Tonight’s supper was beef stroganoff, but with a slow-cooker twist. By way of a quick disclaimer up front, this is not an original recipe but rather one that was cobbled together from a post over at AllRecipes.com and the comments that went with it, and it was all brought to my attention by a coworker.
Stroganoff traces its origins to 19th-century Russia (1), although the dish with which we’re familiar here in the US has evolved considerably from these roots. The original Russian version featured sauteed beef with a mustard and sour cream-based sauce, and none of the onions and mushrooms that have come to largely characterize the recipe today. (2) The version presented here takes advantage of convenience ingredients, but thanks to the slow-cooker results in a satisfyingly home-cooked meal.
- 1 pound stewing beef
- 2 10.75-oz. cans of condensed golden mushroom soup
- 1 package onion soup mix
- 8 oz. cream cheese, divided (2 x 4 oz.)
- 1/2 c. sherry (see note)
- 1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- Salt, garlic and ground black pepper to taste
- Egg noodles or rice (to serve over)
Note on the Sherry: I really, really strongly discourage the use of the ‘cooking sherry’ you can find in your grocery store. The flavor is typically off considerably, and the sodium content is entirely too high. In general, as a good rule of thumb with any alcohol in a recipe select something with a taste you enjoy – because the cooking process is going to condense that flavor. For this recipe (and basically all recipes that call for it) I used Taylor Sherry. If you can only get access to the ‘cooking’ variety, however, you can use that (and it’s certainly better than nothing) – just omit the additional salt. For a non-alcoholic version altogether, I would suggest beef stock.
The Process: This really couldn’t be much simpler as far as recipes go – spray the inside of your slow cooker with a non-stick cooking spray, and add the ingredients in the order listed except, of course, for the noodles or rice. Add 4 oz. of the cream cheese at the start, and stir the other 4 oz. in just before serving. Cook for 8 hours on low – we started it before we left the house for work, and it was waiting for us when we got home. Serve over noodles or rice.
Reception: While Mama and Daddy enjoyed this, Katie was less than impressed. Although to be fair, she’s going through a particularly ‘bland’ phase right now in terms of what she likes to eat. But she did enjoy the noodles!
Variations: Sour cream could be substituted for some or possibly all of the cream cheese. Also, for a less-powerful sherry flavor you could do 1/4 c. each of sherry and beef stock. And finally, if your significant other likes mushrooms (mine, alas, does not), it would be great to add some at the end of the cooking process.