This authentic Russian beef Stroganoff recipe makes the deliciously rich and creamy braised beef and mushroom dish cooked centuries ago in the grand kitchen of St Petersburg’s glorious pink Stroganov Palace. Better known as a retro classic of the Seventies, beef Stroganoff is rich in history and incredibly comforting. It’s the dish that you need to make right now.
It’s Easter, which I always use as an excuse to cook the food of the Russian-Ukrainian side of my family. Because apart from eating, there are few things more comforting than cooking the dishes of our childhoods, and who doesn’t need food that comforts right now? This hearty authentic Russian beef Stroganoff recipe makes just such a dish.
Even though Orthodox Easter, which follows the Julian calendar, isn’t for another month, as far as I’m concerned a traditional holiday is the perfect excuse to channel my loved-ones and the rituals I fondly recall from growing up in our Russian-Australian family in Sydney’s western suburbs in the 1970s.
Before I tell you about this traditional Russian beef Stroganoff recipe, however, I have a favour to ask. If you’ve cooked this dish or any of my Russian family recipes, our Cambodian recipes, or any recipes at all from our site and you’ve enjoyed them, please consider supporting Grantourismo so that we can keep producing delicious recipes and food stories?
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Russian Beef Stroganoff Recipe for a Retro Classic from a Palace of Russian Nobles
This Easter weekend for me is about cooking and eating the food from my childhood growing up in a Russian-Australian household in Sydney in the 1970s and early 80s. That food included this retro-classic dish which my mum used to make that was so very fashionable in the Seventies.
An aristocratic Russian dish with peasant roots (there were mushrooms and beef stews centuries before this Russian beef Stroganoff recipe was said to have been invented), refined in the Stroganov dynasty’s St Petersburg palace kitchen by a French chef, beef Stroganoff would go on to travel the world with Russian émigrés and World War II refugees like my grandparents, becoming popular everywhere from China and Hong Kong to Australia and the Americas.
So while Terence has been baking hot cross buns and making chicken eggs not chocolate eggs, I’ve been cooking Russian comfort food, including this Russian beef Stroganoff recipe that I’ve been working on for the Russian-Australian cookbook I hope to do when we can eventually return to Australia. I made the dish pictured above last night and we’re eating leftovers tonight with my mum’s potato gratin – while the weekend ahead will involve soup and dumplings.
I’m going to put a big pot of borscht on tomorrow morning then Terence and I will spend the evening making more of my Russian favourites, potato and caramelised onion-stuffed vareniki and minced beef and pork-filled pelmeni. On the side, I’ll serve a crisp Russian garden salad with fresh dill, sweet tomatoes, and crunchy red radishes, lettuce and onions. Leftovers will get used Sunday morning, when I make fried Russian dumplings for brunch on the balcony.
But let me tell you about my Russian beef Stroganoff recipe, which will make you a deliciously rich and creamy rendition of the braised beef and mushroom dish that was cooked in the grand kitchen of the Stroganov Palace, and, yes, the Stroganov family spell their name with a ‘v’. It’s thought the ‘ff’ came when it was written on menus in French, as in ‘boeuf Stroganoff’ which was fashionable in Russia in those days.
If you’ve been to the enchanting city of St Petersburg, one of my favourite cities in the world, you may well have passed the elegant palace on the corner of Nevsky Prospect and the Moika River Embankment on a canal cruise. It’s hard to miss. I’m going to tell you more about the palace and the Stroganov family and the fascinating history of this dish in a separate post.
My Russian beef Stroganoff recipe is based on a combination of my memories of the dish, the beef Stroganoff that we ate with my mother in Moscow at Café Pushkin (considered the best beef Stroganoff in Russia!), the earliest documented Russian beef Stroganoff recipes by Elena Molokhovets in A Gift to Young Housewives, dating to 1861, and Pelageya Aleksandrova-Ignatieva’s beef Stroganoff recipe in Practical Basics of Culinary Arts, dating to 1899, and the beef Stroganoff that travelled to China and East Asia with Russian émigrés.
If you’re not Russian, not of Russian heritage, and haven’t eaten your way through Russia, my beef Stroganoff might be a little different to the beef Stroganoff recipes you might have eaten, especially if it was an American-style Stroganoff made from canned mushroom soup. My beef Stroganoff is still creamy, but it’s more richly spiced.
This beef Stroganoff is fantastic with shoestring fries (beef Stroganoff’s traditional side) or creamy mashed potatoes. Some enjoy buckwheat kasha, rice or pasta with their Stroganoff. A Russian garden salad is essential.
I’d love to know what you think if you make my beef Stroganoff recipe. And if you do enjoy it, do browse our collection of our best stew recipes for more hearty winter warmers.
