бефстроганов befstróganov – a.k.a. Beef Stroganoff

Wondering where I’ve been? There’s a good reason why there’s been a lag in blog posts. I was on vacation!  That’s right, I went on a trip with my family to places far, far away from Toronto. We toured and travelled through northern Europe, Scandinavia and Russia.

It was a trip of a lifetime and will most definitely provide lots of subject matter for future blog posts.  The pinnacle of the trip for me was visiting Saint Petersburg, Russia.  Growing up, I knew it as Leningrad and in 1991 the name was change back to Saint Petersburg as it was called when it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great in the early 1700s.

The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: "SoS")
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: “SoS”)

We went to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Catherine’s Palace with the Amber Room, Peterhof, Peter and Paul’s Fortress and Cathedral, Hermitage Museum – Winter Palace, Church of Our Saviour on the Spilled Blood, Fabergé Museum and even took a ride on the metro (subway). The metro stations were elegant and very elaborate.  What an experience!

Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: "SoS")
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: “SoS”)
Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: "SoS")
Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: “SoS”)
One of two matching chapels at entrance to Peterhof in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: "SoS")
One of two matching chapels at entrance to Peterhof in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: “SoS”)

In keeping with the theme of this post, I set out to find a truly classic Russian recipe and chose to highlight Beef Stroganoff. This one is from the Russian Tea Room Restaurant in NYC.

Ingredients
2 
lbs lean boneless sirloin (trimmed of fat and gristle) or 2 lbs bottom round steaks, in one piece (trimmed of fat and gristle)
2 
teaspoons salt
1⁄2 
teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 
Tbsp butter
1 
medium onion, thinly sliced
1 
Tbsp flour
1 
teaspoon mustard powder (OR 1 Tablespoon prepared Dijon style mustard)
1⁄2 
cup dry white wine
2 
teaspoons tomato paste (optional)
1 
Tbsp minced onion
1⁄2
lb mushroom, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp dry white wine
1 
cup sour cream, warmed

Read the full recipe and complete cooking instructions on the Food.com website.

Ingredients along with Russian Matryoshka dolls bought as souvenirs in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: "SoS")
Ingredients along with Russian Matryoshka dolls bought as souvenirs in Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: “SoS”)

In review
The recipe was easy to prepare. I served it with basmati rice and cooked the rice during the 15-minute wait time when the tenderized meat sat with salt and pepper. I used Gay Lea low fat sour cream and the taste was very good with less calories and fat.  I wouldn’t recommend fat free but the low fat version with 3% M.F. worked out perfectly.  I also used only 1 tsp of the optional tomato paste rather than 2 tsp and was pleased with the outcome.

Finished Beef Stroganoff accompanied by my Russian souvenirs - a painted laquer box and wooden jar with lid from Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: "SoS")
Finished Beef Stroganoff accompanied by my Russian souvenirs – a painted laquer box and wooden jar with lid from Saint Petersburg, Russia (Image: “SoS”)

On the “Sugar Scale” [my unofficial recipe rating system], this recipe scored 8 out of 10. The recipe called for standard ingredients but I found it a bit fussy pounding the meat strips and letting it sit for 15 minutes after sprinkling with salt and pepper.  However, I used this time to prepare the rice.  The flavour of the finished product was very good and my family members had seconds.  In contrast, I’ve made hamburger stroganoff with canned cream of mushroom soup and sour cream umpteen times in the past as a quick weeknight meal and this recipe was so much better and and worth the extra effort. I will definitely make this recipe again.

The views expressed in this post are purely my own. See my disclosure policy for more information.

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