Beef stroganoff is a dish that originated in Russia. It was originally made with beef strips coated in flour that were sauteed and sour cream, or smetana. Back then, it did not have either mushrooms or onions in the recipe. The earliest mention of the dish was in 1871, when it was found in a cookbook called “The Gift to Young Housewives”, which was often given as a gift to young brides as a wedding gift. There are two theories of how the dish got its name. One is that it was named after one of the influential family members of the Stroganoff family, and the other theory is that the name came from the Russian verb CTPOraTb, or strogate, meaning to chip or shave off, also known as strogania. The dish became very popular in Chinese restaurants and hotels after the fall of Tsarist Russia, before WWII. After WWII, it was brought to the United States by the Russian and Chinese immigrants, as well as the American servicemen returning home from serving abroad in WWII. It became a popular dish in the United States during the 1950’s. Today, beef stroganoff is a popular dish around the world. Because of it’s world wide popularity, there are many, many different versions of this beloved dish. The most popular way to prepare this dish is with beef and sour cream, however, in other parts of the world it is made differently. For instance, in Brazil, it is made with tomato sauce and heavy cream. In the Nordic countries, it is often made with sausage and is known as korv-stroganoff. Some versions add vegetables and others do not. In some places, it is served almost like a borscht, or as a red stew with a dollup of sour cream served separately on top. Here in the United States, as well as in Australia and the UK, it is most often made with mushrooms and onions, served over either noodles or rice. It can also be served over mashed potatoes. This is how I have always made it too. But then I am an American who is also half Aussie, so this is how I learned how to make it and enjoy it.
Getting everything ready. Any kind of meat can be used, and it can be cut however you like it. I used a chuck steak and cut it in thin strips. I sliced the mushrooms and onions in thin slices. I also add a little garlic and paprika to my sauce as well.
Beef Stroganoff with Mushrooms and Onions
2 lbs of meat, cut into thin strips (you can also use chicken or sausage if you prefer)
1-1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced thin
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 TBSP garlic
3/4 cup flour
salt & pepper to taste
1 TBSP paprika
2 cups sour cream (you can substitute plain yogurt as well, or use a combination of both. I use both, and often times use a combination. it really kind of depends on what I have on hand at the time.)
olive oil and/or butter
cooked noodles or rice, or mashed potatoes
After the meat was all cut into thin strips, I coated it and tossed it all with flour. The flour helps brown the meat and adds a bit more texture to it, plus it also acts as a thickening agent for the sauce.
Saute the mushrooms, onions, and garlic, if using, together in either olive oil or butter, or a combination of both. The butter gives it a real rich flavor. Cook until the onions are translucent and soft. Once they are cooked, remove from the heat and set aside.
In the same pan, brown the meat, adding more butter and/or olive oil as needed. This is when I add my salt, pepper and paprika as well. Cook the meat until it has browned and cooked completely.
Once the meat is cooked, add the mushrooms and onions and mix well. Then add your sour cream and/or yogurt. You may need to adjust the seasonings at this point too. Mix everything together and incorporate well.
It is now ready to served over rice, noodles or even mashed potatoes. I served my stroganoff over cooked egg noodles, with carrots sauteed in honey butter, and warm rosemary bread on the side. To complete the meal, I poured a glass of a rich, Argentine malbec. A perfect fall meal.