Go for gold with slow-cooker beef stroganoff
February 20th, 2014
09:30 AM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated Magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

In the spirit of the Sochi Winter Olympics, we'd like to share the recipe for one of our favorite Russian classics, beef stroganoff, but adapted for the perfectly low-and-slow, hands-off convenience of a slow cooker. One bowl of this hearty beef stew - doled over buttery egg noodles, of course - is the perfect meal for the coldest day.

Why Our Recipe Works: Instead of browning two or three batches of meat, we created fond (brown stock) quickly by turning to caramelized onions and tomato paste - the bits left behind were used as the base for the sauce in our Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe. To enhance the meaty flavor, we added a good amount of soy sauce and augmented the classic white mushrooms in this dish with earthy, potent dried porcini mushrooms rehydrated in beef broth. To thicken the sauce, we found conventional methods like tapioca and cornstarch were not as effective as pulling some of the stroganoff sauce out of the slow cooker, mixing it with flour, and stirring the slurry back in.

Warm up with more kitchen-tested recipes on Cook's Country

Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Serves 6 to 8

If you can’t find large chunks of stew meat, buy a 4- to 5-pound chuck roast and cut it yourself, trimming away excess fat. This stroganoff can be made up to 2 days in advance, but the sour cream and dill should be added just before serving.

1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 pounds boneless beef chuck stew meat cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (see note above)
1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill leaves
Salt and pepper

1. Combine 1/2 cup broth and porcini in bowl and microwave until steamy and mushrooms have softened, about 1 minute. Line fine-mesh strainer with one paper towel and strain porcini, reserving liquid. Chop porcini fine and set aside.

2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onions and tomato paste, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in wine, soy sauce, remaining broth, chopped porcini, and reserved porcini liquid, scraping up any browned bits with wooden spoon. Bring broth mixture to boil, then transfer to slow cooker. Add beef and white mushrooms to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until meat is tender, 6 to 7 hours (or cook on low for 9 to 10 hours).

3. Set slow cooker to high, if necessary. Skim fat from surface. Transfer 2 cups sauce from slow cooker to large bowl and whisk in flour. Stir flour mixture into slow cooker and cook, covered, until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in sour cream and dill and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

On the side: Buttered egg noodles
Cook 1 pound egg noodles in salted boiling water, drain, and toss with 2 tablespoons butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. lauren jonczak

    Great recipe! My husband just ordered really nice meat online from http://www.rastellidirect.com/category.aspx?catID=833 and I wanted to use a new recipe for it. I have never made beef stroganoff before, sounds easy enough. Looks like I know what I am making this weekend. Thanks for the tip about the dill and sour cream, very helpful!

    February 24, 2014 at 10:29 am |
  2. angelabouchardmadore

    This is exactly what I need this winter! My husband is gluten free, I wonder if it will be as good with GF modifications. Guess there is only one way to find out!!

    February 22, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
  3. Thinking things through

    The porcini mushroom idea for this is awesome, and I'll adapt, although I'll still use my homemade beef stock instead of store bought beef broth (for the nutritional and taste value). I know it's about saving time, but I make the stuff in advance and it freezes nicely.

    February 20, 2014 at 10:32 am |
  4. Jdizzle McHammperpants ♫♫

    I am screaming with glee right now.

    February 20, 2014 at 10:31 am |
    • Ms. Grammar

      Me, too! This has now landed on the menu for Sunday night! I'll cut the recipe in half and take leftovers to work on Tuesday for lunch! Thanks, ATK (America's Test Kitchen)!

      February 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
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