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Stroganoff - What's in a name?

There seem to be some weird recipes around. When is beef Stroganoff no longer beef Stroganoff? Apart from beef and sour cream and the way it is cooked is there any ingredient which, when added to this dish defines it as another dish e,g, sweet paprika? What are its absolutely essential components?

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  1. Sherry, and beef stock, sour cream, parsley, a little tomato paste, garlic, salt and pepper, and dill. I think that's about all. Oh and nice wide noodles, buttered and parsleyed up.

    18 Replies
    1. re: chef chicklet

      CC, that is the most nontraditional recipe I have ever come across. Tomato paste? Not used in Russia or w/ Russian-Americans, ever. I've lived in the former and am the latter and I speak Russian. The tomato is not part of traditional Russian cuisine, for obvious reasons. Dill is used in many foods, but not Stroganoff.
      Fried shoe string or sliced potatoes are also traditional.

      1. re: Passadumkeg

        I agree, and also, no dill in this dish.

        1. re: Passadumkeg

          Ah ha a perfect example of how a recipe changes to suit ones tastes.
          Yes it is non- traditional but I do like it. Oops I forgot the mushrooms and onions, and nutmeg. What you don't put dill in your stroganoff? Really fried shoestring potatoes really? wow I'm way off. oh well wouldn't be the first time. The recipe came to me from a friend that was German. She also gave me her recipe for Liver Dumplings.

          Interesting though that you are saying never tomatoes, my curiosity prompted me to look at a few of my cookbooks. One such recipe by a local San Francisco chef, Stefan Gjerstad, uses tomato puree, and claims "most dishes calll a substansial amount of tomato puree" and he also added Dijon mustard. As you say, no dill. But he serves the dish with fried matchstick potatoes made from baking potatoes. He is from Stockholm, so perhaps my recipes evolved from the Scandanavian area? He does recommened Smetana sour cream, which I'm sure you're familar. Sure love to get my hands on some of that!

          I have had the traditional stroganoff that you speak of but I was told this recipe is stroganoff and I don't know enough of the history, so I know I'm wrong. Perhaps my version is Scandanavian or Jewish?

          1. re: chef chicklet

            Apparently beef stroganoff is popular in Scandinavia (Biff Stroganoff in Swedish), though I've haven't been able to find a specific recipe. Dill is a widely used seasoning in that area. Another popular variant is Korv Stroganoff, using a Swedish sausage (Kielbasa like).

            1. re: paulj

              mmm! for the sausage and I love especially dishes with sour cream. I can't imagine that stroganoff has made it to the 21st century without variations.

            2. re: chef chicklet

              <Perhaps my version is Scandanavian or Jewish?>

              If it has both sour cream and beef, you can safely rule out Jewish.

              1. re: chef chicklet

                That explains it! The Russian word "emayetz" has 2 meanings, one is enemy and the other is German!
                Tomato in the recipes seem to date to the Americanization to this recipe in the 60's. Funny in my long life, I've never had tomato in Stroganoff and if serve it in a restaurant, IO'd probably send it back. It is one of those food corruptions that just seems wrong; like adding green chile to NE chowder.

                1. re: Passadumkeg

                  According to the Wiki article:
                  ". A 1912 recipe adds onions and tomato paste and serves it with crisp potato straws, which are considered the traditional side dish in Russia.[2] The version given in the 1938 Larousse Gastronomique includes beef strips, and onions, with either mustard or tomato paste optional."

                  1. re: paulj

                    History is suspect, especially when it is only one source, the recipe comes from my grandmother, and when I don't agree. Tomato is for Italians, not Russkies.
                    My Navajo students love the irony of getting Columbus Day off from school.
                    Don't mess with someone's heritage, ethnic food and tell them about the history from a book, probably written by some effete Brit.!

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      Italians weren't the only Europeans to adopt the tomato. And around 1900 Russians were borrowing all kinds ideas, arts, architecture, and (probably) foods from various parts of Europe. The amount of borrowing varied with region, much more so in St Petersburg, less in Moscow, and even less in rural areas.

                      The use of tomato paste does not mean that they turned the dish into an Italian tomato sauce. I imagine they used a few tablespoons, enough to add a pink color to the dish, and some complexity to the flavor.

                      As for the source of this information, here's the Google books copy of the popular Russian cookbook, A Gift to Young Housewives.
                      p 214 has the early Stroganoff recipe, along with a footnote by the translator about the use of onions and tomato past by 1912.

                      1. re: paulj

                        wasn't it an Italian who finally taught Russians how to build?
                        I think it was this Italian who designed and built the famous wonderlandish churches in Moscow
                        so, Russians did learn from Italians in architecture and I'm sure they learned to appreciate their dishes as well

                  2. re: Passadumkeg

                    I'm suspect of that. Just because the "stylish and modern" parts of the russian empire were to the north, other parts to the south, bordering the black sea could grow tomatoes. And still do. Just because they were considered the backwater, doesn't mean that their recipes aren't as authentic.

                    Now I'm not saying that Stroganoff should have a tomato product in it, I'm just saying that Russian/Ukrainian food can in the southern parts.

                    Edit: By "stylish and modern" i mean what they thought 100 + years ago

                    1. re: cosmogrrl

                      "Many of the foods that are considered in the West to be traditionally Russian actually come from the Franco-Russian cuisine of the 18th and 19th centuries, and include such widespread dishes as Veal Orloff, Beef Stroganoff, and Chicken Kiev (Wikipedia, 2009)."

                      1. re: cosmogrrl

                        We're getting off track here. Stroganoff is from the north, St Petersberg, and the traditional recipe has no tomatoes. I've eaten chowder here in New Mexico and it is not at all like that in Maine. It is not traditional chowder. Just because someone puts tomatoes in a dish and calls it Stroganoff, doesn't necessarily make it Stroganoff. My spaghetti sauce usually has tomatoes, onions and mushrooms. If I add a couple table spoons of sour cream to it, what is it? Spaghetti saurce or can I call it Stroganoff?
                        Good night moon.
                        Za vasha zdrovia!

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          The tomato paste used in the early 1900s could have been imported from Greece or other southern climes. Note that even the 'traditional recipe' calls for imported allspice.

                          If my guess about the paste is right, then its use probably had more to do your openness to Continental cooking fashions than whether tomatoes were grown locally. If your chef was from France you were more likely to see imported items on your table.

                          Arguing whether tomato paste belongs in stroganoff is a bit like arguing whether baking powder (or wheat flour or lard) belongs in Navajo fry bread.

                2. re: chef chicklet

                  Hi CC
                  That's a very personal recipe. Are you sure irt qualifies as Stroganoff?

                3. From the Wiki article, it appears that this is one those dishes which has evolved over time (roughly the past century), and from country to country. So it would be helpful if posters gave their source(s), and context (e.g. your grandmother, school cafeteria version, high-end NY restaurants, Imperial Russia, French adaptation etc).

