Beef Stroganov

I am once again using the Russian, Polish, and German Cooking cookbook, like I did during German week. When I first started looking at recipes in the book, I was surprised by how easy they all seemed. Not a lot of ingredients, nothing really fancy, and most meals seem to take less than an hour. I LOVE those kinds of meals! But since this is an intro book, I decided to also look online to see if I found anything else that might catch my eye. I read multiple “Russian Foods You Must Eat!” lists and almost all the recipes I had already chosen were on those lists. Score! 

Beef Stroganov made every.single.list, however, actual Russian Beef Stroganov is not the kind that most Americans grew up eating. For starters, they don’t eat it on a bed of egg noodles. What? Who doesn’t like egg noodles? Well, I’m sure Russians don’t have a problem with egg noodles in general but they definitely don’t eat them with their stroganov. Also, they don’t use cream of mushroom or use mushrooms. Um, que? These differences worried me.

I had nothing to worry about.

The Russian version, you know, the REAL version, was great! It was a little tart, I definitely wasn’t expecting that, but that came from the inclusion of tomato and mustard. The recipe called for tomato puree but I only had tomato sauce so I just did a 1 to 1 substitute. In hindsight, I should have done a 1 to .5 substitute because tomato sauce isn’t as sweet as puree. The recipe also called for Dijon mustard but I only had stone ground. Both are made with wine so I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference but I forgot how strong stone ground mustard is due to the mustard seeds. Like the tomato, I should have done a 1 to .5 substitute. Even with those minor hiccups, it was very good. 

I also made some homemade french fries, which were heavenly. Instead of egg noodles, Russians prefer their carb to be fried potatoes and who can argue with that? I love fried food but my family’s history of heart disease does not, so I limit myself. The fries were probably my favorite but that’s just because I’m a fatty and not because the stroganov was bad. 

I will make this again and will remember the proper substitutions. All in all, it took about an hour to make the whole meal (only 30 for the stroganov) so that was a huge plus. We’re having borscht tonight. 

I don’t have high hopes.



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