Posts Tagged ‘crockpot’

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

Friday, September 25th, 2009

I love crockpot cooking. I know it’s not “cool” or fancy. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s really a fantastic thing to be able to walk in to the smell of a completed dinner after working all day. Most of the time, I want to cook–it’s relaxing, and  a natural part of my day. But not every day.

Our slow cooker standbys are Beef Stroganoff, Pepper Steak, and Pot Roast. These items all lend themselves to crock pot cooking, in large part because you can take a less expensive cut of meat and make it tender and delicious, just by giving it all day to cook. Pork chops work well enough. Chicken is the one thing I haven’t been able to make in a slow cooker. In the past, I’ve tried a number of recipes with boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot, but I haven’t been happy with the texture of the chicken. It always got too soft. This recipe was different, though.

Using the whole chicken maintained the right texture, and it really couldn’t have been easier. You could season this any way that you choose–I used a chicken spice rub that my friend Jeff bought me for my birthday, but more traditional lemon & herbs, lemon pepper, or paprika would work just as well. Salt, pepper & garlic would be delicious. This chicken tastes like the rotisserie chickens that you would pick up at the grocery store, but it’s more fresh, healthier,  and only a fraction of the cost.

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Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

  • 1 whole roasting chicken
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, or extra virgin olive oil spray
  • 3 tablespoons Rub With Love Chicken Spice Rub
  • aluminum foil
  • 4 medium potatoes (optional)

Clean chicken inside and out. Rub with extra virgin olive oil all over, or spray with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with Spice Rub.

For easier cleanup, use a liner, or spray the inside of your crockpot with a bit of non-stick cooking spray.

Next, make 3 or 4 balls of aluminum foil (about the size of baseballs) and place in the bottom of your crockpot. This will keep your chicken out of the drippings while it cooks. Rest the chicken on the balls of foil breast side down. Cook on high for 45 minutes to an hour, then reduce heat to low for 4-6 hours.

Note: Instead of just using balls of foil, I wrapped potatoes in foil and placed them at the bottom of the crockpot. This meant we had roasted potatoes for dinner with the chicken. I also used the pan drippings to make a simple gravy to go with the chicken and potatoes (2 tablspoons of flour with 2 tablespoons of butter cooked to golden brown over medium heat to make a roux, then whisk in about 2 cups of pan drippings from the crockpot and season with salt and pepper. If you don’t have 2 cups of drippings, you can add some chicken stock or even white wine to get the right amound of liquid). Next time, I’d probably do some wrapped potatoes with some baby carrots. I don’t know when it happened, but I love carrots when they’re cooked with a roast or other meat.

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

David doesn’t like to shop, but he enjoys finding a bargain, nonetheless. He really likes shopping at Costco for that reason–as long as you have space and can use the bulk products, there are some really good deals to be had.

As you might imagine then, coupons from Costco are even more fun for David.

Because of a $4-off coupon, we decided to try a marinated pork loin that we’ve been eyeing at Costco for a while now. For a very reasonable price, we bought a 4 pound pork loin roast marinated in a garlic & onion seasoning. 4 pounds is pretty big, of course, so I only used half of it for this recipe. I decided to make pulled pork sandwiches in the crockpot.

This couldn’t have been easier, but the sandwiches were very tasty.

Crockpot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

  • 2 pound pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons Alton Brown’s Dry Rub Seasoning (used here, previously)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • bread or sandwich rolls for serving

1. Sprinkle the pork loin on all sides with the dry rub seasoning. We always have leftovers of the AB version from making ribs, but any store-bought rib rub would probably work, or even just a quick blend of brown sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic, in a pinch.

2. Place in the bowl of a crockpot or slowcooker. Because of the sugar content of the rub and the barbecue sauce, I sprayed the inside of the bowl with non-stick cooking spray to help with cleanup.

3. Pour vinegar and barbecue sauce over top of pork loin. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 4-6 hours).