                  The version that I grew up with was made with the trimmings from a whole beef tenderloin. The only other key ingredients that I recall were mushrooms and sour cream, seasoned with L&P and s&p.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: paulj

                    Mushrooms for sure. A little mustard powder.
                    Stroganoff, if I remember correctly, was involved w/ the 18th century fur trade in Alaska.

                    1. re: Passadumkeg

                      You are right, the Stroganoff family were the fur trade in Western Siberia and they helped finance the czar. The traditional stroganoff was very basic, served over shoe-string potatoes. The basic sauce is beef sauce mixed with sour cream, allthough the russian sour cream is not as sour as ours is. No, it did not have dill but it sure is a flavor enhancer. Stroganoff has been modified depending on the cook or chef(some good, some mediocer).

                      1. re: igorm

                        The sour cream is called smetana. Russia is the epicenter of the wild mushroom universe.
                        Potatoes are a gift from the Peruvian Gods; witness vodka.

                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                          you can easily get smatena in N London at the Jewish delis and also many of the regular supermarkets. My dad used to make a soupy sauce of smatena, radishes, cucumbers and spring onions on Sundays for brunch.

                          anyway back to stroganoff ..... I thought rice was an accompaniment ?

                          1. re: smartie

                            We always have it with broad egg noodles.

                          2. re: Passadumkeg

                            Is there any alchohol in the dish? I add sherry, not white wine as seen in other recipes.

                                1. re: chef chicklet

                                  Since it is alcohol, I'm sure by Russian standards, it is ok to add, but do not boil!

                      2. re: paulj

                        I agree It's time people gave credit where it is due in the world of .gastronomy. How many of the recipes that appear in the daily rash of new cookbooks have even been thoroughly tested, let alone developed by the authors!!

                      3. I'm a staunch traditionalist when it comes to Stroganoff. I was taught to make it in the middle of the last century by an elderly Russian lady who, with her husband, WALKED from Moscow to Istanbul to escape the Bolsheviks. (How's that for a romantic story?) Tensela stressed heavily that the ONLY ingreidents in Stroganoff are butter, beef, onions, mushrooms, sour cream, salt, pepper, and a little scrape of nutmeg. Anything more is heresy.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: Caroline1

                          She musta been my babyshka (grandmother)!
                          Russia is, however, a big country. I see a lot aof modern recipes w/ tomato, but it is not in my experience.
                          One of my grandmother's sisters made it from Leningrad to Valadisvostok, vi China and then to New Jersey! Alexandra was her name, of course.
                          We're neighbors now!

                          1. re: Passadumkeg

                            Anyone who puts tomatoes in Stroganoff should be summarily shot! Or tethered to a stake in Siberia for three winters naked!

                            1. re: Caroline1

                              I was afraid I'd get banned again if I said that. thank you.
                              Tomatoes are not part of Russian cuisine, like green chiles are not part of New England food.
                              I think I'll make New England Clam chowder w/ green chiles! Yum.

                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                Beef Strogie does not need tomatoes, but their cousin those chiles would be somewhat interesting.

                                Heck, if you're wanting to mix that New Mex high country with coastal Maine chowder with a bit of Muscowskie: it would seem sour cream, cubed 'taters, and beef, with a bechamel as in chowdering, with subtle ground clams in the besch for more thickening. 'Shrooms are a given, but never no 'maters... and a dollop on top of green chiles. I've been guilty before, to add Dill I adore, and it's sure as heck northern European.

                                Let us know how it goes, since you're buying canned clams. But you're damn sure getting God's greatest chiles. Don't tell species on 'shrooms... some have extra Varoooom... just add at the end and heat gently.

                                What will be jist, of Maine- Mex- Moscow twist, of a dish so sublime as good Stroganoff?

                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                  Man, add cheese and make a chile con queso, mushroom, clam chowdah!
                                  A green chile Stroggielero!

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    Patient now, dear Passum, as ye construct the recipe.

                                    The beef, the sour cream, the mushrooms, and the yes: chile.

                                    I can't see whole clams bulging and competing with the rest.

                                    That's why the ground canned bivalves seem best simmered with the besch.

                                    Cheese? Hell's bells, must be a New Mex thing.

                                    The silky smooth smetana is the flavor you should bring.

                                    I still await your recipe from the neat tri-polar thing. New Mex, old Maine, and Muskie could sure give blended zing.

                                    That doesn't mean that you're secure on a stout three-legged stool. It means become triumvirate... give us guide that makes us drool.

                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                      Tongue is not in the tacos, it is in my cheek.

                                2. re: Passadumkeg

                                  Some restaurants here make a version of NE Clam with green chiles and a few other changes, they call it Maritime Chowder although it is only clams, no fish. A bit of cheese may be involved. Still haven't found the definitive recipe.

                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                    then tomatoes arent italian cuisine.
                                    and tempura isnt japanese, after all, the portuguese brought that to them.
                                    pork and beef cant be part of american cuisine.
                                    potatoes cant be russian cuisine or irish cuisine.

                                3. re: Caroline1

                                  Curious that my grandmother walked from Moscow to China too, I think Harbin initially, in about 1907. Her Stroganoff had quality beef cut against the grain in thin strips, sour cream, mushrooms, s&p. Certainly no tomato, no dill and never dream'd of paprika.

                                  1. re: 1001dinners

                                    Moscow to China (well, depending on what part) is one hell of a lot farther than Moscow to Istanbul! Those ladies had good legs!l Tensela told me that beef Stroganoff may have somehow had the count's name associated with it, but that the reality was/is that it is a very old traditional dish made by farmer's wives across the country from what they had on hand: Beef, onions, mushrooms, butter, smetana, salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Sounds logical to me. I've never heard of any Russian farmers, under the czars, growing tomatoes!

                                    Today we think of nutmeg as something that goes in pumpkin pies and hot toddies, but go back in time a hundred or more (much more!) years and you will find nutmeg was used to mask the aroma/flavor of meat that was "off." Not quite rotten enough to throw away, but old enough it needed a little help in the disguise department.

                                  2. re: Caroline1

                                    I learned mine from an old Russian lady who escaped the Civil War to San Francisco.

                                    Her ingredients were the same as Caroline1's, but without the nutmeg. My own personal heresy is a pinch of thyme, and a bit of white wine.

                                    The trick she taught me that helps most is to do the cutting and browning the day before, one ingredient at a time, set it all aside in a bowl with the sour cream and a little flour stirred in, and leave in the refrigerator pver night. To serve, heat in a skillet, with white wine, and add more sour cream, salt and pepper to taste.

                                    Another trick I have used is ground, powdered dried mushrooms of your choice added to the mix in the bowl.

                                    PS: If you ever want a laugh, look at Escoffier's recipe. Boeuf Bourgignon with some sour cream added. Anybody want to guess about his recipe for gulyash?

