Legend has it that the original recipe was for counting Alexander Grigorievich Stroganov (1774–1817) made by his personal French chief André Dupont. “The count was very old at the time and the chef prepared a dish of beef lung,” he told Open Kitchen. Viktor Borisovich Belyaev. However, there are some explanations: the famous encyclopedia Larousse Gastronomique, which gathers culinary knowledge from all over the world, of course also mentions this classic Russian dish, namely “thinly sliced meat, topped with cream sauce, onions and mushrooms”.
According to this gastronomic bible, the wealthy Stroganov family, originally from Novgorod, was engaged in trade, its business paths extending as far as the Netherlands, but only relevant to this story. Alexander Grigoryevich, elevated to aristocratic status. And with a foreign chef. There is a concern about the origin: their French chef may have given the family name one of the dishes, but the name may also come from the Russian verb strogat, which means to cut into pieces.
He cooks in the Kremlin for 30 years
Our first interlocutor is the president of the National Association of Chefs of Russia. He worked in the kitchen in the Kremlin for 30 years. He was there for so many years that the presidents he cooked for ran two countries: Mikhail Gorbachev Soviet Union and three then the Russian Federation: Boris Yelcin, Dmitry Medvedev IN Vladimir Putin. He also cooked when visiting foreign statesmen, such as the Iron Lady Margaret ThatcherAmerican president Richard Nixon and the German chancellor Helmut Kohl.
The legend of Russian cuisine began his career at the Moscow restaurant Pravda, where in 1978 he became chef. Later, for many years, he prepared food, which was served at meetings of Soviet (then Russian) and world leaders, which was not an easy task – supposedly individuals seeking months of work and preparation, everything had to go like clockwork .
Pushkin potatoes, wide noodles…
The aforementioned Belyaev butter, the events with which we connected at the Russian Embassy in Ljubljana, is also listed when we ask him what we serve this legendary beef with:, then it is cooled, cut into pieces and fried in butter. such is prepared with flour, sour cream, tomato concentrate and onion, then it is the base of the soup and of course salt and pepper.
Many recipes for beef stroganoff recommend wide noodles or mashed potatoes, for example. He also decides on the latter Marija Surova, Russian actress, TV presenter of the Culinary Challenge show, influential and blogger. In one of his blog posts, he also writes a classic recipe and wonders what the original was really like, because, Surova notes, “there are so many versions of this popular dish that you get confused and do not know who to trust. .. “
So what can be the original recipe?
“Everyone agrees here – for beef stroganoff you need good tender beef, butter, flour, sour cream, onions and tomato concentrate,” writes Surova. Ingredients also listed by Chef Belyaev. The recipe, Surova notes, was first published in the book Elena Molokovec in 1871: “I have this book, but the 1903 edition. The recipe is the same as in the first edition, but different from the recipe from the Soviet culinary book published in 1955.” Elena Molokovec writes that meat should be cut, in Soviet Cuisine was instructed to beat itself.
The key: fry the meat quickly
“In fact, this step depends on the part of the beef you use,” says Marija Surova. An old cookbook suggests frying meat with onions, and in the Soviet version, we add already fried onions to beef. “The second option makes more sense to me, as I like that the onion is well fried, but that’s a matter of taste,” he says.
According to her, the common denominator of all recipes is that “we fry the meat quickly, over a high heat and we do not boil it, but only heat it in sauce. By the way, be careful – I do not recommend pre-rolling the cut meat in flour, which is found in some recipes. It also does not need to be washed, as stated in some modern cookbooks.
What about mustard? Belyaev does not add it, although it appears in many recipes – most often the classic Russian sarepta, the sharpest mustard.
“The sauce can be prepared on the basis of soup and yoghurt, but it can also be prepared on the basis of cream or milk and yoghurt. I prepare it with milk and sour cream. Adjust the density according to your taste, if you want it to be thinner, add milk, cream or soup “, says Surova, another ingredient, milk.
