This classic Russian dish became popular in the U.S.A around the 1940's. It has of course gotten a few variations along the way. I think this dish is now as much American as it is Russian. It is extremely popular in Brazil, and they add tomato sauce. I have made and tried many versions of this dish, but after tweaking my recipe, I have found a winner. I always come back to mine. I use pickled, jarred, whole baby button mushrooms.The tang of the mushrooms really enhances this dish and, since I am not a mushroom fan, the firm texture these retain is more desirable in terms of mouth feel in the finished dish. I also prefer crème fraîche to sour cream in my version. It has a higher fat content and is less tangy. Sour cream usually contains thickeners and tends to curdle. Don't worry, you will not miss the tang difference with the dijon mustard and pickled mushrooms.
I always serve this over buttered egg noodles or tagliatelle. Would be equally delicious with buttery mashed potatoes.
2 Pork tenderloins/ fillet , approximately 700 g. , trimmed of silver skin/ sinew and cut into thin bitesize strips ( a good rule is to allow 1 pork tenderloin for every 3 people)
2 Jars pickled mushrooms, about 640g., drained
1 Small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp. Sweet paprika
1 tbsp. French dijon mustard, without seeds
1 tbsp. Tomato paste concentrate, not thin sauce variety
6 tbsp. Butter, divided
2 tbsps. Plain flour
4-6 Sprigs of fresh thyme, plus more for serving
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 Bay leaves
750 g. Fresh egg tagliatelle or noodles *see note on pasta per person
200 g. Crème fraîche
500 ml. Hot pork stock made up of 2 stock cubes. (Stock cubes are perfectly acceptable here, you can substitute for chicken stock also) Keep warm in a small saucepan or just reheat in microwave when ready to use.
125 ml. White wine
50 ml. Brandy
Salt and fresh pepper to taste
1. In a bowl, mix pork, bay leaves, garlic, paprika, white wine and 1 teaspoon salt and a bit of black pepper to taste. Mix well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.
2. While the pork is marinating, make sauce. In a saucepan, melt 3 tbsp. butter, add flour and stir. Cook on low for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Do not let it brown. Slowly add the hot pork stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly with a whisk.
3. After 30 minutes, bring a large pot of generously salted water to the boil for the noodles.
4. In a large frying pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp. butter, half the fresh thyme leaves and onion. Cook until translucent.
5. Lift meat from marinade and add to frying pan. Stir fry on medium for a few minutes. Add tomato paste. Stir and cook a further few seconds. Add the reserved wine marinade to pan and let completely reduce.
6. Add pasta to boiling water, cook according to package directions.
7. Add brandy and mushrooms. Stir and discard bay leaves.
8. Add reserved sauce and stir in crème fraîche. Do not let the sauce boil, keep on a low heat.
9. Drain noodles and stir in last 2 tbsp. of butter
Sprinkle with more fresh thyme and serve with a generous serving of stroganoff over hot buttered noodle.
*Note: Pasta Per Person
Dried pasta: 75-115 g / 3-4 oz.
Fresh pasta: 115-150 g / 4-5 oz.
Filled pasta (like ravioli): 175-200 g / 6-7 oz.