Beef Stroganoff Fit for a Czar!

A funny thing about most people is that while they know very little about Russia they all know about Beef Stroganoff. It is not an uncommon recipe for beef stroganoff that will use ground meat. While that may make the recipe quick and easy, it does not do the traditional Russian Beef Stroganoff justice.

In most places, a dish is named after the chef who created it. In the case of Russia, it is normally named after the family for which he worked. In this case, for the Stroganoff family. As an interesting historical note and a glimpse into the royal court of the last Czar, most of the nobility in Russia dined in the French style, the Russian style being considered beneath them. They preferred French cuisine and culture to their own. It is ironic that the very top of their society, the Czar himself, preferred Russian food and it was the cuisine served at all official and state functions.

Traditional Beef Stroganoff Menu

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  • Zakuska, which is a Russian for appetizer
  • Beef Stroganoff
  • Straw Potatoes

It’s a simple menu but interestingly enough so are the traditional tastes of the Russian people. It’s filling and great for a cold winter night. The actual preparation of the entire menu is also simple.

Zakuska

Zakuska Plate | CHEFS MixThe Zakuska platter is an old Russian tradition that carries on today. In modern Russia most families still set out a platter before the main meal of the day. Below is a traditional Russian Zakuska list but in reality it contains whatever the family has on hand and people like to eat:

  • Smoked herring
  • Chopped liver
  • Salami
  • Ham
  • Rolls
  • Dill pickles
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Marinated mushrooms
  • Radishes
  • Various cheeses
  • Cucumbers
  • Buttered bread

Beef Stroganoff

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While any type of beef can be used to make this recipe, the most traditional is either filet mignon or top sirloin. Hamburger cannot be used to make traditional Beef Stroganoff.

Beef Stroganoff Recipe | CHEFS Mix

Ingredients

3 pounds filet mignon or top sirloin steak
2 medium onions finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 cups beef stock
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Dash each of salt and pepper
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons flour
10 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions

Saute the onion in 2 tablespoons butter until golden then set aside. In another large pot bring the beef stock to a boil. In a deep skillet, stir the flour over low heat until it’s golden. Add 2 tablespoons butter and stir until the mixture bubbles. Remove it from the heat and slowly add half of the beef stock, the tomato sauce and the mustard. A whisk helps make the mixture smooth. Add the rest of the beef stock and the onions. Remove from heat and set it aside.

Slice the meat into thin strips and then pound slightly to flatten. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and saute the meat until brown, about 5 minutes. Do only a little at a time or they will stew and not saute; add more butter as necessary. As they cook, sprinkle each batch with a dash of salt and pepper and then add to the sauce.

When you have cooked all of the meat, return the sauce to the heat and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove cover and add sour cream. Cover and remove from heat. Stir after 3 minutes and serve immediately.

While not traditional, if you want to add mushrooms you can saute 3/4 a pound of sliced mushrooms after you cook the onions. Add them to the sauce at the same time you add the onions.

Straw Potatoes

This is quick and easy: Wash and peel 4 large potatoes. Slice into long and thick strips. Deep fry in sunflower oil until brown and lightly crisp. Serve immediately.

Your Turn: What is your favorite dish from your heritage?Winter weather is once again knocking on our door. I thought we were going to have an early spring until it started snowing again. However, I am not going to complain very much, we did not get near as much here in Colorado as the Northeast did this time. Although, I know the skiers in the area wished we had gotten a large portion of the same in our high country.

As snow hangs around for a few days, it puts me in the mood for comfort food. Even the coldest, snowiest day can be made brighter by a great home-cooked meal and nothing warms the body and soul like a great stew. Stews prepared in a slow cooker are even easier. Once prepared the stew cooks without any additional help from you until it is time to eat. Paired with a garden salad or some fresh biscuits and you have a feast fit for a king. Here are some of the easiest stew recipes that my family just adores. Any of these can be assembled the night before and placed in the refrigerator. Then you can place it into the slow cooker and begin cooking as you leave for work the next morning, and dinner will be ready when you come home.

Easy Beef StewEasy Beef Stew | CHEFS Mix

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I have never found a beef stew recipe that is easier than this. I tend to bake a loaf of French bread in the oven to have with this but biscuits would work great as well.

Ingredients

2 pounds Beef Stew Meat
6 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
16 ounces corn, frozen
16 ounces carrots, frozen
16 ounces frozen peas
1 tablespoon onion powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pkg stew seasoning (located in your spice aisle, any brand is fine)
3 cups of water

Directions

Using a whisk, combine the stew seasoning package, other seasonings and water. Then add the meat, potatoes and the vegetables. Cook on High setting for 8 hours. You can stir occasionally while cooking, if you like but you will want to stir before serving.

Italian StewItalian Stew | CHEFS Mix

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This is one of those easy to put together recipes that tastes like you spent hours working on it when it’s really a simple two-step process!

Ingredients

1 pound of stew meat
28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons dried minced parsley
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon thyme
1 beef bouillon cube
3 cups water
1 medium zucchini cut in half sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
2 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas or white beans – rinsed
1 cup uncooked macaroni
1/4 cup shredded provolone cheese

Directions

Take the first nine ingredients and place them in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours, until the meat is tender. Add everything else and cook for 30-45 minutes or until the vegetables and macaroni are tender. This is a hearty old-world stew and is great with a crusty Italian loaf of bread. Sprinkle the shredded provolone cheese on top of each bowl of stew if desired.

Irish StewIrish Stew | CHEFS Mix

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This is so simple that it is almost funny and the finished stew is incredibly delicious. It is great served with Irish soda bread or even by itself.

Ingredients

1 corned beef brisket
6 potatoes – peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
8 carrots – peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion – chopped
1 medium head of cabbage, cored and shredded

Directions

Place the brisket and the seasoning packet it came with along with the potatoes and carrots into the slow cooker. Cover with 3 cups of water. Cook on High for 6-7 hours, until the meat is cooked and tender. Remove the meat and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove fat and slice the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat to the slow cooker and add the cabbage. Cook for 45 minutes or until the cabbage has cooked through.

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

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Ingredients

28-ounce can tomato puree
1/4 cup Amore Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons Amore Garlic Paste
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into this strips
10 ounce package button mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
4 lbs. bone-in chicken breasts, legs and thighs
1 teaspoon Amore Herb Paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

Stir together the tomato puree, and the Amore Tomato and Garlic pastes.

Scatter half of the peppers and mushrooms in a large slow cooker. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken into the slow cooker. Add the remaining vegetables and pour the sauce over all. Cover and cook on low 5 to 6 hours or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Add the Amore Herb Paste to the sauce and stir well. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve hot.

To cook on the stove top:Place all of the ingredients, except the herb paste, into a large dutch oven. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, 1-1/2 hours or until the chicken is tender. Add a little water if cooking liquid gets too low. Once chicken is done, remove chicken from pot. Add the Amore Herb Paste to the remaining cooking liquid and stir well. Serve sauce over the chicken and serve.

Caribbean Chicken and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker StewCaribbean Chicken and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew|CHEFS Mix

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Ingredients

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 boneless chicken breast halves
1 pound chorizo sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes in juice
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Directions

Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Cut chicken and sausage into 1-inch pieces.

In a crock pot, combine sweet potatoes, chicken, sausage, onion, garlic, tomatoes, beans, paprika, salt, thyme, pepper, allspice, cumin and tomato paste. Cover and simmer on low heat until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 4 hours

Your Turn: What’s your favorite cold-weather, slow cooker meal?

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