Enjoy an all-time Aussie favourite of tender beef and mushrooms in a creamy paprika and tomato sauce, made easy in your slow cooker.
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When it comes to comforting dinners, you can’t go wrong with beef stroganoff – it’s a favourite on Aussie family tables all year round. What is beef stroganoff? Well, as the name suggests, stroganoff originated in Eastern Europe and it became famous worldwide in the 1950s and 60s. Usually made with beef, mushrooms and onion in a sour cream sauce, stroganoff is now bigger than ever and no wonder – it’s simple to prepare, has retro appeal and it’s packed full of flavour.
The traditional beef stroganoff recipe can be made a few different ways depending on the type of beef, the cooking method and how you want to serve it. This slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe is a great choice because the long slow cooking time lets you use tougher budget cuts of beef and maximises the flavour in the finished dish. This is the best beef stroganoff recipe if you want fall-apart tender meat and a rich-tasting sauce. You only need about 15 minutes prep time, then you can set and forget until just before serving.
Some stroganoff recipes use quick-cooking beef strips or steaks, which can make for a quick and easy dish. For slow cooker beef stroganoff, though, you need to choose the right cut of beef for slow cooking. This recipe uses beef chuck or casserole steak, a cut from the shoulder area that’s ideal for stews, soups and curries – when cooked slowly, it becomes very tender with a big meaty flavour. If you prefer you can swap the chuck for gravy beef, also known as shin, which has a similar flavour and texture. You’ll need to cut the beef into large 3cm pieces so it can brown and cook evenly.
Of course, beef stroganoff isn’t all about the beef – it’s the stroganoff sauce that really makes the dish special. Having the right combination of ingredients is the secret to making a delicious sauce. The classic veggies to put in a beef stroganoff are brown onion and mushrooms –brown cup mushrooms are stronger in flavour than white cup mushrooms, but white are fine to substitute if you need to. It’s important to cut the vegetables into even sized pieces so they cook evenly, so cut the onion and the mushrooms into thick slices before you start. To make the sauce even more aromatic, add a couple of crushed garlic cloves along with a tablespoonful each of paprika – we’ve used a combination of regular ground paprika and smoked paprika to give the sauce extra smoky flavour – and Dijon mustard.
When making beef stroganoff in the slow cooker, it’s also important to use the right amount of liquid. The slow cooker should be kept covered with a lid and the liquid doesn’t evaporate much during cooking, so if you add too much liquid the finished dish will be watery. For this recipe you’ll only need 1 cup (250ml) beef stock and 1 can of diced tomatoes to create enough liquid for cooking the beef. Once the beef is cooked to perfection, finish the stroganoff sauce by stirring in 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream and 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce, then thicken it up with 1 tbs cornflour mixed with a little water. It’s best not to add dairy products to the slow cooker until near the end of cooking because they can easily curdle if overheated.
The main cooking equipment you’ll need for this slow cooker beef stroganoff recipe is, surprise, a slow cooker. This is much more convenient that cooking the same dish on the stovetop because you don’t need to stir it often to stop the ingredients from catching on the base. The gentle heat also means a slow cooker won’t overheat your kitchen, so it’s handy for cooking at any time of year. Try not to lift the lid too often to check on the food while it cooks – this allows heat and moisture to escape and can mean the stroganoff will take longer to cook perfectly. You can use either the low or high setting for this recipe – high will take about 4 hours and low about 6 hours.
Some slow cookers have a built-in browning function or a flameproof removable bowl you can use on the stovetop, but if yours doesn’t you’ll also need a frying pan for this recipe. Don’t skip this step – browning the meat in a frying pan over medium-high heat before transferring to your slow cooker gives a richer colour and flavour to the finished dish. Have a saucepan handy for cooking the side dish for your stroganoff too.
We think the best side for stroganoff is a pile of buttery pasta or noodles – a wide ribbon pasta such as fettuccine or pappardelle is an ideal match. After draining the pasta, melt butter in the same pan over high heat, letting it brown slightly. Then toss the fettuccine in the browned butter with chopped fresh herbs and freshly ground pepper. Beef stroganoff is also delicious served with simple steamed rice or buttery mashed potatoes – delicious!
Once you’ve tried our slow cooker beef stroganoff, you’ll want to make it again and again. Just follow our simple tips above for great results every time you make it. Want a change from beef? Give our slow cooker chicken stroganoff a go. If you’re short on time, you can still enjoy that classic stroganoff flavour in a quick and easy weeknight dish. Try our tasty pork stroganoff steaks and chicken meatball stroganoff. For something even easier, give our fun recipe for mini beef stroganoff cobbs a go and find more 5-ingredient dinners in our What’s for dinner? Plus, check out our slow cooker recipes collection for more easy ideas using beef, chicken, pork and veggies, as well as healthy slow cooking inspiration.