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Aug 29, 2011 02:15 PM

What makes beef stroganoff authentic?

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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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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):

        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:

        Okay, and here's another one worth reading:

        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

          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.

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

          1. 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

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