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Authentic Russian Beef Stroganov

They say confession is good for the soul. So I hereby publicly "Confess" I have "Collaborated with the Russians" to bring you this recipe. It is from an old cookbook of Russian classics. The author/translator says this recipe "makes the best Beef Stroganov I have ever eaten." I agree and the procedure is easy because it is not based on an elaborate "French-type" sauce like some Stroganov recipes. This comes from a typical Russian kitchen.


You Will Need (for six people):

1-1 1/2 large onion, thinly sliced

4-6 tablespoons of butter, perhaps a little more

2 pounds fresh mushrooms, sliced

1-2 heaping tablespoons of flour

3-5 heaping tablespoons of sour cream, perhaps a  little more

2 pounds beef tenderloin, tenderloin tips or other good cut.

Salt to taste. (I use none or very little)

Special Note: All ingredients should be at room temperature, even sour cream is to be left out for several hours before you begin; it won't sour.


To Begin:

1). Gently fry onion in approx. 2 tablespoons of butter until tender; then fry mushrooms separately in another 2 tablespoons of butter. Combine these in a sauce pan, sprinkle with the flour and mix well.

2). Let mixture cool 10-15 minutes then stir in sour cream and set aside. (Can sit all afternoon if you wish.)

3). Cut meat into thin strips, approx. 1/2 inch wide and 2-3 inches long. A sharp knife is helpful. This is the most time consuming part.

4). About 30-45 minutes before serving, begin to gently reheat the onion/mushroom mixture. Original procedure suggested heating over "hot", but not boiling water. If I am making a double batch for the whole family, I use a thick bottom sauce pan, stirring frequently. NEVER LET IT BOIL!

5). Heat remaining butter until hot, but not browning/bubbling. Fry meat quickly (5-10 minutes) until it stops giving off liquid. Let it cool a few minutes, then add meat and juices from the pan to the onion/mushroom mixture, blend together and keep warm.

6). Serve with cooked white rice on the side, or as I prefer, on top of extra-wide egg noodles. If mixture is too thick, add a little water to frying pan to collect more of the meat drippings, then add it to the mixture; if mixture is too thin, add more sour cream.

Now you, too, can "Collaborate" with the Russians and serve this authentic, classic dish with pride. I hope you enjoy this family favorite.


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