Russian Beef Stroganoff Recipe
- 800 g beef steak tenderloin or fillet
- 1 tbsp allspice ground
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 white onions roughly sliced
- 250 g brown mushrooms or button mushrooms sliced in halves or thirds depending on size
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 200 ml sour cream
- 100 ml cream
- 150 ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tbsp fish sauce optional
- ½ tsp salt or to taste optional
- Two hours before you plan to start cooking, trim the beef of fat and, cutting against the grain, slice the beef into pieces of around 2cm x 5cm.
- Transfer the beef to a sealed container and sprinkle half a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of allspice onto the beef, rubbing it into the meat to ensure it is evenly distributed, then refrigerate for two hours.
- In a cast iron skillet or large pan, gently fry the onion slices in a tablespoon of butter until translucent and soft, then set aside.
- In the same skillet or pan, add another tablespoon of butter, the mushrooms, black pepper, and a splash of olive oil, then turn up the heat and sauté the mushrooms until soft, then set aside with the onions.
- In a wok, heat the cooking oil until hot, then stir-fry the beef on high heat for a minute or so until brown then remove from heat to rest.
- To the skillet or pan you cooked the onions and mushrooms in, add the sour cream and cream, turn the heat on low and stir until warm, slowly adding the beef stock, stirring to combine. Return the onions and mushrooms to the pan, then the mustard, stir to combine, and gently simmer.
- Add the beef pieces to then pan, then the fish sauce, stir to combine well, and taste, adding the salt if needed. (Sometimes I add more all spice at this point).
- Simmer for ten minutes or so, then serve on individual plates, garnished with fresh dill, and with sides of crispy shoestring fries, mashed potato or potato gratin, gherkins, and additional sour cream.
Please do let us know if you make this Russian beef Stroganoff recipe as we’d love to know how it turned out for you. You can share your experience and tips or ask questions in the comments below, by email or on social media.
Made this last night for the family with mash potatoes and carrots on the side. The meat was tender and I only added a little fish sauce as the stock (from stock cubes) was already pretty salty. Everyone loved it and there was no leftovers! When it gets colder here it will be a weekend favourite. Thanks!
Lara Dunston says
Hi Janice, so pleased you enjoyed it. Re the fish sauce – if you use a good quality fish sauce, one that you’d use for a dipping sauce rather than for cooking, it should add umami rather than saltiness. We’ve got a whole collection here, LOL, but for this I use my best quality Vietnamese fish sauce, which is quite old and from a small producer. It’s big and rounded and almost caramel-like. It’s a fantastic winter dish, especially with a potato gratin. Thanks for dropping by!
This really is the best beef stroganov recipe I’ve ever tried! I made your mash to go with it. Oh my. We were hoping to have leftovers, but no such luck it was that good. Would love your shoestring fries recipe.
Lara Dunston says
Hi Helen, thank you for the kind words. So pleased you enjoyed it – and Terence’s mash. Terence is the fries expert and I have been trying to persuade him to do a recipe as matchstick fries are the traditional palace pairing. I will him nicely again and let you know when the recipe is up ;) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment :)
This is the best! Grew up on mum’s strog made with tinned mushroom soup so was never a fan. Thought I’d try this and now hooked. Sorry winter is over.
Lara Dunston says
Hi Sue, so pleased you enjoyed it that much! You could always turn the aircon up… ;)
Christine Baker says
The best stroganoff I ever had was at a school cafeteria in the Ural mts of Russia. This was fabulous! I added more mustard and pepper. Loved it!
Lara Dunston says
Hi Christine, how wonderful! I never got to the Urals, but my Papa spoke of the region with tremendous adoration for the lofty mountains, towering forests and tranquil lakes. Still dream of travelling there, and more widely in Russian and the Stans one day. I also add more mustard, pepper and spices, but I appreciate that not everyone has the palate for spices we do. There’s more spice in the chicken stroganoff, which has more Eastern/Asian influence. Please do let us know if you make that. Spasiba for taking the time to drop by and leave a comment!
I like the fact that this recipe does not inlude flout, but that also makes me wonder.. does that mean the stroganoff will be less thick and more watery?
Lara Dunston says
Nikola, did you mean ‘flour’? If so, no, the sauce will reduce when simmering. If it’s not thick enough, just turn the heat up high a little for a while until it is, then reduce to simmer again. You can see from the pic that it’s not watery :) I would love to know how it turns out for you and what you think of it. This is a Russian-Australian recipe after all, not 100% Russian, but I tried hard to achieve something between my memory of baboushka’s dish, the Stroganoff we enjoyed in Russia, and the historic recipe. I like to think I have the best of all three, but always welcome feedback. Spasiba for taking the time to leave a comment.
Larissa, your babouchka would be proud this is really the most delicious beef stroganoff I have ever eaten. I cook this regularly and my kids and grandkids love it so much. It is even better than my own family recipe! Spasiba, Larouchka!
