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What makes beef stroganoff authentic?

natewrites Aug 29, 2011 02:15 PM

My brother-in-law contends that the way our mother makes beef stroganoff is good, but "unauthentic."

The way my mom makes it is with sirloin steak, fresh mushrooms, garlic, onion, butter, fresh mushrooms, flour, ketchup, bouillon and sour cream.

But isn't that the way it's supposed to be made? So what constitutes "real" authentic stroganoff?

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    hazelhurst RE: natewrites Aug 29, 2011 02:22 PM

    There was a big, raging debate on this last year (I think) and Passadumkeg had some choice zingers as I recall.

    Never seen ketchup in stroganoff. Have had it several times in Russia and it was markedly different (and better) than most US versions I have had. No noodles..shoe string potatoes. My mother used wild rice which is inauthentic but good. She also put a touch of coffee in hers, which was taught to her by a Russian emigre in Connecticut.

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      oldunc RE: natewrites Aug 29, 2011 02:23 PM

      I don't really know the history of this dish, but ketchup and flour are unusual, garlic too. I use some dill and paprika, not sure if that's authentic but it's good.

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        acgold7 RE: natewrites Aug 29, 2011 02:58 PM

        Well, what's most important is what you like. However, the above posters are right in that the more authentic versions don't have flour or ketchup. They also use tenderloin, which must be quick seared and remain rare, as indicated in this thread (not the one referred to above):

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/275923

        It includes the Cook's recipe and also refers to the Julia Child recipe in The Way to Cook. I think they both use real stock instead of bouillon, by which I assume you mean cubes or powder.

        I think the Big Raging Debate one might have been this one, which did seem to have gotten pretty hot:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/751875

        Okay, and here's another one worth reading:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/739393

        When you're done your head will explode. In reading it, I think it is clearly the one hazelhurst was referring to.

        One thing is clear to me. No matter how you do it, it's darn tasty. I've made it with hamburger meat and the kids love it. They want me to leave out the mushrooms and don't care that it isn't "authentic."

        1 Reply
        1. re: acgold7
          paulj RE: acgold7 Aug 30, 2011 10:06 AM

          The essence of these past threads is that authenticity depends strongly on your reference point. Is it a 19th century Russian cookbook, your favorite Russian emigre, a 1930s French encyclopedia, or memories of 1960s American home and school cafeteria cooking? The Wiki article even discusses popular Scandinavian, Brazilian and Japanese versions.

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          master815k RE: natewrites Aug 29, 2011 04:10 PM

          There's a recipe from Joy of Cooking that I love! This is as close as I can find: http://www.thejoykitchen.com/recipe.l...
          It's really simple and doesn't take long to cook at all. Highly recommend it!

          1. pilotgirl210 RE: natewrites Aug 29, 2011 04:31 PM

            My time-honored method:

            I start by putting a nice sirloin steak in the freezer for about half an hour so it's easier to slice. Take it out and thinly slice it. Saute fresh sliced mushrooms and diced onion until soft and lightly browned. Remove with slotted spoon. Saute meat until no longer pink. Add mushrooms and onions back into the pan. Season with *ample* splashes of Worchestershire sauce (I use a serious amount) and dry sherry. Continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half. Off heat, stir in sour cream. Serve immediately over cooked wide egg noodles. I've never had any left any time I've prepared it, and I have made it many, many times over the years. Ketchup, garlic, bouillon, flour? Never heard of using them. And a gal at work makes hers with cream of mushroom soup! Now what's up with that????

            1 Reply
            1. re: pilotgirl210
              m
              master815k RE: pilotgirl210 Aug 29, 2011 07:44 PM

              This pretty much is the Joy of Cooking one. Simple, straighforward. Love it!!

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              gilintx RE: natewrites Aug 29, 2011 05:05 PM

              I've never heard of Stroganoff with ketchup, although I do usually use a bit of tomato paste in mine. As others have mentioned, debates about what constitues "real" Stroganoff get pretty contentious pretty fast. I would share my version, but I fear I might get stoned (hint: it uses dijon mustard).

              1. pikawicca RE: natewrites Aug 29, 2011 07:54 PM

                Poor Man’s Stroganoff

                1 pound ground beef

                2 tablespoons butter, divided

                1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

                1 large onion, chopped

                1 pint sour cream

                1/4 cup sherry (NOT cooking sherry)

                1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

                1/4 cup catsup

                1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

                1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

                Salt and pepper, to taste

                Biscuits for serving

                Put a colander in the sink. In a large nonstick frying pan, cook the beef over medium-high heat, breaking it up into smaller and smaller bits, until no pink remains, about 10 minutes. Scrape into colander.

                Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan and cook the mushrooms over medium heat, until browned. Scrape into the colander.

                Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan and add the onions. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes.

                Return the meat and mushrooms to the pan and add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir well, cover and reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally, while you bake the biscuits.

                To serve, divide the meat mixture among four bowls, and top each with a biscuit.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pikawicca
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                  master815k RE: pikawicca Aug 30, 2011 09:41 AM

                  My mom used to make stroganoff with 1lb of ground beef, mushrooms, and a container of sour cream. Done. But I guess I fancied mine up!

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