Beef Stroganoff: A Fascinating History Of The Russian Delicacy
Updated : August 03, 2021 05:08 IST
Beef Stroganoff is a popular traditional delicacy of Russia with an interesting history of its own.
Being the largest country in the world, Russia also has a vast diversity in its cuisine. A big part of the rich cullinary legacy can be mostly credited to farmers’ skills and professional chefs who served the aristocrats. The cuisine is also highly influenced by its neighbouring countries which can be seen in various exquisite dishes. Back in the 1800's, Russia was highly influenced by the French culture and tried to incorporate various French trends in their lifestyle. This also strongly influenced some of the traditional dishes of Russia. Beef Stroganoff is one such popular traditional delicacy of Russia with an interesting history of its own.
Beef Stroganoff: A Brief History
Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish which came into existence around the eighteenth century. The dish is believed to be a heavenly union between two cuisines- French and Russian. Sedulously cooking the meat with mustard was a classic French technique, while savouring beef with sour cream had long been a Russian favourite. As per popular beliefs, the Beef Stroganoff was named after Count Pavel Stroganoff, an aristocrat, who was a diplomat and general in the Napoleonic wars. Like many other Russian aristocrats, Stroganoff loved all the things about France and famously hired French chefs to bring the best of French flavours in the Russian cuisine as well.
As the story goes, Count Stroganoff had a weak set of teeth and couldn’t chew steak properly. This is when their French chef created the fusion of Russian and French flavors. The original recipe consisted of thin strips of succulent beef which were cooked in sour-cream sauce with French mustard and mushrooms. Thus, the French chef named this new fusion dish after his benefactor- ‘Beef Stroganoff’.
The dish became popular after 1917 when Russian émigrés made their way to America, bringing their beef stroganoff with them. Due to its piquant flavours it became an instant hit in States as well which was further given its own twist and turns. The dish now has many variations such as mushroom stroganoff, chicken stroganoff, pork stroganoff, turkey stroganoff, meatballs stroganoff et al.
You can also try to make the famous traditional dish of Russia with this recipe.