I just realized that we’ve had this blog for about five months and I haven’t posted any Eastern European food. I, personally, am appalled.
As you may have gleaned from this intro, I am Eastern European by heritage, and our list of traditional food reads like something you might hear at a flu clinic. Kluski, Halupki, Varenyky. But it’s all good food.
Most of the traditional dishes I ate growing up came here with immigrants, many of whom were rural poor who sold their higher quality ingredients to make a living. The original recipe for Stroganoff calls for Filet Mignon and was most likely a decadent dish of Royalty. If Russian peasants were eating Filet Mignon in the 19th and 20th centuries, there would be at least one less revolution to talk about. Also interesting is the explanation for its arrival in America, which appears to have come courtesy of a 1950s Betty Crocker Cookbook, which was the first incarnation to include mushrooms. This was one of the staples of my Mom’s cuisine when I was growing up. The Beef Stroganoff of my youth most closely resembled the American version, and this recipe is a sort of a hybrid.
I’m not using Filet Mignon here, but this isn’t really Beef Stroganoff. The original recipe simmers tenderloin in butter. We’re braising round in French Onion Soup Mix. I guess one might say this is a Poor Man’s (or Woman’s) Stroganoff, but it is really more of a stew based on our “traditional” Slow-Cooker Beef.
This is a lazy day meal. Though it takes long to cook, the prep includes cutting up some bacon, beef, shallots and mushrooms, chopping some dill (also not traditional) and not a lot else. I made my own egg noodles for this, which were wonderful, but any egg noodles are fine. The result is a simple and flavorful preparation which tastes like something that took all day to prepare.
- ⅓ lb Slab Bacon, diced
- 3 Shallots, minced
- 12 oz assorted Mushrooms, sliced (e.g., Trumpet, Crimimi, Oyster)
- 1 Packet French Onion Soup Mix
- 2 lb Beef Round Cubes
- ½ cup Dry Red Wine
- 1 cup Beef Broth
- 4 Tbsp Flour
- ½ c Sour Cream (plus more for serving)
- 1 tsp Hungarian Paprika
- ½ tsp Ground Mustard
- Pinch of Dill Seed
- ½ tsp Coriander
- ½ tsp White Pepper
- ¼ cup Fresh Dill, chopped
- 3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- Preheat oven to 300 Degrees F.
- In a heavy skillet, simmer Bacon over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes, then discard bacon, reserving Grease.
- Thoroughly combine Beef, Mushrooms, Red Wine, Worcestershire Sauce, Dry Spices, Onion Soup Mix and half of Bacon Grease in a Roasting Pan.
- Cover Roasting Pan and braise Beef in oven for 2½ hours.
- Add Shallots to Skillet and saute in remaining Bacon Grease over Med heat for 5 minutes.
- Add Flour to Shallots, reduce heat to Low and mix well with wooden spoon. This will be a roux. Continue stirring Roux every five minutes for 25 minutes, being careful not to burn.
- Remove Roasting Pan from oven. (Leave oven on)
- Heat Beef Broth.
- Add Roux to Broth, whisking until combined.
- Add Broth mixture, Sour Cream and Fresh Dill to Roasting Pan, stirring.
- Return Roasting Pan to oven, uncovered, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Serve over Egg Noodles, garnished with Sour Cream and Fresh Dill, with a Full-bodied Red Wine or a Russian Imperial Stout.
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour (plus more, if necessary)
- 2 Large Eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup Milk
- ¼ cup Sour Cream
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- In Mixing Bowl of Stand Mixer, combine Flour, Salt and Baking Powder.
- With Dough hook on Speed 2, add remaining ingredients in this order: Eggs, Sour Cream, Milk (adding Milk very slowly).
- Knead for 5-7 minutes, adding more flour if necessary.
- Dough should clean sides of bowl and pull away from hook easily.
- Let rest, refrigerated, for 20 minutes.
- Roll dough to ⅛ inch, slice in desired shape, and boil in salted water for 3 minutes.