                                  3. The Stroganoff entry from Food TIme Line


                                    The 1861 recipe quoted there uses tender beef, allspice, butter, salf, flour, sour cream, prepared mustard. Onions, tomato paste and/or mushrooms appear in recipes from a century ago.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Tx paulj,
                                      That's a reference I had not seen. It is possible, tho unlikely, the name derived from a Russian word 'stragatz' meaniing to shave or slice thin.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        I too have not seen this source and have book marked it. Thanks.
                                        Wasn't it Count Pizztrovich that is given credit for the origin of pizza?

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          well guess what paulj, tonight this recipe ( Elena Molokhovets' Beef Strogonoff) is what's for dinner at our house.

                                          hubby wanted stroganoff tonight for dinner, he told me that as he was driving off the driveway.
                                          I assumed I'd make it as usual with the standard ingredients but after reading this, I'll do it.
                                          not sure about the mustard.......what kind is used? it's said to be prepared but not sure, yellow, dijon, or something else? anyone know?

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            "1 teaspoon Sareptskaja mustard" according to the Foodtimeline quote

                                            I looked that up and found a CI recipe (not behind a paywall), that says "As for the mustard, the traditional Russian choice, Sareptskaja (a sweet-hot blend), isn’t widely available, so we replaced it with a paste made of dry mustard bloomed in warm water, seasoned with sugar and black pepper."

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              you are such a help to me paulj, I needed that because I had no clue.
                                              I just bought a small little can of dry chinese mustard at the bargain bin at Von's.
                                              so I can do it plus have sugar and pepper.
                                              thanks for helping me.

                                          2. re: paulj

                                            hubby is still not home, he's late.
                                            BUT, I tasted it.
                                            had a few tiny slices of beef, got fillets for this dish tonight.
                                            she mentioned having tender beef.
                                            the chinese mustard that I drummed up came out to 1 T.
                                            the recipe callls for 1 t.
                                            the allspice went into a cheesecloth bundle.
                                            I ended up using the entire T of mustard and when hubby walks in, I'll pull out the allspice.
                                            the flavors of this stroganoff are differernt from mine of course and absolutely incredible.
                                            I am thankful for the link as I'd have not known of it otherwise.
                                            can't wait to have hubby taste this dinner.

                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                              hubby said it was delicious.
                                              he also said it's not my recipe though.
                                              hope that means both are good.

                                          3. As you titled your topic, "Stroganoff - What's in a name?" here's another offshoot, giving the modest hamburger some class.
                                            Boulettes fo Beef Stroganoff, meatballs in a stroganoff sauce made with cognac, nutmeg, paprika, mushrooms, onions, dry sherry, heavy cream, sour cream, brown sauce?, and parsley. Again no dill. A nice version if you're on a budget.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: chef chicklet

                                              I make something like this a lot in the crock pot, meatballs, an strog-like sauce (I should be careful not to call it stroganoff lest someone recommends my execution) and my pre-carmelized onions that I always have in the freezer. So good over noodles!

                                            2. Stroganoff growing up w/ German and Russian parents was meat (usually ground hamburger or ground deer meat) w/ onions (heavy on the onions) fried up and then it was milk and flour to thicken. Served over egg (or homemade) noodles. Truly vile stuff in my book. I've never eaten it since. Good thread. It's interesting to see what others expect as stroganoff.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: JerryMe

                                                My Ukraine friend's recipe has no sherry, no dill, and fergawdsakes no tomato. Butter, beef, onions, sour cream, salt, and pepper (didn't see her with nutmeg).

                                              2. The deal-breaker for me is when I'm served "Beef Stroganoff" that is made like a stew, with slow-braised meat. Heresy! Stroganoff MUST be made with high-quality tender beef, quickly seared and then just cooked in the sauce for a few minutes at most.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. I'm confused that -- up until this discussion -- I used to think that stroganoff had mustard & dill in it... heresy, it seems!

                                                  Tenderloin - yes, shrooms & onions, sour cream, maybe some wine (cuz how can you go wrong with a splash of red wine w/beef).

                                                  So who brought in the mustard & dill?

                                                  1. time to weigh in. please understand that both my russian/ukrainian mother and grandmother made stroganoff on a regular basis. in 1969 i purchased the then newly published "Time Life Book of Russian Cooking", mainly because the recipes contained in it were very similar or the same to those used in our family. used it several times with my mom.

                                                    according to this classic book, the ingredients are as follows: beef (good cut, trimmed of fat), onions, mushrooms, sour cream, powdered mustard, oil, salt & black pepper. my mother always added dill because she loved it, but that is not traditional.

                                                    interestingly, i also have a cookbook published in the old soviet union in 1974. the recipe is similar, except: cheaper cut of beef, no mustard, butter instead of oil, uses flour to coat the beef, and adds "yuzhny sauce" (yuzhny=southern) - this was a commercial spicy sauce available at that time.

                                                    both recipes call for straw potatoes to be placed ON TOP of the stroganoff (like garnish). my family always served the dish over noodles, no potatoes. i think it's time to make a batch.

                                                    ps: i've never ever seen tomatoes added to this dish.

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                      One source describes yushny sauce as
                                                      "Yuzhny sauce (a russian sauce made out of apple, tomato, onion, garlic, raisins, vinegar and madiera). '

                                                      1. re: paulj

                                                        according to the 1974 soviet cookbook:

                                                        "Yuzhny, Ostry, Lyubitelsy and Kubansky sauces are commercial sauces obtainable in the USSR. Yuzhny is spicy; Ostry is tart and spicy; Lyubitelsky is sweet and spicy; Kubansky is sweet-sour."

                                                        As an aside: yuzhny translates as southern; ostry as sharp; lyubitelsky as loved; kubansky means from the kuban region. (southern russia, a cossack area.)

                                                        I think that the next time I'm in a Russian deli i'll see if they carry any of these sauces.

                                                      2. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                        Vlad, I too inherited the Time Life Russian cook book, but from my mom. The recipe does resemble what my grandmothermade and so does my brand spanking new Russian cookbook.

                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                          mark: what's the "brand spanking new book" called?

                                                          1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                            The Food and Cooking of Russia by Elena Makhonko. It was inexpensive and fulfilled my "quota" w/ the cook book club. I'm pleasant surprised (Low expectations?) w/ it; obviously written w/ Brits in mind (not a bad thing) The Stroganoff does have tomato, but the rest of the recipe is good. Do you own a pielmieni press? I do not. A paska cheese form? That I do. I grew tons of beets and cabbages (kapusta!) in my garden in Maine and even had a root cellar. I may have to go into Albuquerque to the Talin Market for provisions. I've found good Richter herring there, but no real good rye of black bread.

                                                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                              Interesting. Just had a look on AbeBooks UK and the author comes up as Leslie Chamberlain - yet the cover is exactly the same as you can also find for Makhonko.

