When Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov wasn’t busy commanding the Russian infantry in Napoleonic Wars, he feasted: Historians suggest that an early version of the stroganoff the world came to love was served in Stroganov’s family kitchens for a good number of years before it was published in a Russian cookbook in 1871. Early stroganoffs specified beef cooked in sour cream, with a little mustard, flour & butter and not much else. But by 1927, when the dish was first published in America (in The Congressional Club Cook Book: Favorite National and International Recipes), it had evolved to include onions, mushrooms, stock, Worchestershire sauce and even a little pureed tomato. Our version builds on a recipe that Gourmet magazine published in 1963. Like the early versions of the dish, it’s made with tiny cubes of meat (we chose veal) simmered in butter.
Unlike the early versions, we’ve included a full pound of baby Portobello mushrooms, a cup of medium-dry sherry and just a little bit of sour cream. Try it over pappardelle egg noodles, with shaved parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley. If you can’t get veal, this is also good with finely cube pork loin. If you like (as I do) a fully veggie version, just double up the crimini mushrooms and leave out the meat entirely, switching to vegetable stock instead of chicken or veal stock. And for those of you who crave a beef version, try this amazing short rib stroganoff.
Makes 8 servings
- 1 lb baby portobella mushrooms, sliced thin
- 1 stick unsalted butter, divided
- 2 pounds veal blade steak (thin sliced veal shoulder) bones removed and discarded, meat cut into tiny cubes
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 cup medium-dry sherry
- 1 cup good-quality chicken or veal stock
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- freshly-ground salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 pound pappardelle egg noodles
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Shaved parmesan & fresh snipped parsley, to garnish
- In a heavy saute pan over medium heat, melt 1/2 stick of butter. Saute the mushrooms. Drain and reserve the liquid. Set cooked mushrooms aside. Melt remaining 1/2 stick of butter and saute onion until beginning to soften. Add cubed veal and saute until the veal no longer shows any pink. Sprinkle flour over the beef; whisk in stock, sherry and the reserved mushroom liquid. Whisk and continue simmering until the mixture thickens. Add Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings as needed. Continue simmering over low heat while you cook noodles.
- Cook noodles in boiling salted water until just tender. Drain.
- Stir reserved mushrooms, and 1/2 cup of sour cream into stroganoff mixture.
- Serve sauce over noodles, garnished with shaved parmesan and snipped parsley.