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For the past two weeks I have had a nightly date with my TV in order to keep up with the Sochi Olympics. I always look forward to the Olympics and really enjoy watching the athletes compete. Another aspect of the Olympics that I enjoy watching is the features about the country as a whole as well as the city where the games take place. There were so many negative news bits and security concerns about Sochi as a venue. I am very happy that the games ended on Sunday safely.  All the talk about Russia reminded me of the culinary contribution that this vast country north of Iran has brought to our cuisine. Beef Stroganoff, or Beef Stroganov, is a dish that my grandmother made often. In my adulthood I have learned that the Persian version of Beef Stroganoff is slightly different than the original Russian recipe.

I always loved the nights when my grandmother used to make Beef Stroganoff for dinner!! I think that it’s pretty safe to say that most Iranians fell in love with Beef Stroganoff as children because in the Persian version it is served with fries instead of noodles. To think of it we love pretty much every contribution that the Russian cuisine has brought to Persian cuisine. Let’s face it, we love Salad Olivieh, Pirashki, Caviar and how can we forget about our beloved Samovar!

My grandmother and her siblings went to boarding school in Russia when they were children.  I can’t remember which city they lived in. She sometimes spoke of her time in Russian. Because of my grandmother’s association with this country I became intrigued by it and my interest further grew when I met my “Russian Mom.”

Now, onward with the recipe. Different people have their way of making this recipe. The original Russian recipe calls for sour cream, but to the best of my knowledge we did not have sour cream in Iran, hence, the substitution of heavy cream. But here is our version of the dish!

Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)

2lb beef tenderloin or filet mignon
2 large onions
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 lb fries
1/2 cup grape seed or vegetable oil
olive oil
salt & pepper

Thin slice onions making sure that they are about 2 inches in length.

In a heavy bottom pot add oil and fry onion until golden.

In the mean time cut meat into thin 2 inch strips.

Once the onions are ready they will have reduced in volume and will turn into a beautiful golden color…and your kitchen will smell heavenly.

Add the meat to the onions and season with salt and pepper.

Saute the meat on medium high long enough for it to turn brown, then add 1 cup of water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

In the mean time  warm grape seed, or vegetable oil in a frying pan, then add fries. Because of the amount of fries this can be done in two batches or in more than one frying pan.

Place half a cup of the meat’s broth from the pot in a cup then add flour. Mix well until all the lumps are gone.

Add the mixture to the pot and mix well. Cover and continue cooking on medium low for another 20 minutes. At this point the juices will thicken creating a delicious gravy like sauce.

Turn flame off and add the cream to the pot. Mix well and adjust seasoning as needed.

By this time the potatoes should be a nice golden color.

Remove potatoes from the oil and allow to drain on the paper towel.

When ready to serve place Beef Stroganoff in a serving dish, or individual serving plates, then pile the fries on top. If you are feeling super fancy, serve with an ice cold shot of Vodka! I absolutely love love love dipping my fries into the delicious thick juices of this dish! I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I do!!

 

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