                                                              The style of title has a very familiar ring. In the 70s and early 80s, one of our major supermarkets (Sainsbury) published a whole series of small cookbooks. Most were various "foreign" cuisines - I still have the American one, amongst others. I bet this appeared amongst them somewhere.

                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                Now that would be an interesting cultural exercise - exactly what was Brits' perception of "American" cooking circa 1980?

                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                  Oh, I think general British perception in 1980 was pretty much as it is in 2010 - mainly the fast food places we have here and the all you can eat buffets and other cheap places that tourists visit in Florida.

                                                                  On the other side of the coin, based on reading Chowhound's UK/Ireland board, I'd say many American visitors to London (it's always London, and rarely anywhere else in our two countries) have a similar very narrow view of our cuisine which seems to be pretty much restricted to fish & chips and "Indian". I have long since given up posting suggestions that they might want to try the food we actually eat most of the time.

                                                                  As for the book, there's recipes for chowder, caesar salad, pot roast, succotosh (the main reason I keep this book), pork ribs, meatloaf, red flannel hash, creamed radishes (a Shaker recipe that I still do from time to time), lots of pies and other generally sweet things.

                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                    "I have long since given up posting suggestions that they might want to try the food we actually eat most of the time."

                                                                    that's a pity

                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                      "the food we actually eat most of the time."

                                                                      So that would be tea and crumpets, scotch eggs, kidney pie, black pudding, bangers and mash, beans, haggis, neeps and tatties, spotted dick, and Yorkshire pudding.

                                                                      1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                        I don't think I've had Spotted Dick since school dinners. And tea is an abomination - Americans did right chucking it into the sea. Now black pudding is food of the gods and a particular regional speciality - I make a rather decent salad using it (a Gary Rhodes "recipe").

                                                                      2. re: Harters

                                                                        Stereotypes generally have a grain of truth. That cookbook, on the other hand, sounds like an interesting exploration of American cuisine. I suppose one could argue that meatloaf is nothing but a type of pate, but it's an American type of pate.

                                                                        Speaking of Florida, we rented a house in Orlando a few years back (the location was chosen for the tourist attractions and because it was drivable for family members scattered from Alabama to North Carolina to Miami). Apparently the neighborhood was an English enclave - the local grocery carried a wide variety of British food, and even the convenience store on the corner had HP sauce and fluorescent green mushy peas in a can.

                                                                        I guess everybody sometimes needs a taste of home.

                                                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                          Without wishing to get too far off-topic, the books came at a time when that particular supermarket was trying to establish itself as a "cut above the others" and was certainly tapping into a fast developing move on the part of many Brits to holiday away from the traditional countries and to want to cook stuff when they came. 1980 was the first time I visited America - we can afford to come back about every 5 years or so.

                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                            all the Publix's in Boca/Delray in South Fl have a British section - there are plenty of us ex pats down here too - we even have 2 British Depot's which I go to about once every 3 months to stock up on even more than Publix carry.

                                                                          2. re: Harters

                                                                            Oh, Harters. I know this comment is ages old...but would you be willing to share that creamed radishes recipe? I bought some nice ones from the FM and am not feeling the miso-butter prep I'd originally planned.

                                                              2. I'm not sure that Stroganoff has enough culinary history behind it for any recipe to be considered canonical. Apparently the first recipe didn't appear until 1861, and within half a century there were numerous published variations (including at least one with tomato).

                                                                No doubt similar dishes were being served in (northern) Russia for a long time before the first recipe was published. Coming from a place where tomatoes don't grow, it's fair to assume that these dishes didn't contain tomatoes. But there's no reason to think they were called Beef Stroganoff, either. Naming a dish seems a little modern and Frenchified.

                                                                Frenchification is consistent with the nature of this dish - it's clearly the product of noble and/or royal kitchens. It wouldn't be something a farmer would eat; as recently as the 19th Century, typical Russian peasants only ate meat once a year. And even then it was a bit of lamb on Easter, not large servings of beef tenderloin.

                                                                That said, there are pretty clearly some things that are called "Stroganoff" and aren't. Including the stuff I grew up eating in the '60s and '70s. Hamburger, onions, sour cream, and Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. (But no tomato.) Yeah, that's the ticket...

                                                                24 Replies
                                                                1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                  Alan, did yours have the refrigerated biscuits on the top of it?

                                                                  My grandma and mom made it that way...it's still pretty good comfort food.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    We always had it with rice or egg noodles. Although there was a dish that involved Cream of Chicken soup and had biscuits on top...

                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                    Well, back in the day, The Hartford Courant got it right and put on no airs..."Simply Elegant Steak and Rice," they called it (and yeah, we did the hamburger variation in my house, too). :) My mom still has the clipping of it, from the 70s, I'd guess...with one of her famous ratings like "Great!" or "Excellent!" in her telltale handwriting. Isn't it funny how we got away with "elegant" as a descriptor for a recipe including a can of Campbell's?!

                                                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                      I have my doubts about the vegetarian diet of Russian peasants but I think you come closest to dealing with the question of what qualifies as Beef Stroganoff i.e. it is undefined. In an endeavour to speak the same language how can we make the names of dishes actually have any consistent meaning??

                                                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                        "...as recently as the 19th Century, typical Russian peasants only ate meat once a year. And even then it was a bit of lamb on Easter, not large servings of beef tenderloin."

                                                                        i would like to know the source of this statement.

                                                                        my parents came to the us in 1949. dad was born in 1900 in the don cossack region, mom in 1918 in the eastern ukraine. both of peasant (though well-to-do) stock. i have a degree in russian history from ucla. from all my readings, beef was not uncommon, as were pork, chicken, lamb, and numerous variety of fish. while the russian peasants of large cities (moscow, petersburg, etc.) were quite poor as servants/factory workers, the peasants of southern russia (far away from the centers of government) were quite comfortable. in the late 19th century the ukraine was known as the "breadbasket of europe". so the "once a year" statement doesn't really make a lot of sense.

                                                                        1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                          You'll note that I said "as late as the 19th century." And I wasn't talking about Ukraine or Belorussia or Georgia or elsewhere. I was talking about Russia proper in the premodern and early modern era. There really wasn't a lot of yeoman farming going on there; it was a nearly-pure feudal system until the emancipation of the serfs in 1861.

                                                                          The source of the statement is Edward Keenan, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of History at Harvard, and probably the most notable scholar of Russian History **of that period** in America. Unfortunately, it's been long enough ago that I can't give you a citation to a particular article, but I do recall discussing the issue with him at some length.

                                                                          1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                            it's a shame, but i think a couple of these posts will soon be deleted due to lack of food involved. i just want to state that the american view of russian history has some serious defects.

                                                                            1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                              Amen to that. But sometimes the American view on American history gets a bit wonky too! Maybe we should leave it at, "The American view...." '-)

                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                everyone's view of history is suspect

                                                                              2. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                                More relative to the thread, the Western (and maybe more, for all I know) view of Slavic food is generally uninformed...but its hard to get the good stuff in much of the US so I supose it is to be expected.

