Saturday, October 19, 2013

Tea Room Recipe #41 - The Russian Tea Room (New York City)

New York City's Russian Tea Room is legendary. Though I've never been there, I've wanted to, but I thought I remembered hearing it had closed. Well, it did for a few years, but I was pleased to learn it's open again today, and my fellow tea blogger friend Linda and her family enjoyed tea there quite recently! (Go here to see the wonderful pictures of today's Russian Tea Room on her blog.)

"The Russian Tea Room: A Tasting" by Faith Stewart-Gordon is a small 1993 book I got by mistake. I thought I was ordering "The Russian Tea Room Cookbook" (still on my never-ending Wish List), but when this book arrived I thought the artwork, including the cover design, was simply charming so I kept it! This week I wanted to try a nice, hearty, fall-weather kind of dish, and the Russian Tea Room's Beef Stroganoff recipe fit the bill.

Actually, they call it Beef à la Stroganoff. Where did the name originate? "In honor of Count Pavel Stroganov, his Parisian chef created a special beef dish by adding sour cream to a French mustard sauce." Now I like the low-rent version of Beef Stroganoff made with ground beef and cream of mushroom soup just fine, but I have to tell you my more highbrow palate *greatly* enjoyed this much nicer version made with filet mignon. This may be one of the only times I share a red meat recipe on this blog, and I must say this dish was mighty fine. Enjoying it once a year ought to be about right!

Beef à la Stroganoff

4 ounces peanut oil
2 pounds filet mignon, cut into strips (I cut mine a little smaller than the recommended 2-1/2 x 1/4-inch thickness)
1 medium onion, diced fine
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced into quarters
1/2 cup dry white wine (I substituted white grape juice with great results!)
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 cups beef stock
1-1/2 cups sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 ounces of the peanut oil in a sauté pan until oil reaches the smoking point. After seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, sear half of it until cooked evenly, then remove with a slotted spoon to another dish. Repeat with remaining oil and other half of meat. (Cooking must be done in two batches to cook the meat evenly since the pan won't be large enough to cook it all at one time.)

Reduce heat to medium and pour off most of the oil, leaving just enough to sauté the onion. Cook till translucent. Add mushrooms and cook. Deglaze pan with the white wine (or grape juice), reducing liquid until almost gone. Add tomato puree and mustard. Add the beef stock and cook until liquid is reduced by two-thirds, stirring constantly. Lower heat and whisk in the sour cream. Add the cooked meat to the pan and slowly heat. Serve with rice. Yields 6 servings.


  1. Looks delicious. My hubby would never let me do this with the steak, he likes it all in one piece on the BBQ . We don't eat a lot of red meat, but when we do, may as well have something of the best.

  2. Oh I love strognoff and haven't made in quite awhile. Thanks for reminder, it is going on my menu for very soon. This recipe sounds delicious too.

  3. I just said to my husband - I would love to have this recipe (after seeing the first photo) and here it is!!! It is so nice that you have a link to Linda - world tearoom traveler too!

  4. How fun your blog post came just after our visit and my blog post!

  5. Oh my, does this dish ever look delicious! Great post, Angela - I am going to try this recipe out.
    Love the history of the tea room too, Joanie


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