Monday, April 2, 2012

Russian Fare

Tonight, I am sharing a super easy version of a classic Russian favorite. Beef Stroganoff. This particular version comes from Martha Stewart. If you haven't had Beef Stroganoff, you need to. And if you have, you need to try this version. It's so easy and so flavorful. This is a slow cooker, you just throw everything into your slow cooker in the morning and end up with tender, melt-in-your-mouth meat by the end of the day. Win-win. I didn't know how flavorful this recipe would be since it had so few ingredients and since it omitted the creamy aspect which is usually present. I was sorely tempted to add sour cream, but I resisted. I wanted to be faithful to the recipe first before deciding if any changes needed to be made. After tasting the end product, I decided that it was wonderful and that I wouldn't change a thing.

I paired it with an easy green salad topped with sliced beets (the addition of beets were my lazy tribute to a Russian beet soup called borscht), peas, mushrooms, and your favorite creamy dressing (ranch for me, blue cheese for my husband).

Try it out when you need a night off but still need to cook. This easy meal will give you just the break you need.

Also, as a bonus, I am sharing two other wonderful versions of beef stroganoff, both from Betty Crocker. Both of these are also made in the slow cooker. The first is another traditional version of beef stroganoff, but the second is a stew version that is quite tasty. I don't have pictures for these ones though. The first one was made by my Mom when we had dinner at her house one night. The second was made by me in my pre-Foodie Family blog days, so I wasn't taking pictures of my food then. :) I think you will really like these two versions as well.

Beef Stroganoff


2 pounds beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into thin slices (about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches long)
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and halved (or quartered, if large0
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Cooked thin egg noodles, for serving
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish (optional)


In a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker, toss beef, onion, and mushrooms with 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and teaspoon pepper. Cover, and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours).

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, whisk cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water. Ladle 1 cup cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Pour into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture, then sour cream and mustard. Serve beef over noodles; sprinkle with dill, if desired.

Recipe note: If you decide to use an oven instead of the slow cooker, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Follow step 1, using a 5 quart Dutch oven or heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid instead of the slow cooker. Add 2 cups water, and cover. Transfer to oven; cook until beef is tender, about 2 hours. Proceed to step 2.

Source: Martha Stewart website.

Notes: I took some shortcuts with this recipe. I used pre-cut beef stew meat instead of cutting it myself. I also bought sliced mushrooms instead of slicing them myself. Give me a break! I'm a mom! Yeah, it might cost a little more to have some of those things done for me instead of doing it for myself, but because of the time it saves me, it's worth the money.

Also, I didn't use dill for a garnish (just one more thing to buy), but if you had some fresh Italian or regular parsley on hand, that would also make a lovely garnish (it is actually the more traditionally common garnish for beef stroganoff).

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff


2 pounds beef stew meat
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed golden mushroom soup
1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of onion soup
1 jar (6 ounces) Green Giant sliced mushrooms, drained
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
6 cups hot cooked noodles or rice


In 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 quart slow cooker, mix beef, onion, soups, mushrooms, and pepper.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 8-10 hours or until beef is very tender.

Stir cream cheese into beef mixture until melted. Stir sour cream into beef mixture. Serve over noodles.

Serves 8

Nutrition information: 1 Serving is 400 calories, 31 g fat, 115 mg cholesterol, 810 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 24 g protein.

Source: Betty Crocker website. You can find it here.

Notes: As stated above, my Mom made this one for me, so I can't make any promises, but I don't think she made any changes to this recipe.

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Stew


1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lb boneless beef tip steak, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 can (18 oz each) Progresso Vegetable Classic creamy mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups uncooked wide egg noodles (4 oz)
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired


In 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, layer onion, garlic, and beef. Pour soup and water over beef.

Cover; cook on low heat setting 5-7 hours.

Stir noodles into mixture. Increase heat setting to high. Cover; cook 20-30 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir in sour cream. Garnish individual servings with parsley.
Serves 5

Nutrition information: 1 Serving is 430 calories, 25 g fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 880 mg sodium,29 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Source: Betty Crocker website. You can find it here.

Notes: This soup is fantastic...with one have to be really careful with the noodles...otherwise they become too soggy.

When I made this dinner, I made it for people who were there on time for dinner and people who didn't get to eat it until nearly two hours after it was finished. So, for the people who had it on time, it was fantastic and the noodles were just right. For those who ate it later (and who had leftovers the next day), the noodles were overdone and were too soft.

Here are two solutions to avoid the soft noodle problem:

1. If everyone is eating this at the same time and you don't anticipate any leftovers, follow the recipe as written. Add the noodles to the slow cooker 20-30 minutes before you plan to serve dinner and serve it immediately.

2. If you plan to have leftovers, or people will be eating at different times, I suggest making the noodles separately (cooked until al dente) and then instructing everyone to add noodles to their soup as desired. That way the noodles will be kept separate until the soup is served and they won't be in the soup to absorb too much liquid or become overcooked. Also people can choose how much noodles they would like in their soup. This also solves the leftover problem and your noodles won't become progressively more mushy.


April 2016 Update: I made this again and I cooked the noodles separately according to the package directions. I kept the noodles and the beef stroganoff mixture separate until I was ready to serve (I even did this with leftovers). This kept the noodles al dente and perfect every single time. You can also choose your own noodles to broth ratio that way too. Win win.

1 comment:

  1. Have we ever posted that stroganoff that I made for the baked potato bar we had? That is my all time favorite. It's quite crave worthy.

    No, I didn't make any changes. And surprisingly, I would suggest that you spring for the bottled mushrooms. A little pricier but the texture is better. Don't know why. Maybe I should do a side by side taste test and really confirm my supposition.

    You know, sometimes I just have to have stroganoff. It is one of my ultimate comfort foods. Creamy meat on noodles...yum. And it can be classy enough for a candle light dinner....not that I ever do that! :)