                                                                                1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                                  Especially when you're talking about the history of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, I couldn't agree more. But there are fewer axes to grind when talking about events that are remote in time, and cultural historians tend to be less polemical than others.

                                                                                  That's not to say that anybody's version of the past is beyond reproach. And I'll be the first to admit that my statements are overgeneralizations. But (bringing this back to food) premodern Russia was not a land of plenty. Getting enough food to eat was, for most of the population, a backbreaking and risky proposition. The notion that most folks would have access to fine cuts of beef just doesn't compute.

                                                                                  1. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                    The Soviet era wasn't much better. My wife lived there until her mid-20s, emigrating in 1976, and she has great stories of food shortages and other culinary delights. Like the official Soviet cookbook, beautifully illustrated with photos of exotic dishes, many of whose ingredients neither she nor anyone she knew had ever even seen. Or the year that there was suddenly lots of chicken available in the shops - but it was all green-tinged and smelled horribly of fish (someone in the planning department made a mistake and raised the birds on bad fish meal, they suspected). Or the year when Khruschev had visited the US and was so impressed by the vast cornfields he saw in the mid-West that when he got back he ordered the Soviet farmers to rip out their traditional crops and replant millions of acres with sweet corn - which grew to about 18 inches tall on the chilly steppes! Not a lot to eat that year.

                                                                                    Ah, such fun times!

                                                                                    And then there are her stories of what it was like when she finally got out and, for example, visited a Western supermarket for the first time! But I'll save those for another thread.

                                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                                      interesting. when my half sister (65 at the time) visited here from russia in 1994 we went to a local grocery store. she accused us of being the equivalent of "party members" because there was no way that a store with that many varieties of apples would be open to the general public. her reaction to costco was even better!

                                                                                      1. re: BobB

                                                                                        Sixty nine - seventy in the CCCP (How long since you've seen that one?) and lots of greasy soups and sausages. Not a speck of Strog. to be seen.

                                                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                          That Time-Life you have been talking about was the first close-to-authentic version I ever had..prior to that it was a good "cousin" that we used from a Connecitcut (!) cookbook and it used some brewed coffee. Wasn't the "veritable" Stoganoff but I likedit. then I started going to Russia and learned a lot about slavic food..including schi and kasha (these are Our Foods)...and I think it is undervalued, especially re: soups. I've gotten about four of five slight variations on Stroganoff over the years since going over. Now, regarding the CCCP food, have some fun and read Capote's "The Muses Are Heard" about the 1956 Porgy & Bess tour. His account of dinner on the Soviet train from Brest-Litovsk to St. Petersburg/Petrograd/Petersburg.Leningrad/St. petersburg(again)) is hilarious.

                                                                                        2. re: BobB

                                                                                          "And then there are her stories of what it was like when she finally got out and, for example, visited a Western supermarket for the first time! But I'll save those for another thread."
                                                                                          What other stories? She's probably still standing in the produce department with her mouth agape just like penguin's sister.

                                                                                          1. re: wolfe

                                                                                            Well, given that it's 34 years later, not so much. She's now a gourmet shopper par excellence, and has a collection of shoes that would impress even Imelda Marcos.

                                                                                            But one aspect of her stories that I find particularly interesting is that it was not just the variety of foods that dazzled her, but the variety of packaging. In Soviet shops there were only a few standard sized jars and cartons, regardless of their contents.

                                                                                            Her first glimpse of this phenomenon was when she got off the plane and took her first steps in the Western world, in Vienna. She couldn't believe the variety of different types and sizes and shapes and colors of cars in the parking lot. In the good old CCCP there were only a few models, and all taxis in particular were identical in model and color (green).

                                                                                            Then she was sent to stay in temporary housing in Italy for a few months while they were processing her paperwork to get to the US, and BOY did she have fun!

                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                              your wife's experience reminds me of a friend's visit to china when westerners were first allowed (around 1980, i think). she went for a 10 day trip and on the 1st or 2nd day commented to the guide that all of the bicycles (which were the primary mode of transportation) were black. 3 or 4 days later, the guide came running to her, excited, pointing in a direction saying: "look, there's a red one! ".

                                                                                        3. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                          Nor does Stroganoff requirinbg "fine cuts of meat" compute! When I make what I was taught is a "traditional" Stroganoff, I use the meat from a 7 bone roast, cut it from the bone, freeze it to firm but not hard, then slice it think ACROSS the grain. Delicious! Make Stroganoff with tenderloin and you give up flavor.

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            I agree with you about tenderloin - I wouldn't use it for anything by choice, and on the rare occasions that I've prepared it, I've done it wrapped in bacon and served with a sauce for flavor.

                                                                                            But I do think a good sirloin or rib cut makes the best Stroganoff.

                                                                                            1. re: BobB

                                                                                              Sirloin at $2.99/ lb worked great. Beef is one advantage to living in New Mexico, chiles being the other.
                                                                                              Oh yes, Bob, I forgot the weather. Rain? What rain? I'm forgetting what cloudy skies are like.

                                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                                August. Return to where I began teaching 39 years ago. five more years and I'll be vested in the NM retirement plan, muchbetter than Maine. Own 7 acres up in the mountains. email me at profile address and we can chat.
                                                                                                There is a very good International Grocery store in Albuquerque, named Tallin, where I get my herring fix.

                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                  Tried to e-mail you - not sure it worked. All those Ws in your profile are a tad confusing. I sent it to simply "p" at "y" dot com.

                                                                                  2. re: alanbarnes

                                                                                    My mom's Poor Man's Stroganoff was pretty darned good. Ground beef, canned mushrooms, Pillsbury biscuits on top. I still make it, but I make my own biscuits and bake separately, and use fresh mushrooms. It's a family favorite.

                                                                                  3. Used to be a very popular dish in the UK. Havnt seen it here in probably 25 years but, oddly, it was on several menus in Cyprus when we were there a couple of weeks back.

                                                                                    As I remember it, it always had strips of fillet steak, onions, mushrooms & sour cream. Whether "authentic" or not, I neither know nor care. Tasted good when done well.

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Harters

                                                                                      you are right Harters, I think it went the way of dessert trolleys, grilled grapefruit with brown sugar and sole florentine!

                                                                                      1. re: smartie

                                                                                        C'mon smartie dessert trolleys still exist and I love em. The one at Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia is unforgetable for the very best reason - it's absolutely fantastic.

                                                                                        1. re: 1001dinners

                                                                                          Harters and I were talking UK! though I haven't lived there for over 5 years but I'm betting they mostly all disappeared in the early 80s.

                                                                                          1. re: smartie

                                                                                            Havnt seen a dessert trolley in donkeys years, smartie.

