will use real horseradish, and because we love that flavor in my house, I will be generous with the quantity.
Stir in your mushrooms. My pan was too small to add them all at once, but since they shrink quickly over high heat, I was able to add them in batches over the course of about five minutes.
Add the sour cream and incorporate it, remaining over high heat.
This is how it looked when the sour cream was blended in.
Add the heavy cream.
This is how it looked once the cream was blended in. Now bring the whole pot to a boil. Be sure to bring it to a boil before turning the heat to low and covering to simmer for 45 minutes.
Frequently during the 45 minute simmer, you’ll want to open the lid and stir. This is how it looked about half-way through the simmering.
In my cooking class where I learned to make this dish traditionally, it was prepared and served with buckwheat and mashed potatoes. So when I made it, I wanted to follow suit. The trouble was, I couldn’t find buckwheat at my regular grocery store or the local Sprouts market. I didn’t realize I’d run into this problem so I didn’t have time to solve it by the time I made the dish for this post. So I decided to wing it and use Bulgar Wheat. This is bulgar wheat. I would say it wasn’t earthy or hearty enough for this dish, but it tasted good.
For my mashed potatoes, I simply boiled gold potatoes, mashed them with milk, sour cream, salt and pepper. In this case, I thinned them too much for my vision. So I will make them thicker next time so I can “nest” the Stroganoff in them.
Here is my plated dish. I sort of scattered the potatoes and bulgar wheat in small groupings over each plate. Then I ladled the Stroganoff over everything. In Russia, sour cream is liberally used on top of much of the food (I know this via my cooking class, and anecdotally through my husband who lived for a time in Russia). Also mentioned in my cooking class, was that often on top of sour cream, they add black or red caviar. So here in my photo you’ll see a bit of black caviar, which was available in my normal grocery store. I loved the saltiness that this added, but if you don’t like fishy fish flavor (you know what I mean, right?) then I would leave it off.
Time to eat! Note that salt and pepper are available to season per your taste. Next time I make this dish, I’ll be adding a bit of pepper to the dish while it cooks. But that is just me. Ваше здоровье! (That is the Russian toast meaning: “To your health!” Pronounced vashee zda-ró-vye).

Resources for further learning:

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Catherine says:

    Dear Melissa, This sounds wonderful! A hearty, comforting meal. xo, Catherine


  2. I love stroganoff and am really excited to try this one!


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