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.