Thursday, May 10, 2012

recipe review: slow cooker beef stroganoff

I grew up eating beef stroganoff, and I love it.  My mom used to make it year round, even though it is sort of a cold weather dish, and I never complained.  If you ask me, it's got a few basic ingredients that I keep on hand most of the time because they happen to be delicious!  

I decided to look around for a slow cooker recipe for beef stroganoff a while back (because slow cookers rock!) and I ended up combining a bunch of recipes into one because I couldn't find one that suited me.  I'm a purist, I don't think beef stroganoff should be made from a can of cream of mushroom soup.  I think the flavor should come from the beef and the mushrooms, not some sodium filled metal container.  

So here goes, my take on beef stroganoff in a slow cooker.  

Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff
8 servings
6 Points Plus 
(no noodles or rice included in that number, track separately)

1 1/2 pounds of trimmed stew beef, such as a round cut, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups of (hot) water
1 beef bouillon cube
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup finely minced onions
2 cloves finely minced garlic
2 cups or an 8 ounce package of sliced white button mushrooms
salt and pepper
8 ounces light sour cream

Start off by mixing the hot water with the cornstarch and bouillon cube.  You can do this over the stove, or just be lazy like me and microwave the water and mix it in the measuring cup.  It works fine either way.  

Combine the cut up beef, liquid mixture, onions, garlic, mushrooms, and Dijon mustard in the slow cooker.  Add salt and pepper, but don't worry about adding too much because you can adjust the flavor at the end.  Turn the slow cooker on low heat for six to eight hours.  

(After six hours the flavors will be developed, but the meat will still be in soft chunks.  After eight hours the flavors will be developed and the meat will begin to fall apart more, like a shredded beef.)

Check the mixture near the end of cooking, you may want to skim off and fat that is sitting on the top.  Depending on which meat I use, I find myself skimming a lot or not at all.  

Just before serving, add the 8 ounces (that's only 1/2 of an average container) of light sour cream.  Heat the mixture, adjust the salt and pepper to your liking, and serve!  

I serve mine over egg noodles, which adds an additional 5 points plus to the meal.  I know other people use rice or simply serve it with bread.  The choices is yours, but just remember that the 6 points plus is for 1/8 of the meat and sauce mixture, about a half cup or a hefty ladle full.  

Also, and I know a lot of people think it's gross, but I top mine with diced dill pickles.  It adds a nice and salty crunch as you dig in.  

It's a simple recipe and you can play around with it however you'd like.  You can use fat free half and half instead of the sour cream or substitute baby portobello mushrooms (sometimes called Baby Bellas) instead of white mushrooms.  Some people add worchestire sauce instead of the Dijon mustard, and others use flour instead of cornstarch.  I've tried it all different ways, but I've never found a style I didn't like.  I'm just sharing my favorite version, and also the simplest version I've found.  

1 comment:

  1. I was wondering if you would like to put up a link to this nice beef recipe in my Food on Friday Series. This week the ingredient is beef.