How Russian chefs interpret foreign cuisine: English pie à la Stroganoff

Alexei Semenov cooks shepherd’s pie mixed with beef Stroganoff

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In his kitchen, chef Alexei Semenov treats guests to some unusual dishes, such as salo burger and pancake lasagna. He shared another popular recipe with us.

Ever since childhood Alexei Semenov has loved to cook. As a teenager, under the watchful eye of his mother, he lovingly made cakes, shortbread, and homemade cream from condensed milk and strawberry jam. Later he decided to enter culinary school and become a pro, training at the Hofmann Hostelry School in Spain and the Academia Barilla in Italy, followed by an internship with Michelin chef Michel Lenz. The latter advised him to use local products in adopting foreign techniques, which Alexei put into practice at Russian Pub, a craft gastrobar in Moscow. We talked with Alexei about his approach to gastronomy, and learned his recipe for shepherd’s pie mixed with beef Stroganoff. 

Pancake pie with minced meat resembles lasagna

How does Russian Pub combine Russian and foreign cuisines?

I use foreign culinary methods. Having studied foreign pub culture, I tried to do something of my own, and that’s where many of the recipes came from. On the one hand, we have a craft bar with unique drinks, selected from the heart. On the other, we have my modern version of original cuisine.

For example, pancake pie with minced meat (which resembles lasagna) and Belarusian shrimps with wasabi sauce — these dishes were inspired by global cuisines. I also make traditional bruschettas and smorrebrods as sandwiches with caviar made from baked vegetables, cod liver, vorschmack, and brined meat made from farm beef. 

Belarusian shrimps with wasabi sauce

What are your favorite Russian dishes?

I love sauerkraut. Love it, make it, eat it. My grandfather, who’s a war veteran, still makes it too, and we often argue about whose tastes better. Now and again he tries to teach me how to cook it properly. Russian sauerkraut is unlike any other. At Russian Pub I serve my own unique recipe. 

Recipe for pie à la Stroganoff

Ingredients:

For 1 serving, you will need:

  • Beef tenderloin 140 g
  • Pickled cucumbers 15 g
  • Onion 10 g
  • White mushrooms 40 g
  • Cream (33%) 100 ml
  • Smetana 20 g
  • Butter 25g
  • Dijon mustard to taste
  • Puff pastry 70 g
  • Mashed potatoes 120 g

Cooking:

  1. Cut all ingredients into thin strips.
  2. Fry onion in butter, add beef tenderloin, pickles, salt and pepper to taste, and a little Dijon mustard. Then add cream and white wine. Fry everything together with white mushrooms, lastly add smetana.
  3. You will need a heat-resistant mold. Thickly spread mashed potatoes on the bottom, egg yolk can be added. Lay fried beef with vegetables on top.
  4. Thinly roll out yeast-free puff pastry and cover the mold with it. Lubricate with butter and place in the oven at 180 C for 6-7 minutes. Best served in the mold to preserve the heat.

Read more: 4 irresistible cheese spread dishes from Russia

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