                                                                                    2. We have a favorite restaurant in Cambria Califirnia.
                                                                                      The chef is seasoned and knows his stuff. Only problem s he
                                                                                      liberally adds taragon to his stroganoff. I've mentioned previously
                                                                                      not liking taragon but to me ( a lover all my life of stroganoff) it has absolutely no place in stroganoff.

                                                                                      That said, I use good quality steak, cook it low and slow, with butter/olive oil/onions/garlic/mushrooms/wine/ salt/pepper/broth.

                                                                                      15 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                        Low and slow? Then it is NOT Stroganoff, it's beef stew! ;-)

                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                          sorry BB, no it's not
                                                                                          I like TENDER beef in my stroganoff

                                                                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                            if you use tenderloin, you don't have to cook it long.

                                                                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                not if you brown it well. of course, tenderloin on its own doesn't have much flavor.

                                                                                                but the great thing about stroganoff is that you can make it rather quickly. thus, the tenderloin. quick sear to med-rare, add other ingredients, done.

                                                                                                low and slow with chuck steak or whatever? not for me.

                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                              Of course it has to be tender. But still pink in the middle. Sirloin, tenderloin or ribeye lets you do that and still be faithful to the concept of stroganoff.

                                                                                              1. re: BobB

                                                                                                Amen. I used thinly sliced strips pf sirloin.

                                                                                                Dobre ytra, tovaritsh.


                                                                                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                  I mostly use leftovers from a roast, rare, then slice thin and slip into the sauce (onion, sour cream, touch of mustard (I sometimes use dried, sometimes just whatever's in the fridge), warm and serve over baby parsley potatoes or egg noodles. The egg noodles can be tossed in unsalted butter with parsley or dill, depending on what you like.

                                                                                                  It's what I grew up on with one Ukrainian grandmother and one Polish grandmother who learned from her Slovak in-laws. The Polish one most often added the dill, since she grew it in the bed between her driveway (which was two lanes of something like stones in cement with grass in the median) and her front porch/stoop in and among the snap-dragons. It was integral to her homemade pickles. She pickled straight cucumbers, and also an interesting mix of root veg, cauliflower and Lord knows what else. It was delicious, but looked like a science project in the jar. Often the canned beets were thinly sliced as a side.

                                                                                                2. re: BobB

                                                                                                  you know what, I'm gonna look it up and if you're right and the meat is supposed to be pink inside, I'll tell you you're right. I'm big enough to admit if I'm wrong but I have never in all my life, done it pink in the middle, would not have though about it, and won't be doing it that way for us. but for kicks and giggles, I'll do some research.

                                                                                              2. re: BobB

                                                                                                ok, one cookbook down so far, first one I opened.
                                                                                                The Joy of Cooking page 458 Beef Stroganoff 3/4 down the page.
                                                                                                .....and continuing

                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                  You must have the same 1970s vintage Joy as I do, mine also has the Stroganoff on page 458, "Saute beef quickly for 5 minutes" or some such.

                                                                                                  For the record, I'm not saying low, slow cooking makes a bad dish, I'm a huge fan of braised meats. It's just not the way traditional Stroganoff is done.

                                                                                                  1. re: BobB

                                                                                                    BB, no doubt same book but mine says "cut meat, fillet ends, to 1/2" slices across the grain, "pound them thin" cut into strips 1" wide. Saute beef quickly in butter about 5 minutes until 'browned evenly. Remove and keep 'hot'." We are getting different information from that. I read it as completely browned meaning to me, no pink, after keeping it hot, again, it wouldn't be pink after that time in my way of thinking. Did you read it some how that there's gonna be pink remaining or something close?

                                                                                                    I have more cookbooks than any body should have.

                                                                                                    That said, I just did some research. I stick to the thought that most or at least many recipes for this delicious dish are [over the years and there have been many] where I've gathered my thoughts from. You can do yours pink in the center, but I'll continue to make a great dish the way I have done it all my life.


                                                                                                    The first cookbook reference has already been posted being the


                                                                                                    These are ones I pulled from shelf in no order.

                                                                                                    I was looking for recipes for beef stroganoff

                                                                                                    and many didn't contain.

                                                                                                    Mentioned and credited ones did.

                                                                                                    None of them cooked beef to pink

                                                                                                    in middle or pink at all. Some say

                                                                                                    to cook with meat/beef for atleast

                                                                                                    30 minutes to much longer.

                                                                                                    The beef/meat will no longer be pink

                                                                                                    if that's the case, it'll be all the way through.

                                                                                                    One exception and it's a big one is listed

                                                                                                    as 12. or last, cause it's the last cookbook

                                                                                                    I grabbed.


                                                                                                    2. Fun Fare Santa Monica Bay Cookbook 1963-64

                                                                                                    page 33 for Beef Stroganoff with Pilaf

                                                                                                    3. The Complete Round the World Cookbook 1967

                                                                                                    page 27 Beef Stroganoff

                                                                                                    4. Raymond Olivers LA Cuisine 1969

                                                                                                    page 400 Beef Stroganoff/Boeuf Stroganoff

                                                                                                    5. Congressional Club Cookbook 1982

                                                                                                    page 337 Beef Stroganoff

                                                                                                    6. The Encyclopdia of Creative Cooking 1985

                                                                                                    page 69 Beef Stroganoff

                                                                                                    7. Christ the King 1989

                                                                                                    page 61 Beef Stroganoff

                                                                                                    8. The Settlement Cookbook 1976

                                                                                                    page 271 Beef Stroganoff

                                                                                                    9. Better Homes and Gardens no page with year on it

                                                                                                    page 206 Beef Stroganoff

                                                                                                    10. Better Crocker 1974

                                                                                                    page 294 Classic Beef Stroganoff

                                                                                                    11. American Heart Association Cookbook 1991

                                                                                                    page 274 Beef Stroganoff


                                                                                                    I will say:

                                                                                                    12. Mastering the Art of French Cooking 1970

                                                                                                    page 325 Beef Sautes Saute de Boeuf

                                                                                                    DOES say "nice brown outside and rosy center" way of

                                                                                                    cooking the beef.

                                                                                                    1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                      The earliest print recipe is a 19thc Russina book by Elena Molokhovet
                                                                                                      The easiest place to find it is on foodtimeline

                                                                                                      There it's tender beef, cut small, fried in butter. Sauce is added, brought to a boil and then served. Details are left up to the cook.

                                                                                                      That is a very simple recipe. On the other hand Thomas Keller's take on the 1950s American version uses leftover braised short ribs (Ad Hoc At Home).

                                                                                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                        I didn't mean to imply that it had to be literally pink, just that traditionally the meat in Beef Stroganoff is cooked quickly, seared as opposed to braised. But I guess I did use the word pink so that's my fault - what's the matter, aren't you reading my mind? ;-)

                                                                                                        But please do continue to make it how you like, I would never suggest otherwise. Just don't call it stroganoff if you have me over to dinner!

