I first had Beef Stroganoff as a young married woman. We were invited to dinner by my husbands colleage and his wife. She was a hat maker. We went to her shop in San Francisco, and at the back divided by a curtain was their living quarters. She showed me her hats and later on made me one. I wish I still had that hat.
She was a Russian lady and made Beef Stroganoff for us. She told me how she made it and that is basically where I learned how to make it. Here is what I do.
Stroganoff (4 servings for an average appetite)
1 lb. of meat (you can use a tougher cut and just cook it longer or a tender cut and do a quick saute)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tsp. of concentrated tomato paste (optional)
1 1/2 cups sour cream
salt and pepper
1. Cut your meat into 1/4" slices and then cut those slices lengthwise in half so you have something resembling a french fry, long and skinny. Remove any grisly or big chunks of fat.
2. Heat some oil (1-2 tabs.) in a covered saute pan or dutch oven, on med-high heat. Brown onions and remove from pan, reserving them.
3. Then brown meat a little at a time, you don't want it to steam. Remove from pan and reserve.
4. Then brown mushrooms and garlic on med. heat, being careful not to burn garlic.
5. Add reserved onions, and meat back to pan along with the broth, and tomato consentrate (optional but adds a little flavor) cover and simmer slowly until meat is tender.
6. Measure your sour cream into a small bowl and stir. Warm it up by adding some of the sauce from the pan into it a little at a time. This keeps it from curdling. Make sure your heat is low before adding the sour cream to the meat mixture. Then just cook long enough to heat the sour cream and let the mixture blend a bit.
7. Serve over rice, noodles or french fries.
Meat- I no longer make this with steak because of cost. I use ground beef, not as good but still yummy. You can also make a chicken stroganoff. I would use chicken breast.
I'm not saying my recipe is exactly what I had that night, but it's as close as I could get. I've tried variations that added a lot of ingredients like wine and Worchestershire Sauce and I found simple is better.
This couple had excentric tastes and they also served us rattlesnake for an appetiser.