Wednesday, 5 August 2015


Leafing through my blog the other day, I realised that something very essential was missing from my posts - amongst all the cosmopolitan dishes cooked in my kitchen, there was not one single recipe reflecting my original roots.  I have been so mesmerised by the multitude and variety of multicultural dishes that I totally forgot how tasty and flavoursome Russian dishes could be. 

And so I have decided to cook very traditional, world known and highly popular amongst Russian expats dish.  You guessed it, I am talking about Beef Stroganoff.

The truth of the matter is that one of my daughters does not really like this dish, neither is my other one , who was born here in Australia, hence it does not appear too often on my dinner table.  However, my South African husband, whose mother escaped Russia when she was very young, loves it and is always looking forward to eat it.

According to Google, the origin and history of Beef Stroganoff dates backs to the 19th century. "Although not a new recipe, at that time but it is a refined version of an even older Russian recipe, it had probably been in the family of Count Pavel Stroganoff for some years and had become well known through his love of entertaining."

Until today Beef Stroganoff remains one of the most popular dishes in Russian cuisine and is immediately associated with that part of the world.

So let’s cook it.

To feed 6-8 people you need:
1 kg of beef fillet
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium size brown onion
3 cloves of garlic
200gr button mushrooms
150gr sour cream
2 tsp American mustard
200ml beef stock
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Note 1:  Buying sliced for a stir-fry beef from the butcher saves a lot of time and is perfect for this dish.

Note 2:It is better to cook this dish in a pot rather than in a pan since it is cooked in plenty of sauce. 

Pre-heat your cooking pot on medium heat and pour in the oil.  Peal and slice the onion into small cubes and once the oil is hot, sauté it until it becomes golden brown. It will add a warm colour to the final dish.  While the onion is cooking, slice the meat into thin 1 cm strips approx 5 cm long, combine with the onion and continue cooking. 



While this is happening, slice the mushrooms and garlic and add them to the pot.  Let the meat release a bit of moisture and allow all the ingredients to brown together for about 10-20 minutes.


Then, add sour cream, mustard, salt and pepper, pour in the stock and reduce the heat to low.  The meat and mushrooms should be almost submerged in the sauce.
It should not take long to cook since the beef is sliced quite finely, approximately another 10 minutes.  Taste the meat and the sauce and adjust the seasoning to your liking.  If the meat is still slightly chewy, let it cook for another 10 minutes until tender and it is ready to serve.

Traditionally, Beef Stroganoff is served with mashed potatoes or with buckwheat "kasha" that is cooked buckwheat.

Scoop some mash or "kasha" on a plate, place a generous portion of meat on top and liberally pour the sauce over.



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