Filet Mignon

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a classic Russian dish of diced beef served in a cream sauce.  It is enjoyed in nearly every region of the world and has many regional variations.  I developed this recipe after a careful review of both classic and modern versions of the dish.  Unfortunately, in America, hamburger and cream of mushroom soup have been combined into an unholy union and have been called beef stroganoff.  That is really unfortunate.  

Beef Stroganoff is neither a mild or overpowering dish.  It is a dish filled with subtlety in both flavor and texture.  The overtones of the wine and the cognac give a fruity aftertaste and the texture of the medium rare tenderloin or filet mignon is almost like melting butter in your mouth.  

This dish has evolved over the centuries and perhaps one of the greatest evolutionary steps forward came in 1912 when both tomatoes and onions were added to the dish.  These two ingredients added a new depth and dimension to an already classic epicurean delight.  

I lived in Portugal and while there I gained a great love of olive oil.  Olive oil adds a distinctive Mediterranean flavor to this dish.  If you would prefer a more French version of the dish you could substitute any light flavorless vegetable oil for the olive oil and substitute minced shallots for the yellow onion.  

In Russia, stroganoff is served with potato straws (seasoned match stick french fries) but in America the egg noodle has become a constant companion to stroganoff.  I encourage you to make your egg noodles from scratch and please use real butter (European style butter is best) never substitute margarine for butter in a recipe.  Margarine has a different melting temperature and water content than butter and as such performs poorly when substituted for butter.

So if you have never had authentic beef stroganoff before I envy you the opportunity to taste this classic staple of the European table.  If you like the hamburger and mushroom soup concoction that people call beef stroganoff, I encourage you to make this dish and then rename what you have been making; because, after tasting this you will never want to call the other “beef stroganoff” again.

Click here for the recipe or article...