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  • Writer's pictureKimberley Kells

Slow Cooked Beef Stroganoff

Every family has their own version of beef stroganoff. Growing up, my mum served hers over pappardelle or fettuccini. Hubby swears by rice because that's how his mum made it. And I was enlightened when someone told me their mum served hers over mashed potato! Genius! In my house, much to my kids dismay, I serve mine over cauliflower rice because I'm calorie conscious during the week BUT I put a lot of love and care into my beef strog, slow cooking the beef until it is tender and falling apart. It does take more time, but it is so worth it, and if you're off to work for the day, a slow cooker can do most of the job for you!

Beef stroganoff sounds and looks like quite a rich and heavy dish but I love the acidic element brought in by the addition of Worcestershire sauce and sour cream. It brightens and lightens it all up so you don't have that uncomfortably full feeling after eating it. For years I couldn't manage to cook beef strog without ruining it when I added the sour cream. It would always curdle and leave me with the unappetizing appearance of little white blobs throughout the sauce. Hubby of course never mentioned it, instead chowing down and telling me it was delicious every time when it obviously wasn't! Actually he has never ever given me negative feedback about my cooking, which is very kind because I've made plenty of kitchen mistakes over the years! #kitchennightmares. "You don't bite the hand that feeds you" was what he told me one day after I questioned him about it. Clever man. I guess that could be the one of the keys to a happy marriage: making your partner feel appreciated and valued even when they stuff up! In fact, especially when they stuff up. Don't get me wrong, its not all roses in my house, I have two boys who are definitely not afraid to tell me if something is "yucky". Those two are very good at bringing me back down to earth!

“The trick to avoiding curdled sour cream is the temperature. You are combining essentially what is a hot stew and cold sour cream out of the fridge. This is what causes the cream to curdle. I like to err of the side of caution and I let the pot and its contents cool completely, then I stir through the sour cream, no more curdling! For those nights when you're in a rush and don't have time for this, you can temper the cream. With this method, you pull the sour cream out of the fridge while the beef is cooking and let it come to room temperature, then take a spoonful of the hot liquid and mix it into the sour cream, then mix the sour cream back into the pot.”

I've written this recipe for a double serve. That is, it will feed my family of 4 (2 parents + 2 kids) for 2 nights in a row. I love doing this as it means for all the effort and time I put into slow cooking the first night, I get the following night off cooking. #kitchenhacks This recipe does need time to cook down the chuck steak into that fall apart meat we all love, if you happen to be home, this is great, but most of us work for a living and this is just not practical. Enter the slow cooker: this thing is your best friend when you're time-poor. You can get so much flavour out of these things with really minimal effort. A few minutes prep in the morning (or even the night before), and you will reap the reward of coming home to a house filled with the most beautiful aroma of a slow cooked stew, and you haven't even been there for most of it! Using a slow cooker, you can brown the meat, and throw everything in except the mushrooms, sour cream and herbs. When you get home, simply add those final touches and boil up your chosen starch and token greens. Hey, if you really want to make it simple, why not just serve with some crusty bread? Divine!

Slow Cooked Beef Stoganoff an original recipe by Kimberley Kells

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 2.5 hours on the stove or 8 hours in the slow cooker

Serves: 6 Adults or 2 Adults and 2 Kids for 2 nights with sides

1kg Chuck Steak, cut into large cubes

2 Tablespoons of Plain Flour

2 Tablespoons of Oil for frying (I use rice bran oil)

1 Onion, sliced

3 Cloves of Garlic, diced

3 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste

1/3 Cup Worcestershire Sauce

2 Teaspoons of Paprika

800mL of Beef Stock

200g Button Mushrooms, halved

200mL of Sour Cream (I use light and it works fine)

Parsley or chives, chopped for garnish

Step 1- Season the flour generously with salt and pepper in a bowl, then toss through the chuck steak so that every piece is evenly coated.

Step 2- Brown the pieces of beef in the oil a large heavy based pot over medium heat (I like cast iron) in batches, remove and set aside.

Step 3- In the same pot, saute the onion until soft. Add the garlic and stir for a further 30 seconds, then add in the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and paprika and stir through to cook out for a further 30 seconds.

Step 4- Add back the beef pieces and any juices and top with beef stock so that the meat is covered. Bring to the boil, then cover with the lid and turn down the heat to a simmer. Cook until the meat is tender and falling apart. This should take about 2 hours. During the last 10 minutes, add the mushrooms and cook through. If using a slow cooker, brown the meat, then throw in everything else except the mushrooms, sour cream and fresh herbs and cook on low for 8 hours.

Step 5- Turn the heat off and allow the pot to cool. Then stir through the sour cream and gently bring back to a low simmer. Do not bring it back to the boil or it will curdle. Taste and season with salt and pepper

Step 6- Spoon over the starch of your choice. Mid-week I use cauliflower rice, but this is beautiful over pasta or rice. Top with chopped parsley or chives.

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