Brazilian Beef Stroganoff

Brazilian Beef Stroganoff is a delicious comfort food ideal for lazy weekends. It is also a casual meal to serve to friends. It is very simple to make and very tasty.

One of the key ingredients is the Brazilian "creme de leite', which in the US is called 'media crema table cream' by Nestle. You can usually find it in the ethnic food section of the market. If you can't find it you can use heavy cream but the taste will not be the same.

What You Need:
  • 1 lb stew meat cut in thin strips (see picture below)
  • 2 tablespooons butter
  • 1/2 onion chopped, about 1 cup (OK Felipe, skip the onions, but honestly it doesn't really take long to chop an onion)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 small can mushrooms drained (7 oz)
  • 1 can media crema (7.6 fl oz)
Optional: 1/4 cup white wine.

FYI: Felipe is my son's name.

Important Preparation:
Cut the meat into thin and short strips. This picture gives you an idea of the size of the strips.
Do not salt the meat previously or the meat will release liquid when you fry it.

What To Do:

Gather your ingredients.

In a medium large or large saucepan melt the butter on medium high heat.
Wait until the butter turns brown but careful not to burn it.
Oops! I almost burnt it  :o

Add the meat (unsalted).
Fry the meat stirring occasionally.

I use a big pan so I never need to fry the meat in batches. The meat fits on the surface of my pan without overlapping and this is important otherwise the meat might begin releasing liquid. Conclusion: use a pan with a wide bottom.

Turn the heat back to medium and add the onions.

When the onions get transparent add the tomatoes.

If you are using wine, add the wine before adding the tomatoes and deglaze the pan. To deglaze is to remove all the bits that might have gotten stuck to the pan. 

Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and let it cook for about 25 minutes.
Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile set an inviting table.

Add the ketchup, the drained mushrooms and the media crema.

Stir well. Let it warm but do not let it boil.
Add salt and pepper to your liking.

If your sauce is too thin you can thicken it by adding 1or 2 tablespoon of flour dissolved in milk. Just enough milk to make a thin paste.
Let it warm up to thicken, stirring constantly.

Serve on top of white rice and top the stroganoff with string potatoes.

You can buy string potatoes in a can in most markets in the US.

Bon Appétit!

Beef Stroganoff or Beef Stroganov is originally a Russian dish from the nineteenth century. It consisted of sautéd cubes of beef, sauced with mustard and bouillon, finished with 'smetana' or sour cream. Later tomato sauce was added to the recipe. Crisp potatoes straws is the traditional side for beef stroganoff in Russia.

Beef Stroganoff became very popular around the world and there are many different versions of it. It is a very popular dish in Brazil. Many people use filet mignon in the recipe but I do not think it is really necessary. Chicken and shrimp stroganoff are also popular in Brazil.

updated June 26, 2013


  1. Anonymous23:49

    Made this today and it was awesome!!! I accidentally read it wrong and used pasta sauce instead of tomato sauce, hahaha! It still turned out really delicious though =D

  2. Anonymous17:42

    Incredible recipe. Everyone loved it!!

  3. Mine turned out great! Quick question: If the meat begins releasing liquid, do I drain the liquid before adding the onions and tomatoes? Thanks!

  4. Hi Calina, I'm glad yours turned out good. The ideal situation is to not have any liquid left. The way to avoid the liquid is to fry the meat in batches. Fry one batch, remove it from the pan, and fry the next, until you have fried the whole amount of meat. Then return all the meat to the pan and proceed adding the onions, etc.

    The size of the batches depends on the size of the pan you are using. If the meat covers the whole bottom of the pan, chances are the meat will release liquid easily. I am too lazy to do fry the meat in batches so I use a large pan. However if I double the recipe, I fry the meat in batches.

    But if you still have liquid left, turn the heat all the way up and let the liquid evaporate. Do not drain the liquid as it has a lot of flavor in it. Once the liquid is gone turn the heat down and add the onions immediately. You need to be careful so you do not burn the bottom of the pan. The brown coating that is left on the pan after you fry the meat will dissolve with the liquids from the onions and tomatoes. It adds a lot of flavor to the dish.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  5. Hi Amelia,

    Thank you for your response; very helpful indeed. I will use your technique of cooking in batches in the future. I am actually trying the same dish tonight, but with shrimp this time. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated!


  6. Hi Calina,

    When using shrimp, you need to sauté the onions first and then add the shrimp. As soon as the shrimp changes color, add the tomato sauce, ketchup and mushrooms and let it cook for about 5 minutes only. Then add the media crema and stir until it heats through. Careful because overcooked shrimp gets really hard.

    Happy cooking :)

  7. Hi again Amelia! :)

    How far can I push this recipe? In a previous comment you mentioned you sometimes double the recipe, is that the max? I am prepping this for a party of 10 and am wondering if I need to do 2 separate double batches.. Thanks much!

  8. Hi Calina, When I double the recipe it works well, and I fry the meat in batches. I never did an amount bigger than that, so I can't really tell. The important thing is to watch the consistency. If it's too thin you can add flour and nowadays I actually use corn flour dissolved in a little less than 1/4 cup milk. And 1 tablespoon cornflour corresponds to 2 tablespoons regular flour. Hope this helped.