Lara Dunston says
Natalia, spasiba! Thank you so much for dropping by to share that! You’ve brought tears to my eyes. So appreciate it! Thank you so much! Please drop by and visit us again. Lara x
This recipe turned out great. There’s so many recipes out there that use ingredients like red wine and a roux to thicken the sauce when it just needs reducing. I’ll drink my red wine with the dish, thanks! Made shoestring fries, but they were a little greasy, I don’t think I had the oil temperature right. Yes, that’s a hint for you to do a recipe! Did your family serve it with mash instead? I think it might go better to soak up the sauce. Thanks!
Lara Dunston says
Ha! Ha! And a glass of red goes very nicely with it! Terence is actually experimenting with shoestring fries so we should get a recipe up soon. My grandmother made deliciously greasy fries too :) But, yes, we mostly ate it with mashed potatoes. Thanks for the kind words and taking the time to drop by and leave a comment :)
Agree with the others, by far the most delicious beef strog I’ve made and I’ve made a lot, it’s a family favourite. Will try some of your other strog recipes. I see you have a chicken strog, which looks great. Thank you.
Lara Dunston says
Thank you so much for taking the time to drop by and let us know. I’m actually posting a meatball Stroganoff recipe later today :)
Your version is very authentic and I am looking forward to trying it. A very long time ago I saw the original recipe in larousse Gastronomique which included marinating the beef in white wine for 24 hours first. I no longer have that book and was wondering if you are aware of any aromatics I should add to the wine. Thanks.
Lara Dunston says
Hi Ron, why don’t you try my recipe and see what you think? :)
We’ve never marinated our beef in wine for Stroganoff, however, I did search for a Larousse recipe, as I was curious, as I haven’t seen the book in years. You can access them on both the Open Library and Internet Archive.
While this Bœuf Stroganov recipe says it takes only 30 minutes (“15 min. de préparation, 15 min. de cuisson”), it includes white wine and it calls for 12 hours of marinating in the wine, with a bay leaf and sprig of thyme. So you’ve got some very subtle aroma there.
I used Google Translate, which makes for an amusing translation. I like the use of ‘blaze’ here: “Heat the cognac, pour it into the frying pan and blaze.”
The ingredients are: 800 g beef tenderloin 4 onions 3 shallots 1 large carrot 1 bay leaf 1 sprig of thyme 75 cl of white wine 200 g of mushrooms from Paris 80 g butter 1 glass of cognac liqueur 15 cl thick fresh cream salt, pepper
1. Cut the beef tenderloin into 2.5 cm long strips; salt and pepper.
2. Peel and chop the onions and shallots, peel the carrot and cut it into small dice. Put these vegetables in a terrine. Add the crumbled strips of fillet, bay leaf and thyme. Pour the white wine. Let marinate for at least 12 hours in the cool, covered, stirring the meat from time to time.
3. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into strips.
4. Drip and blot the meat. Cut the marinade in half and pass it.
5. In a frying pan, brown the mushrooms with 30 g of butter, then drain them and keep them warm.
6. Jet the fat, wipe the frying pan. Put in it to heat the remaining 50 g of butter, add the meat and sauté it for 5 minutes on high heat, turning it over non-stop so that it does not burn.
7.Heat the cognac, pour it into the frying pan and blaze. Mix and then, using a skimmer, take out the meat and arrange it in the serving dish. Keep warm.
8.Supply the mushrooms in the frying pan, add the marinade and fresh cream. Stir over high heat to thicken the sauce, adjust the seasoning and top the meat. Serve very hot.
Please let me know if you make it. Unfortunately we can’t get “mushrooms from Paris” here :)
Thanks for dropping by!
Stewart brashear says
Could be a great recipe…don’t cook in metric measurements. ☹️🇺🇸
Lara Dunston says
Hi Stewart, it is a great recipe :) We went with metric when we launched Grantourismo in 2010 because we’re Australians raised with metric, the rest of the world uses metric and we’ve got readers from right around the world, and we just assumed the USA would eventually convert to metric. Bakers in the USA use metric, as it’s easier to do conversions and scale recipes, and many restaurant kitchens in the USA use it, too. Hopefully the US will make the shift to metric at some point.
Having said that, we do have a large readership from the USA, so we have been looking at adding your system as well. It’s just a lot of work as we have thousands of posts and it will have to be done manually. Google also has a fantastic conversion tool — if you just search for a conversion it pops up at the top of the search results.
I’ve done the conversions for you, below, and as we’re not baking, I’ve rounded them up.
800 g / 1.75 pound beef steak tenderloin or fillet
250 g / .55 pound brown mushrooms or button mushrooms sliced in halves or thirds depending on size
200 ml / 6.75 oz sour cream
100 ml / 1.41 oz cream
150 ml / 2.12 oz beef stock
I hope you enjoy it!