Slow cooker beef Stroganoff is a real family pleaser that is loaded with big chunks of fork tender beef served in a creamy mushroom sauce over tender egg noodles. This delicious easy to prepare comfort food has become a family favorite and a staple around our kitchen table.
Michelle makes a delicious version of the classic stovetop beef Stroganoff using tender cuts of steak. But lately, we’ve preferred to make our slow cooker version of the recipe that uses tougher less expensive cuts of beef which are packed full of flavor.
I find that the more expensive cuts of meat are tender and take less time to cook, but lack that really robust beefy flavor that comes from tougher cuts of meat such as a chuck roast. The meat takes longer to cook and tenderize, but this just allows more time to develop that rich and savory sauce.
The slow cooker version of beef Stroganoff is so convenient and easy to prepare. You just have to place the browned beef and braising liquid into the slow cooker. Then put the cover on it, set the temperature, and go about your daily business, while the slow cooker works its magic.
Returning home to the amazing smells of succulent beef braising slowly in a mushroom sauce with brandy and dijon mustard is absolutely heavenly. From the moment that I walk through the door, I’m instantly hungary and can’t wait to sit down with the family and enjoy this incredible meal.
Beef Stroganoff Origins
Beef stroganoff originated in Russia, and the first known account of the recipe was from a popular Russian cookbook published in 1871. From its creation in Russia, beef Stroganoff has become a very popular dish around the world with many different variations. The original recipe was made with seasoned beef cubes sauteed in butter. The beef was added to a simple sauce made of broth and mustard thickened with a roux and finished with sour cream.
A commonly prepared version of beef Stroganoff served in North America today includes tender strips of beef steak added to a sauce made with beef broth, dijon mustard, onions, and mushrooms that’s thickened with a roux or cornstarch and finished with sour cream. The Stroganoff is then served over rice or short pasta, such as egg noodles.
What Are Some Variations Of Beef Stroganoff?
There are two different cooking methods used to prepare beef Stroganoff. The first is the classic version. Tender strips of beef are browned in a skillet and set aside. The skillet is then used to prepare the sauce. The meat is mixed back into the sauce and finished with sour cream.
This is the quickest cooking method and uses tender cuts of beef that do not require a long cooking time such as ribeye, top sirloin, and tenderloin steak. The classic beef Stroganoff is a great option if you are short on time, but the beef is a little more expensive.
The second cooking method is the slow cooker or (braising method). This method uses tougher cuts of meat typically from the front shoulder that require longer cooking times to break down the connective tissue in the meat and make it tender.
The best cut of meat for slow cooker beef Stroganoff is the chuck roast. Precut stew meat from your local grocer is convenient but can be inconsistent. Occasionally, the butcher will mix chuck in leaner cuts resulting in some dry and tougher pieces of meat.
The chuck is browned in a thick-bottomed pot and then transferred to the slow cooker. The pot is then used to prepare the sauce or braising liquid. The sauce is added to the slow cooker with the beef and simmered low and slow for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. The Stroganoff is finished by tempering the sour cream and mixing it into the sauce.
I prefer the slow cooker method. I love the moist fork-tender beef produced by braising the meat, and the sauce is rich and full of body.
Other Ingredient Variations
Some recipes use cream cheese instead of sour cream, or they may include both. Other popular ingredients that may be included in the sauce are Worcheshire sauce, onion and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and red wine. Some recipes even call for ground beef in the classic version of beef Stroganoff.
I prefer to use a roux as my thickening agent, because of the slightly nutty flavor and smooth texture that it gives to the sauce. Other popular thickening agents include a slurry made with cornstarch and water, or a white wash made with flour and water.
How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Step 1: Gather Ingredients (Mise En Place)