Mama Bender’s Beef Stroganoff

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 14, 2013

The Packers may have lost this weekend (sigh), but there were several “wins” to even things out. Bobby and I had a wonderful time with our neighbors on Friday night, who we invited over for a Humble Pie and game night. Our conversation won out over the game playing most of the time, but I must say that Wits and Wagers is definitely an interesting challenge, especially for someone who tends to second guess her guesstimates.

On Saturday we caught up on some longstanding to-dos before heading up to the Bender house for game watching and birthday celebrating. The former was fun and exciting for the first half but left us feeling pretty miserable by the time the fourth quarter was over. Luckily, the latter more than made up for it. All it took was a Whole Foods carrot cake, numerical candles, some slightly off-key singing and a secret wish. Not to mention a very special dinner.


Though Papa Bender was treated to a store-bought creation from this food blogger, he was also served a delicious homemade meal from Mama Bender. My made-from-scratch carrot cake will have to wait until next year because Mama Bender’s beef stroganoff always steals the show.


I have fond memories of this stroganoff. Believe it or not, Papa Bender did most of the homemade cooking growing up. πŸ˜‰ He also traveled a fair amount, which meant that we got to know our local drive-through staff when he was out of town (one of them even used to refer to five-year-old Eric as her “boyfriend” – true story). I’m sure Mama Bender will be so pleased that I am sharing this culinary history with you, but the context is necessary in order to understand just how delicious this dish is to me – and why you should make it ASAP.

Amidst trips to semi-healthy fast food and family-friendly sit-down restaurants, beef stroganoff was one of a short list of wholly MB-made staples, and it was one that I always looked forward to. If a kid has a choice between Burger King chicken tenders (with double barbecue sauce, please) or beef stroganoff, and she chooses the stroganoff, I think that’s all the proof you need to know that it’s something special. And lately, the stroganoff has managed to taste even better through Mama Bender’s dedication to using organic ingredients and grass-fed beef.

Her aversion to cooking may have changed over the years, but her talent for it has stayed the same.

You’ll definitely need to let me know if you make this recipe. I promise you won’t regret it!


What’s one of your favorite recipes or meals from childhood?




1 Erica January 14, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Sorry about the loss. That carrot cake looks so yummy! As does the stroganoff! My mom used to make beef stew that was my absolute favorite! Well, that and her french toast for dinner night!!
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2 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

French toast for dinner sounds amazing!

3 Cara (Twinthusiast) January 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Is that Papa B raising the roof? Love it.

My fav childhood meal is my dad’s homemade pancakes. We could request the shapes and he’d food color dye them on holidays – nothing beat a great green St. Patty’s shamrock.
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4 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 11:57 am

Love the idea of green pancakes for St. Patty’s day! And yes, that is Papa B.’s version of raising the roof. :)

5 Shannon January 14, 2013 at 4:07 pm

gotta love a meal like that! i always loved when my mom made chinese style goulash (nothing at all what you’re thinking i’m sure, just a random name) and breakfast for dinner was always special– maybe that’s why i love it so much now :)
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6 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm

That sounds delicious – I love breakfast for dinner, too. :)

7 Terri (Diet Drama) January 15, 2013 at 12:42 am

That’s one of my hub’s favorites. I watched his mom make it recently so I could commit it to memory. I think strogonoff is coming to our house again soon. Thanks!!
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8 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Awesome! You’ll have to let me know what you think when you make it!

9 Marianne January 15, 2013 at 12:48 am

I do love me a good stroganoff – must be the whole Russian heritage thing. Sour cream is where it’s at!

Speaking of Russian heritage, I think my grandparent’s homemade borscht and perogies have to be some of my favourite childhood food memories. I loved when we go to help make the perogies with them, assembly line style. And I remember grandpa sending me home with old mayonnaise jars full of borscht so I could enjoy it all week. Love that stuff!
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10 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Yum! My dad comes from a Polish background and grew up with borscht and perogies, too. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had borscht, but perogies are awesome. :) And you can never go wrong with sour cream!

11 Megan (Braise The Roof) January 15, 2013 at 1:18 pm

You may not have made the cake from scratch, but it looks like it was incredible (ie, totally worth it πŸ˜‰ ). Happy birthday to your dad! One of my favorite meals as a kid was this chicken “taco” salad that my mom would make that had baked beans in it. I still make it sometimes. (I actually posted a recipe for it a while back!)
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12 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Yum – taco salad is awesome! I’m going to have to revisit your recipe. And yes, the store-bought cake was totally worth it. :)

13 Susan January 15, 2013 at 3:36 pm

Yum… love a good stroganoff. Thanks for sharing Mama B.’s recipe! We ate that a lot when I was younger, and I also liked my mom’s Swedish meatballs.

14 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Mmm…meatballs! I still have never made them, but really want to try!

15 a farmer in the dell January 15, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Here’s the thing. You can buy a really tasty pre-made carrot cake, buttttttt you can’t buy a good beef stroganoff. This looks delicious!

16 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more, Andrea!!

17 joelle (on a pink typewriter) January 16, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Haha nice save about the aversion/talent comment. πŸ˜‰

This is going to sound totally random, but I feel like colored, festive plates like your stroganoff is served on are pretty standard for families who live in the southwest… my parents have ones similar to that pattern, which we’ve used since I was a kid (and I grew up in Vegas).

18 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

These plates are totally standard for the Southwest! I see them everywhere – love that you noticed that, too. :)

19 Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady January 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Hi Jenn! This looks good. Happy belated birthday to EVERYONE:) Hope you’re having a blessed week!
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20 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Thanks, Joi!! Hope your week is off to a great start, too!

21 Potatoes and Pilates January 17, 2013 at 6:10 pm

YUM. I don’t think I’ve ever had *really* good Stroganoff before so this is definitely one to try out sometime.

Thanks for sharing such a special family recipe and Happy Birthday Papa Bender!
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22 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Thanks for the birthday wishes! Definitely let me know if you try out the recipe. :)

23 Anneliese February 3, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Hi Jenn!

I’ve been reading your blog for a few years and I’m delurking to say that I tried your mom’s stroganoff recipe tonight. It was DELICIOUS!! I have leftovers for the next couple of nights and I’m really excited to have more stroganoff.

Thanks for sharing! And I’m a big fan of your old favorite, Coffee Cocoa. :-)

24 Jenn (eating bender) February 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hi Anneliese!

So great to hear from you! It means a lot that you not only tried my mom’s stroganoff recipe, but stopped by to let us know that you enjoyed it, as well. :) My mom was so happy to hear it and we both hope you enjoy the leftovers, too!

Thanks again for brightening our day. Glad to hear you are also a fan of Coffee Cocoa. A forever favorite of mine, that’s for sure! Hope you have a great week!

25 Anneliese January 1, 2014 at 4:41 am

Hi Jenn!
Just checking in again to let you know that this has become a staple recipe for me! I made it last week for my parents-in-law and they requested it a second time as a doubled recipe with leftovers to freeze.
Thanks again for sharing! Happy New Year to you and your family! And a special thanks to Mama Bender.

26 Us sale shop July 17, 2013 at 2:12 pm

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