4. When you are ready to serve, strain the barbecue sauce mixture into a small mixing bowl or measuring cup. It will be much a much thinner liquid than you put in. Shred the pork loin with two forks to get the desired “pulled pork” texture. It will come apart very, very easily. Once the pork is shredded, return the barbecue sauce to the crockpot. You probably won’t need all of the liquid (I only used about half  to three-quarters of it) to get the barbecue pork to the right consistency.

5. Serve on toasted sandwich rolls, hamburger buns, or whatever you like!

Note: This was really good. The only thing missing from this crockpot method was smoke. Next time, I’ll make a point of using some liquid smoke or hickory smoke powder–we didn’t have any on hand this time, but I’ve been meaning to pick some up. I served this with cole slaw (which began as a store kit, but was doctored up with a little bit of miracle whip, some cider vinegar, and some salt and pepper) and a side of potatoes (You’ll be seeing the recipe for the potatoes soon ). I also set out that extra sauce for people to drizzle over their sandwiches, and then stirred the rest into the leftovers, which were excellent as well.

Smoky Ham and Bean Soup

Friday, April 10th, 2009

You know what’s funny? I like ham, but I love all the delicious things you can make with leftover ham. Like the one and only casserole I grew up with, ham and rice casserole. Or like the subject of this post, ham and bean soup.

I know it doesn’t sound flashy. It probably doesn’t even sound good. All you have is my word, but I promise you, it’s tasty. Very tasty. As soon as we decided to make ham for Fake Easter, I had visions of the ham bone, simmering away in my crockpot. And my visions came true. With real Easter coming up this weekend, you might very well get your hands on a ham bone of your very own. If you’re lucky enough to be “stuck” with a leftover ham, here’s what to do.

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Smokey Ham and Northern Bean Soup

  • 1 pound of leftover ham, diced
  • 1 large ham bone, leftover from a roasted ham (if you can’t get one of these, you can skip it, but do try–it really adds to the flavor)
  • 1 quart chicken stock, ham stock, or prepared ham soup base (I used chicken stock)
  • 1 large can of northern beans, partially drained (I poured out about half the liquid)
  • 2 small cans Campbell’s Bean with Bacon soup
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup V8 vegetable juice
  • salt & pepper to taste (you probably won’t need much salt, so go easy on it)

Combine ingredients in large crockpot, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Honestly, you could eat it as soon as it’s heated through, but the longer it simmers, the better it’s going to taste. If you don’t want to use a crockpot, this can be done on the stove over low heat. Just be sure to keep an eye on it and stir frequently. The starchy beans will get scorched and stick to the bottom of the pot if you don’t.

Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

Crockpot recipes really are fantastic. Even though I absolutely love to cook, and making dinner is one of my favorite parts of the day, there is something very satisfying about coming home from work to the smell of dinner simmering away. No exception here. When I opened the door and walked into the kitchen, I was met with the delicious scent of slow cooked pork chops.

The picture below doesn’t do this dish justice. It’s not pretty, or flashy, but it was one of the tastiest dishes I’ve made in the crockpot in a while. The recipe calls for a regular can of soup, but I substituted 98% fat free cream of chicken soup–I don’t find enough of  a taste difference to warrant the extra calories in the full fat version. I used a regular packet of ranch dressing, but I don’t think it would suffer if you wanted to lighten it further by using a fat free packet of dressing.

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Ranch Crockpot Pork Chops with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from www.picky-palate.com.

  • 4 pork chops, 1 & 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 packet dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning
  • 10 oz can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 4 lbs peeled, cubed yukon gold potatoes (I leave the skin on for my mashed potatoes most times. I like the taste of them!)
  • 5 Tablespoons real butter
  • 6 cloves roasted garlic (leftover from a Chicken & 40 Cloves)
  • 1- 1 1/2 Cups warm milk
  • 1 Tablespoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

1. Place pork chops, Ranch seasoning and soup into a medium sized crock pot over high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 hours.

