Frederick & Nelson Poor Man’s Stroganoff

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Department store tea room recipes are still remembered fondly and asked for often. Frederick & Nelson, once Seattle’s premier department store, was taken over by Marshall Field exec William Street in 1938 and went out of business in 1992. This simple stroganoff recipe surfaced via a former F&N employee. It was given to Lost Recipes Found by Mabel Block who operated a little restaurant in Issaquah, WA, from 1958 to 1962. “We had a cook there that had worked at Frederick & Nelson’s lunch counter in Bellevue. She brought that recipe with her,” recalls Mabel. “We sampled it with our regulars and they liked it so much it became our specialty. People came all the way from Bellevue just to have that dish.” Mabel kept it going until 1962 when a developer, expecting business to boom during the Seattle World’s Fair, bought the cafe.

Makes six servings


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 2 lbs ground chuck, or sirloin (lean is good, because in this recipe you won’t drain the fat)
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • 1/4 tsp paprika ( i.e. a generous sprinkle)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/2 cup good quality beef broth 1/2 to 1 cup sour cream (low-fat is fine)
  • Fresh snipped parsley as garnish


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onions in butter until soft. Stir in hamburger, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and flour. Saute five minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Reduce heat to simmer. Add condensed soup and broth. Stir and simmer five to 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Serve over egg noodles or rice. Sprinkle with snipped parsley as a garnish.


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