Comfort Food Classics: Slow-Cooker Stroganoff
When you want the best recipes, go with the classics that have stood the test of time. Beef stroganoff, for example, is essentially Julia Child's sa__uté de boeuf à la Parisienne, or beef saute with cream and mushroom sauce, but with sour cream instead of heavy cream. The beauty of adapting this recipe to the Crock-Pot is a beefier taste; Julia's recipe calls for tenderloin, which, although pricey, has less beefy flavor compared to beef chuck, which slow cooks to comparable tenderness. You do, however, have to saute the beef and mushrooms before adding them to the Crock-Pot – a minor compromise for the rich, complex flavors caramelization imparts.
Total Time: 4 to 6 hours | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Serves: 6
- 2 pounds beef chuck, fat trimmed, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick strips, 2 to 3 inches long
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots or 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter
- 1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
- 1 cup beef stock, plus a little more to adjust consistency
- 1 tablespoon sage, freshly chopped (optional)
- 3 cups egg noodles, hot
- Season the beef to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.
- Saute the beef until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the beef and juices to the Crock-Pot.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and saute the shallots until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Transfer the shallots to the Crock-Pot. Wipe out the saute pan and add 1 tablespoon of butter to it.
- Saute the mushrooms until caramelized, 7 to 10 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside in the refrigerator.
- Add 3 tablespoons of butter and the flour to the saute pan; cook until it turns blond, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in the sour cream, mustard and stock, and transfer it to the Crock-Pot.
- Set the Crock-Pot to high and cover. Cook the stroganoff for 4 to 6 hours, and then check the beef's doneness. It should be fork-tender.
- Add the sauteed mushrooms and sage to the Crock-Pot. Continue cooking until the mushrooms heat through, about 15 minutes.
- Taste the stroganoff and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Adjust the consistency, if needed, with hot beef stock. Serve over the egg noodles.
If the sour cream breaks or appears curdled, add 1/4 cup heavy cream to the stroganoff, and stir until it comes together.
To adapt this recipe to the oven or stove top, follow the steps as directed, but add an extra 1/2 cup of stock and use a Dutch oven or a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Braise the stroganoff in a 350F oven or over medium-low heat on the stove until tender, about 2 hours.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.