2. Place potatoes into a large pot of cold water. Place onto stovetop over high heat and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and transfer to the work bowl of a stand or electric mixer. Mix on low until potatoes are mashed then add butter, garlic, milk, salt and pepper.

3. Scoop mashed potatoes onto serving plates and top with pork chops and soup gravy from crock pot.

Note: I ended up thickening this sauce with a corstarch slurry, because it was a little thin for my tastes. Otherwise, I’d call this perfect. We used thick cut pork loin chops that stood up well to the crockpot cooking.

David’s Variable Hotness Chili

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

This post isn’t really about making chili. I mean, I’ll tell you how we make chili, and you can choose to follow our recipe. The chili we make around here is good, but not a whole lot better or worse than most other homemade chili, in my experience. (Of course, that could because I grew up in a home that had excellent chili). It’s hard to say.

This post is about making chili for everyone.

You see, I am a whimp. No, really, I am. In just about every way possible. I’ll whine about working too much, or being tired, or doing laundry, or doing the dishes. I get hurt when I trip, when I stumble, when I bang my hand on the corner of the kitchen counters, when I hit my head, when I break a nail, when I stub my toe, and when I wear high heels. And of course, when I cut my finger with scissors, a knife, or sheets of paper. I’m clumsy, and I’m whiny, and everything hurts me.

In related news, I don’t get along well with spicy, spicy foods. I can handle “medium” spiciness on most things, especially if there are mitigating factors like crackers, and cheese, and sour cream. David, on the other hand, prefers spicy, spicy foods. What to do?

When David first started making chili at his old apartment, he made a large pot of chili and pulled aside a tiny amount for me before he really flavored the batch he and his friends would eat. The good thing was that the chili wasn’t too spicy for me. The bad thing was that my tiny pot of chili was actually pretty bland, even by my standards. The other bad thing was that I never got in on any of the leftovers–one of the best parts of a big pot of chili!

So David thought and he thought and he finally came up with the solution. Put the hot “on the side.” So that’s what we do. David dices up every kind of chile imaginable (at least every kind that our grocery store can imagine) and lets them stew in their own small crockpot all day long. The result is a very spicy blend of delicious chile flavor that can be added to the larger pot of chili as you like. I usually skip it entirely, but David includes a couple of large spoonfuls per bowl of chili. Saner people might add just a spoonful.

This whole method is especially awesome for having people over for chili. It’s hard to please everyone, right? This makes it easier.

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David’s “Variable Hotness” Chili

For the Chili:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound of other ground meat (we usually use 1/2 pound of ground pork and 1/2 pound of ground buffalo meat, for a total of 2 pounds of meat)
  • 1 large can of “hot” chili beans
  • 1 large can of “mild” chili beans
  • 1 large can of tomato juice (divided)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

1. In a large stock pot, brown the ground meat together. When browned, drain the fat from the skillet.

2. Add the next 4 ingredients to the pot and heat over medium heat. There is no need to drain the beans or tomatoes. I usually start with about half a can of tomato juice at this point. You may want to add more later, but remember to save some for the chile peppers.

3. Add the spices one at a time, stirring after each ingredient. This usually involves David and I both standing at the stove, adding and tasting, adding and tasting.

4. Transfer to a crockpot and let simmer on low until it’s time to eat. If your crockpot runs on the hotter side, you may want to start on low and then flip it to warm, since everything has been cooked through.

For the Chiles (The “Variable Hotness” part):

  • 3-4 jalapeno peppers
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 cubanelle pepper
  • 3 habanero peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice (from the large can above)

1. Clean, seed, and dice all of the peppers. If you’ve never worked with these kinds of peppers before, I suggest wearing disposable latex gloves. It keeps the dangerous spicy chemicals off of your hands completely. Once you get that much heat on your hands, it can be really hard to wash off completely. If you use disposable gloves, you don’t have to worry about accidentally touching your eyes or something. That would suck.

