Monday, September 24, 2012

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

I'm sad to see summer go, but cool weather means some old favorites return to the rotation. 

With the busy schedules, the crock pot comes back into play more frequently, too!  In fact, tonight we're having Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, a recipe I use often as a freezer meal, too.   Here's the recipe - I'll add a photo later if it's not too creepy looking! 

Slow Cooker Stroganoff

1-1/2 lb. beef stew meat (I'm using Ney's meat again - sooo good)
1 8-oz. pkg. sliced white mushrooms, finely chopped (as small as your family needs!)
1 med. onion, sliced, diced or however you like it
1 to 1-1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard or dry mustard (add a little more to taste after it cooks)
1-1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (splash in a little more before serving to taste if needed)
1 pkg. egg noodles

Have on hand:
2 tbsp. corn starch or arrowroot powder
2 tbsp. water
1/3 c. sour cream (or more if you like)

To freeze: Add the meat, veggies and seasonings to a gallon storage bag, close, and “knead” gently to evenly distribute the marinade.  Include a bag of egg noodles for each bag.  To prep in bulk, add about 1 c. finely chopped mushrooms, and a heaping 1/2 c. diced onions. A food scale is helpful to distribute meat evenly.  

To prepare:  Take out the frozen meat mixture the night before, or a day in advance.  The day you want to have it for dinner, toss the meat mixture in your crock pot with about 1 c. of broth or water.  Cover & cook until beef tips are tender, about 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high (depends on your slow cooker).  Can cook frozen, but add a few hours.  About 20 minutes before dinner, throw on some water, and cook your noodles.  When it’s time to eat, ladle the beef mixture over the noodles, and voila!  Dinner is served. 
 
Feeling adventurous?  Stir 2 tbsp. of cornstarch into a small bowl with 2 tbsp. water (keep stirring, it thins out).  Whisk in about 1 c. cooking liquid, then pour into a saucepan, and boil about 1 minute until thickened.  If you want to punch up the flavor, add a little Worcestershire sauce and/or mustard into the sauce to your liking.
 
Right before you eat, stir that back into your beef mixture, and you’ve got more of a thickened, gravy-like sauce.  It’s fine without it, just a little juicier.  If you’re feeling crazy and have about 1/3-1/2 c. light sour cream, stir it in right before you eat, and now you have easy beef stroganoff!

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