The origin and history of Beef Stroganoff is an excellent lesson in food lore. While food historians generally agree the dish takes its name from Count Stroganoff, a 19th-century Russian noble, there are conflicting theories regarding the genesis of this "classic" dish. Certainly, there is evidence confirming the recipe predate the good Count and his esteemed chef.
This recipe is called Beef Stroganov with mustard (govjadina po-strogonovski, s gorchitseju). It is taken from A Gift to Young Housewives by Elena Molokhovets, Moscow, 1861, recipe no. 635, translated and introduced by Joyce Thomas in 1992.
Ms. Thomas adds this note:
"Molokhovets' simple recipe did not endure. Already by 1912, Aleksandrrova-Ignat'eva was teaching the students in her cooking classes to add finely chopped sauteed onions and tomato paste to the sauce, a practice which still turns up in modern Soviet and American recipes, with or without the addition of mushrooms. It is worth noting that Aleksandrova-Ignat'eva served this dish with potato straws, which have become the standard modern garnish for Beef Strogonov."
- 2 lbs tender beef
- 10 – 15 allspice
- ¼ lb butter
- 2 spoons flour
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Sareptskaja mustard
- Two hours before service, cut a tender piece of raw beef into small cubes and sprinkle with salt and some allspice.
- Before dinner, mix together 1/16 lb polos mushka butter and 1 spoon flour, fry lightly, and dilute with 2 glasses bouillon, 1 teaspoon of prepared Sareptskaja mustard, and a little pepper.
- Mix, bring to a boil, and strain.
- Add 2 tablespoons very fresh sour cream before serving.
- Then fry the beef in butter, add it to the sauce, bring once to boil, and serve.