2. Put the peppers and tomato juice in the bowl of a small crockpot. The baby ones, used for keeping dips warm, work well here. Simmer on low until the peppers are soft. We usually let this stew all day.

When you serve the chili, let everyone add their own level of heat by mixing in the warm, spicy pepper sauce.

Note: I don’t serve chili without plenty of sour cream, grated cheese, and oyster crackers, but do what you like. The last time we made chili, I also made those delicious corn muffins, which was a perfect compliment.

Company Pot Roast

Monday, February 16th, 2009

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, we had a big family dinner at our place a couple of weekends ago. The centerpiece of that meal was Ina Garten’s Company Pot Roast from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook. I am obsessed with this cookbook. I want to make everything I see–it just can’t be helped. The pictures are literally mouth-watering, and everything I’ve made so far has turned out picture perfect and delicious. (Well, except the fish, but that was our fault. We don’t like fish. The fish eater among us liked it a lot).

This pot roast recipe was more of the same. A tasty, elegant spin on a classic dish, with simple instructions and awesome results. The only change I made was that I used my slow-cooker, instead of hogging my oven all day. What can I say? I had cakes to bake, and rolls to make, and I needed my oven. The slow cooker worked well, and I don’t think it took anything away from the dish.

Company Pot Roast
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics cookbook.

  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 cups chopped carrots (4 carrots)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 2 cups chopped celery (4 stalks)
  • 2 cups chopped leeks (2 to 4 leeks)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 2 cups good red wine, such as Burgundy (I used 1 1/2 cups of Cotes de Rhone and 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 T. Cognac or brandy
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes in puree
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 3 branches fresh thyme
  • 2 branches fresh rosemary
  • 1 T. butter, room temp.

Pat beef dry and season all over with 1 T. salt and 1 1/2 tsp. pepper. Dredge entire roast in flour, including ends. In large, deep skillet (or dutch oven), heat 2 T. olive oil over medium heat. Add roast and sear for 4-5 minutes, until nicely browned. Turn and sear other side and then sear the ends. This should take 4-5 minutes for each side. Remove roast to large plate.

Add 2 T. olive oil to the skillet. Add carrots, onions, celery, leeks, garlic, 1 T. salt and 1 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the wine and Cognac and bring to a boil. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, bouillon cube, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Tie thyme and rosemary together with kitchen string and add to pot. Put roast back into pot, bring to boil and cover. Transfer to slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours until meat is fork tender or about 160 degrees internally.

Remove roast to cutting board. Remove the herb bundle and discard. Skim off as much fat as possible from the sauce. Transfer half the sauce and vegetables to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (I used my immersion blender). Pour the puree back into the pot, place on stove top over low heat, and return to a simmer. Place 2 T. flour and the butter in a small bowl and mash them together with a fork. Stir into sauce and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring until thickened. Taste for seasonings. Remove strings from roast and slice meat. Serve warm with the sauce spooned over it.

Note: One of the best things about doing this in the slow cooker (aside from freeing up my oven for other ventures) was that I was also able to make the sauce ahead of time. We made the sauce as listed above, and then put the roast and the sauce back into the crockpot until it was time for dinner. Gravy/Sauce making is always a little bit stressful, and at Thanksgiving, was the part that everyone ended up waiting for, so I was glad to have that task done and out of the way. I served this pot roast with mashed potatoes, using the tasty sauce as gravy. It would probably be just as good served over noodles–just comes down to personal preference, I think.

Crockpot Chinese Pepper Steak

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

This one is a classic family recipe of ours. I grew up eating this pepper steak, before I even really knew that I liked Chinese food. This is also the recipe that taught David that he likes Chinese food. Now he happily eats at P.F. Chang’s, Opera, and of course, my Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry and Chicken & Broccoli Fried Rice. I’ve also got him hooked on these potstickers from Costco, but that’s another story.

