Food You Can Eat: Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff gets its name from the Strogenuvs of Russia, who I guess were particularly fond of it. They were very rich and powerful so they weren’t making it but someone in the kitchens did. It caught on, and after the Russian Revolution the exiles scattered far and wide and it started showing up all over the place. In the 1950s anti-(Communist) Russian sentiment was running high but in the case of Beef Stroganoff all was forgiven.

This feeds two hungry people and maybe some for the dog. Ours has a cast-iron stomach and for all I know his ancestors wandered the Russian steppes, asking around for directions to the Strogenuv palace.


1 1/2 lbs beef. You can use lean ground beef (I would go with lean, you want as little grease as possible.) I buy a good cut of steak, like sirloin, and cut it into small thin strips 

2 or 3 pats of butter

2 small onions, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 cups (at least) small mushrooms, sliced thin. If you’ve ever had mushrooms on a pizza, they should be sized like that.

1 cup beef broth

1 small handful of flour

A splash of red wine

2 heaping tablespoons of sour cream, the creamier the better

1 8-oz. package of egg noodles. Use more if you would like to up your noodle:Stroganoff ratio. Egg noodles are the only pasta type that will work. I mean theoretically you could use something else but egg noodles are traditional, and that’s for a reason.


Down a bracing shot of Stolichnaya vodka, if having. Or just take a swig straight from the bottle. A babushka might, why shouldn’t you?

In a large skillet melt the butter and sauté the onions, garlic, and mushrooms. This doesn’t take long, three or four minutes. Add the beef and keep sautéing, until that browns. Maybe about 5 minutes more. Throw in your flour, splash in the wine, and stir. Pour in your beef stock, stir. Bring to a boil and then cover and go back to simmering for about 15 minutes.

While all that is simmering, boil a pot of water and cook the egg noodles. You want them to be soft, not al dente.

Finally, uncover and add your sour cream. Stir. If it looks like your mix is a little watery you can add a little more flour but stir well. Remove this from the heat and let sit, uncovered. Sitting will make it thicken.

Now your egg noodles should be done. Drain in the colander and divide onto two big plates. I often use two big bowls, because this recipe can make for sloppy eating. Top with your Beef Stroganoff.

NOTE: My university cafeteria used to serve this over instant mashed potatoes but they were making industrial quantities of the stuff. I bet on a cold January evening that would be really good but I’ve never made it that way.  

NOTE: This makes for excellent leftovers.



  1. I love Beef Stroganoff!  I try to copy a Hungarian restaurant we have near us, their version has tons of garlic and paprika.  I’m with you on the steak aspect, I use tritip.  I especially love your method of drinking the wine while you cook, that is an important aspect not to be left out!

    • Just two weeks ago The Better Half, flipping around through our 2,200 cable stations, landed on something with Brigitte Bardot. “Is Brigitte Bardot still alive? I wonder how old she is.”
      I was in the home office where I spend 16 hours a day it seems, when I’m not at the stove, so I said, “I’ll check!” I made a typo and got results for Brodet, which is a Croatian tomato-based fish stew. 
      Intrigued, I did more research. Croatia is one of those “crossroads” countries where everyone comes, conquers, and goes, and Brodet is a Venetian legacy. There’s a lot of Austro-Hungarian influence, and the Byzantines and Ottomans had a centuries-long presence too.
      Tomorrow is meatless Fridays for us but I don’t think I feel like making Brodet (you should use six or eight different kinds of fish/shellfish/crustaceans) but on the weekend I think I’ll attempt something Croatian. There’s an area on the Hungarian border where they can’t get enough paprika, so I’m thinking of attempting a meat dish, probably lamb (which I wouldn’t serve to guests because it’s sliding into dog-meat territory when it comes to social opprobrium) with paprika and other stuff. If it’s a success I’ll contribute it to FYCE at some later date.

    • If I am cooking dinner (which is the majority of the time here at Meme Manor), I am drinking wine as I do so. And that’s why I think cooking is fun, and why I think my dinners are awesome.
      Will definitely give this dish a shot, but like others have mentioned, it will also have to involve paprika.

  2. That sounds really good, Cousin Matthew! I haven’t made stroganoff in years (the whole gf/df thing complicates stuff like that!), but it’s something my mom used to make when I was a kid.
    I’ve been teaching BabySmacks to cook, and last night, he learned to make meatballs from scratch 🙂 The meatballs were fantastic in the red sauce he threw together (he did everything with only verbal instruction from me) and I plan to have the leftovers for lunch here, shortly!

  3. When I was in High School my friend Renee invited me over for beef stroganoff and for some reason I said “I don’t want your mom’s crappy beef stroganoff”. I have no recollection of why I said something so mean; but we both started cracking up and for the past 20 years or so whenever beef stroganoff comes up, it’s always referred to as “crappy beef stroganoff”, even if, like yours, it’s surely delicious. 

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