Dish: Beef Stroganoff

It is often the simple things in life that receive high praise. The delicious, hearty beef stroganoff has achieved just that. From its humble Russian roots to worldwide recognition, this dish has become a classic. Variations of this classic Russian dish have been around since the 18th century, but it is believed that the name came from a 19th-century Russian diplomat, Count Paul Stroganoff.

The dish has greatly evolved over the years. The first recipe recorded in a Russian cookbook in 1861 called for cubed beef with a mustard sauce, topped with sour cream. Almost 50 years later, onions and tomato paste were added to the recipe and the dish began to resemble its current style. As Russian tradition calls for, the recipe also added crisp potato straws –which are a traditional side in Russia. Shortly after, the recipe altered even further, with beef strips instead of cubes. It was after the fall of Imperial Russia that the dish made its way to the United States. It gained great popularity in the 1950s.

Today’s beef stroganoff is typically made with strips of beef, sauteed mushrooms and onions over a bed of egg noodles or rice, with a dollop of sour cream on top. The dish has gained acceptance across the world, inspiring many variations. In Sweden and Finland, they substitute sausage for the beef to make sausage stroganoff. In Britain and Australia, it typically has a very creamy, white wine sauce.

However you prefer your beef stroganoff, this is a simple dish that has withstood the test of time. Try your hand at a classic beef stroganoff recipe and show off your knowledge of Russian history while you’re at it.

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