This doesn’t have to be made in a crockpot, of course, but I’ve always had good luck making it that way. Taking advantage of the crockpot lets you use less tender cuts of beef. I make this dish as outlined below, but for those who like them, onions or mushrooms would be a welcome addition. You probably aren’t surprised to learn that we serve this dish with Alton Brown’s Baked Brown Rice, but white instant rice would be just fine, if that’s what you prefer. David skips the chow mein noodles, but as far as I’m concerned, they’re a necessity!

Crock-Pot Chinese Pepper Steak

  • 2 cans beef gravy
  • 1 pound of stew beef or roundsteak, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 large green peppers, seeded & chopped
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
  • 2 TBSP hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tomato juice or vegetable juice (like V8)
  • 1 Cup chow mein noodles

1. Add Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and EVOO to a skillet, over medium high heat. Add beef and green peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until beef begins to caramelize.

2. Add gravy, water chestnuts, tomato juice, and contents of skillet to a crockpot; stir together. Cover and heat on low approximately 6 hours.

3. Serve over rice, garnished with chow mein noodles. If the sauce is too thin, it can be thickend wtih slurry of 2 tablespoons of cornstarch mixed into 2 tablepoons of cold water.

Dark Chocolate Fondue

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Mmm, Chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? The crown on our delicious fondue feast from last weekend was a rich, dark chocolate fondue that couldn’t have been easier. Or more delicious.

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Dark Chocolate Fondue

  • 12 ounces dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate (60% ) chips)
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream

1. Heat the chocolate and cream in a Pyrex bowl over simmering water. Be sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.

2. Stir gently until the chocolate and cream are combined, about 3 minutes.

3. Transfer to a fondue pot with heat source lit (or, in our case, a crockpot on warm (not low, warm)).

4. Enjoy!

Note: As I said before, I don’t have a fondue pot, so we had to enjoy our fondue out of a regular old crockpot, with regular forks. So what? It turned out great: rich, dark, and creamy. It gave me another chance to admire my new fancy crockpot from Christmas, also. The multiple inserts were awesome for this; I just swapped crockpot bowls between the cheese and chocolate. I’ll bet your “real” fondue pot doesn’t do that!

I served this chocolate fondue with apples, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, pretzel chips, and chunks of pound cake. Yum!

Crockpot Fondue Vudu

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Every year, my friends and I celebrate what we like to call “Fake Holidays.” Because we all have family obligations on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve, we have taken to having our own private celebration on completely separate dates. For Fake Thanksgiving, we cook a full-out Thanksgiving Feast, usually the weekend before the real event. And for Christmas and New Year’s, we find a weekend that we can all get together, and observe Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day all in the span of about 48 hours. It’s one of my favorite traditions, and rivals real Christmas and New Year’s every time.

For Christmas Day/New Year’s Eve dinner, I decided to make fondue. Since we scraped every last bit of cheese off of the bottom of the pan, I’m going to say it was a hit.

Fondue Vudu
Adapted from Alton Brown’s recipe, as seen on Good Eats.

  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 8 ounces hard apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 5 ounces (2 cups) Emmentaler cheese, grated
  • 5 ounces (2 cups)  Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated (I used Tillamook Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • Several grinds fresh ground black pepper

Directions

Rub inside of fondue pot or heavy small saucepan with garlic. Pour cider into pot. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the brandy and salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, grate the cheese and toss well with the cornstarch in a large bowl. When the cider just begins to simmer, gradually add the cheese a handful at a time, allowing each addition to melt completely before adding the next. Continue adding cheese and stirring until all cheese is incorporated, about 3 minutes. If mixture starts to bubble, reduce heat to low. The mixture is ready when creamy and easily coats the back of a spoon. Stir in curry powder and pepper. If cheese seems stringy, add some or all of the remaining lemon juice. Transfer mixture to a fondue pot or crockpot for serving.

