Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What's for Dinner Tonight?

Easy Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

  • Beef, usually cubed
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Onion, diced
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • Sour Cream

Select the best looking beef you can find in your supermarket. The "stew meat" already cubed works well, roasts work, and I'm even trying rib steaks for our dinner tonight (I'll take the steak out after it's finished cooking, slice or cube, and then add back to the crock). Season raw meat with salt and pepper (or Montreal Steak Seasoning if you'd like) and sear in a little olive oil until carmel brown in a saute pan. Place meat in the crockpot.

Add a little more oil to the pan and saute onions, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and saute until translucent. If using a nonstick skillet, add a little water (couple tablespoons) to pull up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan from the beef. Place onions in crockpot.

Slice as many mushrooms as you like in whatever thickness you like for whatever texture you desire, and use whatever variety you like, or omit completely. White button mushrooms work great, but lately I've been using crimini mushrooms which are just like white buttons, but I think are a little bit more flavorful. The mushrooms will soak up the beef and gravy (soup), and will taste just like the delicious meat. Place in crockpot.

Mix cream of mushroom soup with as much water as you'd like to thin it out. I usually do more of a 2:1 ratio of soup to water. Place in crock pot and mix all the ingredients together.

Cook on low until tender, or on high if you have less time. The smaller the meat cubes, the quicker the meat will cook. It will take several hours, so do it before church or work and it will be ready for you when you get home.

Thirty minutes before serving, stir in sour cream to taste into the crock pot mixture. Do not add the sour cream at the beginning of cooking as it will break down and cause a grainy gravy. After adding the sour cream, let mixture sit a little longer to thoroughly dissolve sour cream and bring back up to temperature.

Serve Beef Stroganoff gravy mixture over rice or egg noodles. Add a green salad, roasted aspargus, broccoli, green beans, or your favorite veggie, and fruit, and pies, and whatever you like to eat. YUMM-O!

*If you're really in a pinch, use ground beef and saute the ingredients in a deep skillet. Add soup, etc. and voila, a meal in less than 3o minutes.

**I also like to add my cooked noodles or rice directly to crock pot just before serving so that the gravy is absorbed, but don't continue to cook the mixture or your starch choice will get soggy and mushy.

Have fun experimenting with ingredients and ratios; That's what I do every time I make this. Although there are different methods of making beef stroganoff, this is my childhood favorite. Thanks Mom for the inspiration.

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