Monday, September 17, 2012

Pushkin and Stroganoff

Today I thought it was about time to post another recipe. What follows is a very easy and delicious beef stroganoff for the slow cooker. However, since I'm posting a Russian recipe, I thought it fitting to share a little something about Alexander Pushkin, the great Russian poet and founder of modern Russian literature.

The first installment (Escape) of my trilogy, Unchained, is now available. It's a family saga that involves an average white guy learning of his African-American ancestry.  Near death, his one hundred year old grandmother reveals the secret that her grandmother was a black woman, born a slave.

Now what does Alexander Pushkin have to do with any of this?  Seems he was in a similar situation, though his ancestry wasn't a secret. Here's some interesting information from the blog Race and History posted by Selwyn Cudjoe.

...Abram Petrovich Gannibal, Pushkin's great-grandfather, born in Northern Abyssinia (Ethiopia) in the 1690s, was of royal stock. Pushkin claimed that his great grandfather was a prince who lived a luxurious life. He was abducted from Ethiopia when he was eight years old by a "Frenchman collecting animals and other curiosities for Louis XIV" of France. Shipped to Istanbul, he was placed in the Sultan's seraglio where the Russian ambassador found him and sent him back to Russia as a present to Peter the Great.

In the Russian court, Abram became a great favourite of Peter the Great. The Tsar became so attached to this precocious and intelligent child that he had him baptised into the Orthodox Church at Vilno where the Tsar himself became his godfather and the queen of Poland his godmother.
As he grew up, Pushkin took great pride in his great-grandfather and his Africanness which he  openly embraced and celebrated in Eugene Onegin.
Pushkin led a fascinating life, so I'll post more on him next week, but now on to stroganoff! This recipe is from Mabel Hoffman's Crockery Cookery, one of my favorite cookbooks! Hope you enjoy it.

Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs round steak
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
1 onion sliced
1/4 t garlic salt
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 t paprika
1 (10 1/2-oz.) can condensed beef broth
1 T ketchup
2 T dry red wine
1/4 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 T cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 cup sour cream
Cooked rice or noodles

Cut steak into 1/4 inch strips.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place steak and onion in slow cooker.  Mix garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, broth and ketchup in a bowl.  Pour mixture over steak. cover and cook on LOW 6 to 7 hours or until steak is tender.  Turn control to HIGH.  Add wine and mushrooms.  Dissolve cornstarch in water in a small bowl.  Add to meat mixture, stirring until blended.  Cover and cook on HIGH 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Stir in sour cream; turn off heat. Serve with rice or noodles.

Happy eating! Do you have a favorite version of beef stroganoff? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!


Intangible Hearts said...

Yummy, you have me drooling and the story about Pushkin is interesting too. Thanks for the educational morsels of deliciousness.

Maria McKenzie said...

You're so very welcome:)!

Old Kitty said...

Lovely to read that Pushkin was proud of his ancestry!!

Yay! take care

William Kendall said...

I have a great fondness for beef stroganoff. It's been too long since I've had some.

I didn't know that about Pushkin... though I did take note of a biography just released about the father and grandfather of the two Dumas writers, a soldier who was the mixed race son of an aristocrat and a Haitian slave.

Maria McKenzie said...

@Old Kitty: That was refreshing!

@William: Dumas is on my list to blog about!

shelly said...

I used to make one with tofu and veggie meat. It was so good but I have to stay away from soy now. It's not good for everyone.

Hugs and chocolate,

Maria McKenzie said...

That sounds delicious! I love tofu, but I stay away from soy too nowadays:(.

Jennette Marie Powell said...

Maria, you find the most fascinating historical facts! The stroganoff sounds delicious, and I'm looking forward to reading more about Alexander Pushkin!

Maria McKenzie said...

I'm looking forward to reading more in depth about him for the upcoming post. He led a colorful life and died young!