This well-known Russian classic got its name from the famous Russian Pavel Stroganov, who was a well-connected gourmand in early twentieth-century St. Petersburg. The recipe is thought to have come from a common dish in his family, and its name was given in honor of Pavel, because he popularized the dish publicly.
- Yield: 15 portions (7 ounces/portion)
- 4 oz Clarified Butter
- 1 lb Yellow Onions, diced small
- 4 oz A.P. Flour
- 2.25 qts Brown Beef or Veal Stock (cold, or at least cool)
- ¼ cup Strong Prepared Mustard (such as Dijon)
- ¾ cup Tomato Purée
- ½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 2 oz Clarified Butter
- 5 lbs Tender Cut of Beef (such as tenderloin or tri-tip a good and more economical choice is beef tenderloin tips), trimmed of excess fat and any connective tissue and cut into strips approximately ½ inch wide and 3 inches long, seasoned with salt and pepper
For Making the Sauce
- In a pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients for the sauce, heat the clarified butter over a medium-low flame; once the butter is hot, add onions.
- Sweat the onions in the butter until they are translucent and softened; add the flour and stir well, while continuing to cook, to make a brown roux (adjust consistency of the roux, if necessary, with additional flour).
- Once a brown roux is achieved, add the cold stock while mixing vigorously with a wooden spoon or wire whisk until the roux has been dissolved into the stock (be sure to scrape the sides of the pot to dissolve the roux).
- Add the mustard, tomato purée, salt, and pepper to the sauce.
- Turn the heat up to a high flame and bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring as it heats to prevent lumping and scorching on the bottom of the pot.
- Once the mixture reaches a simmer and begins to thicken, turn the heat down to a low flame to simmer gently.
- Gently stew/simmer the sauce for at least 45 minutes, to cook out the starch of the roux and develop flavor.
- Cook the meat prior to finishing the sauce in the next step.
- After the meat has been cooked (by following the directions outlined next), use a whisk to mix the sour cream into the simmering sauce.
- Taste the sauce for seasoning; adjust, if necessary, with salt and pepper.