Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday Dinner: Stroganoff in the Slow Cooker and Dark Days 2

I achieved a number of goals with this meal:  dark days meal, Sunday dinner, and a slow cooker experiment.  I wondered if I could put raw-ish ground beef and raw vegetables in the slow cooker and get something good.  I get annoyed with recipes where I cook on the stovetop before assembling and baking or cooking again.  Too many steps to keep track of, too many dirty dishes.

Menu:Slow Cooker Stroganoff
egg noodles
home-canned pickled beets
steamed broccoli

set ground beef in fridge to thaw
bring up a jar of pickled beets from the basement

Sunday morning:sear beef
mix up the slow cooker
cut up broccoli, put in pot

Sunday noon:
steam broccoli
cook noodles
thicken stroganoff
set table

Slow Cooker Stroganoff - adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly - the original recipe had 2 lbs. ground beef and only 4 oz. mushrooms, which is way too much ground beef in my opinion.

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 medium onions, chopped
1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced (I also used some dried shiitakes, rehydrating them in the stock)
1/2 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 cup beef stock
3 Tbsp. ketchup

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup flour

1.  Sear the ground beef - this means that you don't stir and fry it until it's uniformly greyish-brown, but rather allow it to sit in the pan over the heat until dark crusty bits form.  Mine had lots of pink-red parts left, but several seared patches.  Perfect. (If you're not using lean, grass fed beef, better fry it and drain off the grease.)
2.  Put the beef in the slow cooker along with everything else except the yogurt and flour.  Mix.
3.  Cook on low, covered, for 2 1/2-3 hours.  Break up any clumps of beef now.
4.  Whisk together flour and yogurt.  Stir, stir, stir it into the beef mixture.  Clap the lid back on, turn the cooker to high, and allow it to cook until thickened, 20-30 minutes.

I forgot to ask my family specifically what they thought of this meal, but they all ate enthusiastically and wrangled for the leftovers later.  And look, it soothed them to sleep, too.  Ah, Sunday afternoon, how I love you.
(Specifically, the Dark Days elements:  local organic beef, stock made from aforesaid beef, local onions and mushrooms, homemade yogurt from local milk, local broccoli, home-canned local beets, locally made noodles (were the ingredients local? I don't know).  The flour, thyme, and pickling brine were not local.)


Jennifer Jo said...

That's a great last picture. Do you have a chimney going up through your living room?

I, too, always think recipes use too much ground beef. Instead, I just bulk up the vegetables.

Rebecca said...

Oh, that is exactly what Sunday p.m. is supposed to look like!

Sarah Barry said...

That is my kind of Sunday dinner. The first picture is so inviting.

And oh how we love Sunday afternoon naps around here.

Tracy said...

Perfect! Here's one oft recipes that calls for no dirty dishes but the crockpot! You can easily use home-canned beans; I often do!

Unknown said...

Beautiful pictures!
The last picture is just like My Babe on a Sunday afternoon - how he looks forward to resting on the couch! The boys will cuddle for a while, but often they'd rather go play ; )

Margo said...

JJ, it's a big stone fireplace and then, yes, there is a chimney.

Tracy, thanks for the recipe. It looks delish!

BLD in MT said...

Margo, I am so impressed by this Dark Days Challenge and your involvement in it. I shall join someday, but I am not ready yet!

Amy said...

I'm so excited to add this to my Dark Days menu. I've got ideas for these first few weeks, but I think come mid-January I'm going to be in need of some help. This looks super easy and tasty!

Rachel said...

Yum! We love beef stroganoff, and I'm so happy that you posted a slow-cooker recipe for it. Perfect for a cold winter night.