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 (the dish’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.