What about Slovenian cookbooks?
Slovenian chef Felicite Kalinšek, published in 1952, does not mention this famous dish, but the book contains an interesting recipe for roasting the lungs the Russian way. It also includes sardines, a piece of brain, carrots, parsley, celery, thyme, bay leaves, lemon and three ingredients that are key to making beef stroganoff: onion, butter and sour cream.
A cookbook with a simple title Cooking under which they are signed Pepica Levstek and Andreja Grum and which generations of Slovenian catering school students have used as textbooks in cooking, mentions stroganoff beef fillets (Filet de boeuf Stroganoff). According to this recipe, fry the beef along with the onion, and add red wine (merlot) to the sauce, sliced mushrooms and pickles, as well as mustard, Worcestershire sauce and a little sour cream.
Another jump around the world…
While browsing the internet, we find something interesting: beef stroganoff became extremely popular in China before World War II, and later Russian and Chinese immigrants took it to America, where it was quite regularly on the menu in the 1950s. In the US , this dish is supposed to still be prepared in a similar way as described in the Slovenian high school cookbook: with mushrooms, onions and sour cream, and most often served with rice or noodles.
In Scandinavian countries beef is replaced by sausage and Brazilians have gone further in processing the recipe than the original: instead of beef they use chicken or even shrimp or shrimp.
Online sources tell us another interesting fact: in Japan, stroganoff beef, kajpada, is served with rice and it is customary to add a little soy sauce to this Russian-sounding beef.
… And a look at famous chefs
He likes to serve beef stroganoff with brown rice or basmati Jamie Oliver, who in a book dedicated to 15-minute meals adds mushrooms, onions, ground sweet pepper, lemon, a little cognac and (maybe instead of yogurt) four more tablespoons filled with yogurt. He also watches the mushroom Thomas Keller, which runs the famous Per Se and The French Laundry restaurants (both with three Michelin lights). The way of its preparation is anything but 15 minutes, as in addition to the stove it uses an oven and of course it makes the second dish itself, the pasta.
Moving away from the basic recipe is definitely the same Gordon Ramsey, as we find online a ten-year clip of chicken stroganoff prepared with smoked peppers. “Hot tagan. “Olive oil”, says in a telegraphic style the chief of language, who also adds onions, green peppers, garlic and mushrooms and white wine. Chicken base. Yogurt, legumes, parsley. Chef Ramsay serves his “perfect stroganoff” with specli, which he calls “German pasta”.
A brief look at the chefs: Marta Stewart offers wide noodles and adds mushrooms to the meat as well. Choose mustard, onion, sour cream and, interestingly, dill. Nigelli Lawson beef is a combination of onion, garlic, ground pepper, tomato puree, mustard and pickles, while Julia Child relies mainly on sponge cake and sour cream.
A classic recipe for beef stroganoff
He was sent from Moscow to the Open Kitchen by chef Viktor Borisovich Belyaev. For 10 people.
- 1 kg of beef (part of the lungs)
- 4 onions
- a piece of butter
- 100 gr butter
- 100 gr flour
- 400 g shoulder base
- 250 gr sour cream
- 70 g tomato concentrate
- salt, ground black pepper
1. Clean the piece of roast connective tissue in the lungs and cut perpendicular to the strands in the steak, and then into strips 5 cm long and 1 cm wide.
2. Chop the onion and fry in raw butter.
3. Prepare the sauce for which you first make the base: in another pan over medium heat melt the butter and add the flour. While stirring, fry gently for 10 minutes to get a golden brown color and smell like roasted almonds.
4. Dilute with the base of the boiled liquid to medium density, mix with sour cream and tomato concentrate, bring to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the sauce through a sieve.
Shake the sliced meat in a third pan with hot butter and fry over high heat, stirring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes to soften.
6. Then mix the fried onions and pour over the yoghurt sauce, stirring gently and letting simmer. Salt to taste.
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Cover photo: Zoryanchik / Shutterstock