JiT and I recently joined the gym near our offices and have been trying to exercise after work most evenings. Its been great for our waistlines but not so much for my schedule. By the time we get home at night its nearly 8pm. We’re hungry and if I cook, I rarely get any other chores (or blogging) done before bed.
Enter one of my favorite, but often neglected kitchen appliances: the slow cooker! Take a few minutes to throw some ingredients into the pot in the morning, plug it in and go about your business. When you return home at night, you’re greeted with the aroma of a warm, hearty meal that’s ready to be eaten. If you put an apron and a string of pearls on it, you might confuse the slow cooker for your mother. Its awesome…and perfectly designed for creating fall and winter-friendly fare like chili, pot roasts, and beef stroganoff.
My “usual,” stovetop stroganoff recipe is also very good and comes together in a pan pretty quickly. But if you haven’t thoroughly tenderized the beef, you could end up with a chewy mess. Not with the slow cooker version. In fact, I didn’t even have time to slice the beef into strips before making this version. No problem…I threw the entire steak into the pot, covered it with the rest of the ingredients and let it stew. When I came home, the meat literally shredded with a fork.
With that shredded beef in mind, this version is a bit more like a beef stew than traditional stroganoff recipes…but its still delicious. Served over buttered egg noodles (we used the whole wheat kind with great success) and a side-salad and you’ve got a hearty, healthful dinner ready to eat within 20 minutes of your arrival home. Beautiful.
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
1 1/2 pounds top round steak
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (10.75 ounce) can fat-free condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 ounce) container fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 small cube beef bouillon
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (16 ounce) container lite sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1 package egg noodles (we used the whole wheat ones)
Place the beef in the bottom of a slow cooker (I put mine in whole, but you can slice into strips if you prefer). Season with a few grinds of salt and pepper. Place onion on top of beef, and then add mushroom soup, mushrooms, water, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and bouillon cube (crumble and sprinkle over top).
In a small bowl, mix together the wine with the flour. Pour evenly over the beef mixture. Cover, and cook on Low for 7 hours or until you return home.
Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-sized pieces (the meat should be falling apart). Stir in the sour cream, and continue cooking for up to 1 hour. Serve over hot, buttered egg noodles and top with chopped parsley, if desired.