Vail is spectacularly gorgeous and even when I was stuck at the top of a run, terrified to go down, I was able to take a step back and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I'm pretty sure I saw the actual Rockies that Coors taps when making their beer. It was breathtaking.
[Perhaps now is a good time to mention I'm not a skier by nature. This was my second time skiing on real "west coast" mountains and not icy Midatlantic hills. There were some love days and some hate days during this trip. But overall the love outweighed the hate and I'm on board to go again next year... although it's easy to say that when "next year" is still 340 days away.]
Despite coming home to unseasonably warm temps (60's - 80's which is just silly for Chicago in March), we were both craving some hearty winter foods. Out came the crockpot and the ingredients for beef stroganoff.
I usually use a McCormick's seasoning packet when I make beef stroganoff but after sampling some wild boar stew in Vail, I knew that no seasoning packet would match up. 5 minutes of Internet searching later and I had found this recipe. With over 2,800 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5, I felt pretty good with the choice.
I doctored it up quite a bit accordingly to this comment that I found:
"I read almost all of the 400+ reviews and made modifications based on them. To save everyone else some time, here's what they say to do (and what I did...and it came out great): (1) add salt, pepper, and garlic, (2) double the sauce but keep the cream cheese and Worcestershire the same, (3) use Golden Mushroom, not Cream of Mushroom or don't make this at all, (4) reduce the cooking time to about 5-6 hours on low, (5) add a "dollup" of sour cream when you add the cream cheese to get an extra "tang", (6) add a bullion cube, (7) add a half packet of onion soup mix, (8) serve over egg noodles, (9) add sauteed mushrooms about 1/2 an hour before serving. I know this isn't true to the original recipe, but I trusted others and I think it helped. Great slow-cooker recipe."
The reviewer was right. This recipe didn't disappoint. The sauce was a beautiful golden brown and had tons of flavor. It was my first time using Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup. It blows the original cream of chicken out of the water! Again, the reviewer was right - do this with Golden Mushroom or don't do this at all. I also loved the addition of fresh mushrooms. If you're short on time you can skip the saute part and just toss them straight in the crockpot.
I used cubed stew meat per the recipe's instructions and it was a miss. Next time I'll spend a few more dollars an upgrade to something that's of better quality. Besides that this recipe was spot on. It's a good deal more flavor than a McCormick's crock pot packet with only a marginal amount of extra effort.
UPDATED APRIL 3, now with the photos I forgot in the original post. Sorry!
Fantastic tip from Mel at Upgrading Melissa, leave a wooden spoon on or over your pot of boiling pasta. When the pot invariably starts to boil over, this will stop it. Pretty cool and it works! PS: doesn't her recipe for roasted asparagus pasta with balsamic butter sauce look yummy?
Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
20 mins active, 5-6 hours cook time
1 pound cubed beef of your choice
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
1 bullion cube
1/2 packet of onion soup mix
Dash of garlic salt
Freshly ground pepper1 heaping Tbsp of sour cream
4 ounces cream cheese
In a slow cooker, combine the meat, Golden Mushroom soup, chopped onion, Worcestershire sauce, water, bullion cube, soup mix and water. Season with a dash of garlic salt and some pepper.
Cook on low setting for 5-6 hours (or high for 3-4). Add sauteed mushrooms 30 minutes before serving. Stir in cream cheese and sour cream just before serving. Best served over egg noodles.