                                                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                                                          you're welcome at my dinner table anytime Bob. it'd be a pleasure to serve you, uh, um, whatever it's called *+) I stopped trying to read mens minds a long time ago. I've had my husband all my life and his, I've almost mastered reading. but he'd deny it for sure. I do have to say that when anyone asks me what my favorite thing to cook is [and why do people ask that? like I have a standard answer?] I say Beef Stroganoff. it's also what they usuallly ask me to write on the fly for them so they can do it too at home. the meats of choice are varied as well. reading all those recipes trying to find the word pink, I also paid attention to the beef called for. my experience with BS, < oh OOOOPs..................is flank steak, round steak, skirt steak, rib eye, tri tip, sirloin or chuck. whatever I have in the freezer. if the man comes home or writes me during the day asking for BS, < hahha, that's funny [cause I give it to him often] I take out whatever beef product I have frozen sans ground of course, and I pound away. love my huge ole pounder, takes out mucho aggression. (^!*)

                                                                                              3. My mother deglazed with leftover coffee. She read it in a magazine. (While wearing her electric boots and mohair suit).

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                  love the deglaze idea of coffee, smart.................

                                                                                                  ah.................................BBBBenny and the Jets

                                                                                                  loved that husband took me to Elton John last year for my birthday in Tahoe.

                                                                                                  man oh man was he ever fabuloso or what?

                                                                                                2. This has turned out to be one of my favorite threads, the history or the different opinions on the history of stroganoff, fascinating. I'm not sure that I'll for go my tomato paste and dill, so guess I need a new name for what I've always considered to be Beef Stroganoff. However as I lick my wounds (and my plate), tonight for dinner will ve Chicken Paprikash and Spaetzle! (and I'm not kidding!). Too bad I haven't the faintest where to get the good sour cream of which you all speak...such is life.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                                    Hi CC
                                                                                                    Just want to tell you how pleased I am that this query set off such an interesting lot of discussion and comment. Unfortunately I still don't have any defining explanation for what beef Stroganoff is!

                                                                                                    1. re: 1001dinners

                                                                                                      Of course you do! Just reread Penguin and me, good sons of the Russian double headed eagle.
                                                                                                      How can recipes from our Russian grandmothers leave and doubt?
                                                                                                      Amerikanski doorock!

                                                                                                  2. i am spending too much time on this discussion, but it has peaked my curiosity. just looked at 7 of my cookbooks that have recipes for stroganoff.

                                                                                                    oldest is a british cookbook of russian recipes first published in 1964, republished in 1998. it actually has three versions of the dish: traditional, ukrainian style, and one made with pork. the first uses fillet, sour cream, onion, flour, salt/pepper & butter & beef stock; the ukrainian uses all of the above PLUS: garlic and red wine! also states "sour cream, NOT youghurt"; and the "svinina po-stroganovski" uses lean pork, the same onion, sour cream & salt - but then also adds tomato puree, fresh dill and parsley!

                                                                                                    in the other books i also saw references for worcestershire sauce, sunflower oil, dijon mustard, grated onion, nutmeg, basil and dry white wine!

                                                                                                    so to each his own!

                                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: justanotherpenguin

                                                                                                      I quite fancy the pork version. Out of interest, what's the cookbook? I'm a tad surprised we Britons had such an interest in russian recipes in 1964, or 1998 for that matter :-)

                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                          it is:
                                                                                                          "Russian Cooking"
                                                                                                          by Robin Howe
                                                                                                          forward by Jennifer Patterson
                                                                                                          published by Andre Deutsch
                                                                                                          ISBN 0 23399 472 6
                                                                                                          i found it on ebay a couple of years ago. my copy looks new, though it was supposedly used. the forward is good, but the original introduction by the author is excellent. i actually forgot that i had it, so i am going to spend some time with it looking at the recipes. (i'm one of those who reads through entire cookbooks with a "bookmark" piece of blank paper and make notes of the recipes that i would like to try. for some reason [may have been very busy] i never did that with this book.)

                                                                                                          if you would like me to post the actual pork stroganoff recipe, let me know and i'll do so in home cooking.

                                                                                                          1. re: Harters

                                                                                                            Not exactly true, Harters. Brit interest predates even the '60s and '90s. The venerable British "Wine and Food Society," headed (I believe) by Andre L. Simon published "A Concise Encyclopaedia of Gastronomy" in 9 volumes, spanning publication years from 1939 to 1946, then ultimately published in a single bound edition in the U.S. in 1952 by Harcourt, Brace and Company (New York). In it, a recipe for Boeuf Stroganoff, courtesy of Ambrose Heath in "Wine and Food," iv, page 23, says it's "a pleasant, simple, but rather imposing dish" made by cooking sliced onions and mushrooms in butter, then quickly searing some thin (pounded and sliced) tenderloin and adding it to the onion and mushrooms, then adding sour cream (if sour cream is not available it is suggested you sour thick sweet cream by adding some lemon juice). He also suggests that if you wish to heighten the flavor of the final dish, you may add a little French (NOT "French's) mustard to the mixture just prior to adding the sour cream. The dish should be served "very hot" and he suggests a potato puree as an accompaniment. Personally, I would omit the mustard and tenderloin, using a more flavorful cut of beef, and serve on buttered/parslied egg noodles, but hey, that's just me! '-)

                                                                                                        2. Did it with beef tenderloin at ten bucks a pound, then tried with pork tenderloin three bucks a pound. Which think ye best match for home-cook chowhound?

                                                                                                          The most heavily discussed variables above seem be tomato paste and dill.

                                                                                                          I'll enter the discussion with gentle consideration of Diameter and its appeal.

                                                                                                          And tip towards new heresy, when I mutely declaresy, that Dill Pickles are part of the meal.

                                                                                                          I'm glad that there are deep traditionalists, who seek the Tsar's beef-mushroom interests. The Stroganoff dynasty for sure kitchens swayed, but quite honestly, might there be more than one way?

                                                                                                          Pork tenderloin. Good Dill pickles. Both sliced in the size of fat nickels. They offer good crunch and good melt in the fray. Equal diameters of pork and of pickles in a sour cream sauce that is fickle to each, who adds the dill, 'mater paste, and some spices.

                                                                                                          I'm real happy the way that this evolved for me. Sure, I'll do it with mignon... if you're buyin'.

                                                                                                          "What's in a name?"... might as well have been Romanov, o'er the more touted Stroganav. It's just meat, mushrooms, sour cream, with the rest to be argued with intransigent claim.

                                                                                                          As a product of peasants I'm glad that the present dish gives room to roam.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                              Zakuska or appetizer, including salted cucumbers (google a recipe), are very much a part of the Russian cuisine, especially w. vodka. Sorry FF, but Zakuska is not an untypical topping for Stroganoff.
                                                                                                              I think the issue here is those of a certain ethnic group grow up with a tradition or feel for a cuisine, whether they be Italian, Russian of Texas BBQian and those outside that kin and kith "corrupt"" a traditional food w/ nontraditional items ie. tomatoes.
                                                                                                              Za Vasha zdrovnia!

