Thursday, 8 March 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Can I just say that I LOVE using my slow cooker.  I honestly feel like a superstar when I have supper on before I even leave for work.  Yesterday I made this stroganoff and all day long I kept giving myself internal pats on the back and thinking "You rock, Laurie.  Supper is cooking right now ... and you're not even at home!  Superstar!".  Seriously.  I did.  I will even, occasionally, do the Mary Katherine Gallagher's voice and actions if I'm feeling particularly geeky.  You know Mary Katherine!!  Molly Shannon's character from SNL!?!  But I digress.  Back to stroganoff.  

I'm not sure why I had a beef stroganoff epiphany the other day but all of a sudden I had a hankerin' for it.  My first thought was that I wanted to use my slow cooker because then I could use a cheaper cut of beef and I wouldn't have to be home to cook it.  My second thought was .... my kids are going to hate it.  *sigh*  See, my kids are a little shallow when it comes to eating.  They still think that pretty foods are the most tasty.  Everyone knows that beef stroganoff ain't gonna win any Miss Pretty Beef Dish contests anytime soon.  There is no better angle or background that I had in my pathetic photography arsenal that could make my picture of stroganoff look better.  It is what it is, my friends.  Beef stroganoff may look like a little piece of nasty but it tastes soooo good! 

The sauce has a delicious tang from the cream cheese and sour cream and the red wine gives it that splash of extra flavour (and you can sip some while you're eating the dish so it's a win-win).

So, were my kids jumping up and down for seconds?  Um, no.  Will I be making this dish again?  Oh yes.  Next time, in order to possibly win some Kid Votes, I may try making it with homemade meatballs instead of stewing beef.  Baby steps.  I'll get them lovin' ugly food yet!!

2 lbs stewing beef
salt and pepper, to taste
1 onion, sliced or diced
1/4 cup water
1 beef bouillon powder packet
1 (10.75oz) can of condensed Cream of Mushroom soup
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup red wine (I used a Shiraz)
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup sour cream (I used 14% fat.  Don't judge.)
4oz cream cheese, softened and cut into small cubes
8oz white button mushrooms, quartered or sliced

Place beef into the bottom and season with salt and pepper.  Place onion on top of beef.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine water, bouillon powder, mushroom soup, garlic and Worchestershire sauce.

In a small bowl, combine red wine, flour and cornstarch until smooth (note: it will look a nasty brownish-pink).  Add to soup mixture and combine well.  Pour over beef.

Cover and cook, on LOW heat, for 6-7 hours. 

Place cream cheese cubes into a medium bowl.  Pour a large ladle of the wine mixture over the cream cheese and mix until combined as much as possible.  {The warm sauce will help to blend the cream cheese faster into the sauce minimizing the risk of little bits of cream cheese floating in your sauce.  I didn't do this step when I made it and as you can see in my picture I have little cream cheese bits in my sauce.}  Add cream cheese/wine mixture to the slow cooker.  Stir in sour cream and mushrooms; mix well.  Cook for an additional hour on LOW.

Serve over egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

Note:  I love the tanginess that the cream cheese brings to this dish but be warned -- you'll probably get little bits of cream cheese that might not blend totally with the sauce.  If you don't want to risk little bits of cream cheese you can try replacing it with more sour cream.  Keep in mind, you can put lipstick on a pig but, at the end of the day, it's still a pig.  Using sour cream may get rid of the cream cheese bits but it still won't make stroganoff pretty. ;)

Recipe Inspired by: "Daria's Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff"


TheBookGirl said...

Slow cookers rock! I use mine at least once or twice a week, even though it's just my husband and me at home right now.

Jen at The Three Little Piglets said...

The important thing though, is did they eat it? Pretty food or no, sometimes it's a battle just to get them to eat it. I'll work on convincing them to love it later!!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

I agree, ladies. I love my crockpot but getting the food into my kids' bellies is usually the hardest task. My oldest son liked it but the other two weren't fans. :( They're not 'sauce' people and hate it when food touches. *sigh* ;)

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