Each country and each cook tried to change the original recipe, but we will revive it.
The culinary historian of Russian cuisine William Pohlebkin believed that this famous Russian dish, beef stroganoff, was named in honor of Count Alexander Grigorievich Stroganov.
About Count Stroganov and the Famous Recipe
Count Alexander Grigorievich Stroganov was a Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia from 1839 to 1841 years, and, most importantly, the Count was the Governor-General of Novorossiysk and Bessarabiain 1855-1862. At that time, the Count was the president of the Historic society and antiquities of Russia (Odessa). Later, he bequeathed his huge library to the Tomsk University.
The count was childless. And, like many of the rich nobles of that time,he held an “open table”. This meant that almost any educated or well-dressed person could get to that table for lunch.
William Pohlebkin believes that for such a table a hybrid of Russian and French dish was prepared. The Russian nature of the dish is very noticeable: the sauce is not served separately, but as part of the dish.
The dish could be easily reproduced; it could be divided into portions, which is very convenient when you didn’t know the number of guests. And, most importantly, the dish was very tasty.
By the way, the Count lived a very long life – 95 years – which suggests the healthfulness of the recipe, because the Count ate at the same table.
Gradually, the recipe for this dish – meat stroganoff, beef stroganoff – became popular throughout Russia, and after the mass emigration of Russians it spread around the world. Russians ordered in cafes and restaurants this familiar dish and chefs quickly learned how to make it.
Over the years, the original recipes were lost. Today the dish that is called beef stroganoff is at best a vague resemblance to the original dish, and at worst – absolutely different inexpressive concoction.
How to Make a Real Russian Beef Stroganoff (Homemade Recipe)
Take beef tenderloin or sirloin part. Once again, only use beef, no chicken or other meat.
Onion. Flour. Butter. A cup of Russian sour cream (now available in many stores). Tomato paste (not ketchup).
Cutting the Meat
Lightly tenderize the meat. Make sure you do it in one piece! Then cut it into rectangles of about 5-6 cm long and 1 cm wide. Then cut these pieces into strips, about 0.5-1 cm thick. Make sure to cut across the grain, or your meat will be impossible to chew!
Frying the Meat
Place the pan over high heat. Lay the bottom of the pan with onion. Add a little butter. Place the meat on top after dipping it in flour. The meat should not touch the bottom of the frying pan! You should only fry meat for just a few minutes (2-5). If you fry it longer – the meat will become tough. And we need juicy meat!
Stewing the Meat
Take a saucepan (a small pan with a long handle) and move your meat there. If you do not have a saucepan, then you can keep cooking in a frying pan, just remove extra onion that you do not like. On top of the meat put the sauce (already mixed 1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon of flour, to taste – 1 tablespoon of tomato paste – no ketchup, namely tomato paste with no additives!). Salt – to taste. Simmer on low heat. In 15-30 minutes the dish is ready. Cooking time depends on what kind of meat you bought.
Making a Side Dish
Buy potatoes, peel them and cut into slices. Cook the potatoes in a fryer while your meat is being stewed.
Serving the Dish
Meat and side dish are served hot right after it finished cooking. This is important.
A little advice from us: if you slice some tomatoes and serve them alongside the dish with fresh herbs (dill, parsley, cilantro or basil –whatever you like), it will bring out the flavors of the disheven more.