                                                                                                              1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                Glad to hear that Cukes are in there.

                                                                                                                I shall retreat into my own recipe, with absolution that it's okay to be a slicin' jerkin' gherkin.

                                                                                                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                  Since you are a Carolina WASP, what can one expect? You are absolved.
                                                                                                                  I think I'll use a cinnamon dry rub for my Carolina Q!
                                                                                                                  Boris Baddenoff

                                                                                                                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                    Knock yourself out, Albuquerque 'Cue Boy. But if you're going for cinnamon, don't forget the star anise. Heck, might as well go for the full complement and do Five Spice Powder. You can call it "The pork that ain't 'Cue, but I'm Prouder!"

                                                                                                                    I'd just as soon see that you stick to your chowder.

                                                                                                                    I'll stay with my thick sliced fermented dill pickles when I conjure a batch of "Beef Stroganoff". The pickles, the pork, sour cream, and the dill, give pleasure when guests hit the trough.

                                                                                                                    I could perhaps be persuaded that tomato paste ain't native to the hinterlands of deep cold Siberia. But it tastes good, it feels good, and as the bard say, Ye must Gather ye Lycopenes wherever ye may.

                                                                                                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                                                                                                      Sounds like you used to own an old splitty VW van, you ol' hippie, you!

                                                                                                                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                                                                                        Yep. That small air-cooled engine had a voice and precision as we cruised and we gathered up Rosebuds. Those halcyon days, a whole different scene, when we'd never heard nary about "Lycopenes."

                                                                                                                        So, now you're a lauder of High Plateau chowder, but still hear that VW "Pit Pat." The bandana and beard have morphed through the years to where Stroganoff is what you aspire at.

                                                                                                                        "Tis good to seek best blend for Strogie. Beats the hell outa cheap Subway Hoagie. So reach for Five Stars midst them Tsars and them Czars, you bearded bandana'd old fogey.

                                                                                                                        It would be fun if you would post your detailed recipe.

                                                                                                            2. Wow, This seems to have opened a can of worms. Re sour cream. There is a large Russian community where I live and 'smetana' Russian sour cream is freely available. It tastes a bit like unflavoured natural yoghurt. It is much more tart than the regular sour cream. The local one is 17% fat cf 35% for the regular stuff. Nobody here uses dill or tomatoes. They do use a little tomato paste occasionally and Dijon mustard, I see nutmeg in some recipes too. It seems that anything at all is acceptable as long as the meet is cut in fine strips, across the grain, and cooked fast. It is served either with rice or under straw potatoes.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: 1001dinners

                                                                                                                Large Russian community here too - about 30,000 or so. My wife is one of them. When we don't get a chance to pick up real smetana, she uses a mix of sour cream and Greek yogurt, which she says comes out pretty close.

                                                                                                              2. my mom use to make stroganoff with cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, onions, butter, and paprika. one of my favorite meals growing up

                                                                                                                1. Butter or oil for sauteeing cubed tenderloin; onions, mushrooms, sour cream or smetana, salt, pepper and a dash of dried mustard (or a tiny dab of dijon, if that's what I have on hand. But I do mean tiny.) Served up on egg noodles with poppyseeds, or rice cooked with onions, and a sweet and sour cucumber/beet/onion salad (with dill!) which is a great counterpoint to all the rich food. I have no idea what makes it definitive, though - I think it might just be the classic recipe as a whole. All that aside, I find my version good enough without tomato paste, and would be inclined not to fix what ain't broken, but I wouldn't knock anybody for trying it in theirs. Oh, and sometimes if I want to lighten it up a bit, I'll simmer the cubes in a bit of beef stock to replace some of the cream, and the only one who knows the difference is me.

                                                                                                                  1. It's like "goulash". In "American" it is named by the maker and resembles almost nothing to the originators of the dish, "spaghetti" (the dish- not the pasta itself) and 'gravy" (meat gravy, bechamel, tomato sauce). There is no right answer and it depends on what you always called it, or grew up calling it. It is only inciting an argument in the US if you claim Stroganoff is a specific dish. For the record, for me growing up, it was Kluski noodles, stew beef, sour cream, beef broth, mushrooms, onions, wine optional and thickened with roux or corn starch and seasoned. I am sure that is wrong as with just about every other recipe commonly used. It's not something I would order in a restaurant so, who cares. If I am cooking at home it may be this recipe or a million variations thereof. I will call it whatever I want.

                                                                                                                    1. Let's start back at Strogies and assume there's some 'shrooms.

                                                                                                                      My God: butter and meat and onions and mushrooms and cultured cream.

                                                                                                                      Don't care of what dynasty it's named of.

                                                                                                                      1. If you refer to the "original" recipe, it is what it is. Most recipes have evolved over time and been adapted to the families' tastes or regional tastes and still called by the original name. No biggie!

                                                                                                                        1. I wonder if many of y'all would be surprised to know that Chili Con Carne did not originally have tomatoes or beans in it? And certainly not hamburger--chunks of beef instead. Recipes most certainly do evolve, and I, for one, am very glad about it.

                                                                                                                          1. "Stroganoff - What's in a name?"

                                                                                                                            flavor, lots and lots of flavor.

                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                              What are strong flavor components? This is Russian in origin, not SE Asian. The meat is, ideally, a tender quick cooking one, not the most flavorful cut. There's sour cream, tart, but otherwise a mellowing agent (to use Susan Feniger's term). What else? Some beef stock, maybe. Mushrooms - more flavor with some wild ones, not much with button. Mustard and herbs - those are controversial.

                                                                                                                              1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                delicious flavor may be better verbiage paulj.
                                                                                                                                red wine, mushrooms, sour cream, onions and garlic + seasonings = strong yet gentle lovely flavors.

                                                                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                                                                  Red wine may add some nice flavor, but the color might clash with the white of the cream. However there is another thread about a Thomas Keller recipe (from Ad Hoc) that uses a short ribs cooked in a red wine reduction. But he was intentionally elaborating on his mother's 1950s American stroganoff, not the Russian classic.

                                                                                                                                  We have some idea of what the 19th c Russian version was like thanks to several editions of a Russian cookbook. But everyone has put their own spin on it, whether they are modern Russians, classic French, American school cafeterias, or Scandinavian diners.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: paulj

                                                                                                                                    like to ad-lib when doing Stroganoff paulj.
                                                                                                                                    I'm a rebel in that sense.
                                                                                                                                    the red wine is for the time that the mushrooms and garlic go in and they simmer gently until the meat enters the picture with the seasonings. it reduces down to nothingness, the red wine but imparts a nice hint of flavor in the back ground.
                                                                                                                                    the color though is gone by the time the sour cream gets added so it stays that nice lightish pale color.