Note: I followed the procedures from Alton, but I did use different cheese. The recipe called for smoked Gouda, but reading the comments at Food Network’s site made me decide to use something that melts a little better. It was delicious with the extra sharp cheddar. I also swapped Emmantaler for the Gruyere that the original recipe called for. Just a personal preference.

I have a confession to make: I don’t own a fondue pot. Or fondue forks. Or little cans of blue flammable gel. Or any of that. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my new crockpot was the perfect substitute. I set it to low for a few minutes while I made the fondue, so that the bowl was warm when I transferred the cheese from the stove. Once I put the cheese in the crockpot, I flipped the setting to warm, and it was perfect for as long as the cheese lasted (which wasn’t all that long!).

I served this cheese fondue with chunks of crusty bread (a basic french and a roasted garlic sourdough), cauliflour, broccoli, baby carrots, apple slices, pretzels, and par-boiled new potatoes. Because they happened to still be out on the counter, we also dipped the leftover pepperoni slices from the pepperoni and parmesan pinwheels, which made surprisingly delicious dippers.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

Beef Stroganoff is a dish that Leah and I both love. It’s not David’s favorite, but he tolerates it for us. If you aren’t familiar with the dish, it’s chunks of tender beef in a rich, creamy sauce, usually served over egg noodles. You’ll also usually find mushrooms in Beef Stroganoff, though I happen to live with a couple of mushroom haters. As you’ll see, I found a way around that.

There are a lot of ways to make Beef Stroganoff, I imagine. I have made this on the stove top before, simmering the sauce long enough to get the meat nice and tender, but it lends itself very well to slow-cooking, and that’s my preferred method. That’s how I cooked it for dinner tonight. (In my new slow-cooker, I might add).

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
Serves 4

  • 1.5 to 2 pounds lean stew beef or trimmed round steak, cut into 1.5 inch pieces.
  • 1 15 oz. can Beef Gravy (I use Campbell’s–two smaller cans are fine if you can’t find the larger one)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 preparation sauteed mushrooms, recipe to follow
  • 1 package of egg noodles
  • 1 cup of sour cream

1. Preheat about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the beef, garlic, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the beef shows some carmelization. Stir in the can of beef gravy and red wine.

2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a slow cooker and cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

3. When the beef sauce is finished, prepare egg noodles according to directions on package. Right before serving, stir in sour cream. Sauce should be relatively thick; if it seems too thin, feel free to thicken with 2 tablespoons of flour whisked into a small amount of cold water. Serve over egg noodles. Garnish with extra sour cream, if desired.

Note: Mushrooms and Stroganoff belong together. If you’re cooking for mushroom eaters, you can take the easy way out, and add a large can (or two small cans) to the beef mixture as it goes into the crockpot. Or, you can take the more delicious way out, and toss in my sauteed mushrooms, outlined below. If, like me, you live with people who will not tolerate the fungi, just saute the mushrooms for yourself and add them to your portion. These fresh sauteed mushrooms have enough rich flavor on their own–they don’t need to stew with the beef all day to be tasty like the canned version.

Sauteed Mushrooms
My own creation

  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (I used plain white button mushrooms, but feel free to be creative)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of sour cream

1. Add extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (the surface will shimmer) add the mushrooms in one layer. Cook just until the edges begin to brown.

2. Once the mushrooms start to brown, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add Parmesan cheese, cook for 1 more minute, and then sprinkle with flour.

3. Once the flour is golden brown, add the cream and sour cream and stir together. Remove from heat. The mushrooms should have a buttery aroma and a thick texture.

4. Enjoy! These will melt right into your Stroganoff sauce, but they’re also very tasty on their own.

The mushrooms should be bound together with the flour and cream mixture–it tastes like cream of mushroom, but much, much thicker. Also, the parmesan cheese forms a delicious crunchy crust at the edges of each bite–yum!