About a month ago my mum bought me a slow cooker for a bargain price of £8! I hadn’t actually used it until last week though as the weather is still like summer. However, last Wednesday, it was cold, rainy and dull so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test it out. I’m not a huge fan of a traditional beef stew – they’re so overrated, dull and never have much flavour. I used to dread having them as a kid, but maybe that’s because my mum made a few shockers! So I was flicking through the September BBC Good Food magazine and saw a slow cooker recipe for stroganoff. I adapted mine to the one in there, but it’s always good to have a base idea if you haven’t cooked something before. For instance, I added some bacon lardons to give it a bit of extra smokiness.Traditionally, stroganoff uses a quick cooking cut of beef or even pork, but this one uses beef chuck or just casserole beef. There’s a lot to be said for casserole diced beef. It’s so cheap and you can get it pretty much anywhere. But if you cook it for hours, you can get so much flavour into it and it’s one of the most versatile ingredients. It’s the meat I often use for curries. This was so easy to do, and I was so surprised at the amount of flavour that came out of it. Some meals cooked in the slow cooker, have no flavour and I think that’s what put me off getting one as I have never had good experiences with them.This recipe serves four and was so easy to do! I start a new job next week and I have a feeling the slow cooker will be a saviour Monday-Friday.Prep time: 10 minutes.Cooking time: 7 hours.Ingredients:
- 700g diced beef.
- 2 brown onions sliced.
- 4 cloves of garlic crushed.
- 1 red chilli finely chopped.
- 2 tsp dijon mustard.
- 2 tsp french mustard.
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme.
- 200g smoked bacon lardons.
- 2 tsp smoked paprika.
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs.
- 100ml red wine.
- 200ml rich beef stock.
- 150g mushrooms sliced.
- Salt and Pepper.
- 300ml sour cream.
- Turn the slow cooker on to low and allow to heat up.
- Coat the beef in seasoned flour and brown in batches in a large pan. When it is all browned, transfer to the slow cooker.
- In the same pan, add the red wine to deglaze the bottom and fry off the onion, garlic, chilli and bacon. Fry for 10 minutes and then transfer that to the slow cooker.
- Stir the meat and vegetables together and then add your two mustards, paprika, thyme and dried herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add enough stock to cover the beef and stir thoroughly. Leave to cook for at least 6 hours in the slow cooker. Stirring occasionally if you can.
- About an hour before the end, heat up the butter in a frying pan and fry off the mushrooms before adding them to the slow cooker, along with the sour cream.
- Half an hour before the end put the slow cooker on high and then serve with either pasta or creamy mash and a sprinkling of paprika. That’s it!