Many restaurants in the United States and Europe feature Beef Stroganoff on their menu cards because this simple seeming dish is incredibly popular with diners. As a matter of fact, it is also a standard feature in five star multi-cuisine restaurants and coffee shops all over the world. Like many popular dishes eaten today, this one has a very interesting story. How much of this story is authentic is open to interpretation because there are many more conflicting accounts of how the dish originated. What most people agree upon, however, is that this meal is Russian in origin and versions of it date back no earlier than the 18th century.
The most common story concerning the origin of the Beef Stroganoff is that it has been named after a 19th century Russian nobleman called Count Paul Stroganoff. A friend of Tsar Alexander III, he used to entertain quite often and his invitations were always in great demand because of the delicious food served at his home. It is believed that he had a very good chef who used to serve a delicious dish made of sautéed strips of tender meat cooked in a subtle cream sauce containing mushrooms and onions. The dish was supposedly so popular that it made its way into many people's kitchens and from there into popular usage. Since variations of this recipe were in use in Russia much earlier than the 19th century it is very likely that this recipe was in the Count's family for a very long time and that it came into public notice only because of the count's love of calling people home for dinner.
The Beef Stroganoff eventually began to be featured in popular cookbooks and quickly became the popular dish it is today. The earliest mention that one sees of a Beef Stroganoff recipe is in l'Art Culinaire dating back to 1891. According to popular opinion, this recipe was first seen in English in 1932 in a book called Good Food written by Ambrose Heath. Once it was featured in English cookbooks this recipe spread all over the world including to the United States.
There are a few interesting versions of this dish available in internet recipe compilations because of its immense popularity. It is also extremely easy to cook and is well loved by children and adults alive, which makes it a regular feature on dinner menus across the United States.