Let me say, right up front, I don’t typically cook with cans of soup. Usually the sodium levels are really high and it just seems like a bit of a cheat to take advantage of all of the ingredients the soup companies have included. But once in a while, I give it a go and darn it if the meal doesn’t turn out really good. Curse you, convenient cans of soup!
Recently my local grocery store had a big sale on Boneless Beef Chuck Pot Roast, my favorite cut. It’s large, thick, well-marbled and lends itself beautifully to slow cooker cooking. With a can of Cream of Mushroom soup lurking in my pantry, I decided to throw it over the top and see what happens. Turns out, some magic happened in that Crock Pot, creating an easy version of the Beef Stroganoff I usually make (that takes a very long time). This dish was a big hit with my family.
Note, you can double this recipe with two roasts, layering all crock pot ingredients and cooking 8-10 hours on “low.”
1 Beef Chuck Pot Roast Boneless, 2-4 pounds (or larger or smaller depending on the size of your crockpot)
1 onion, sliced
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup plus one can of water
1 teaspoon of Tone’s Beef Base paste
A handful of mushrooms of your choice, sliced
2-3 TBS sour cream
Potatoes for mashed potatoes
1. Place the onion slices on the bottom of the crock pot and place the roast on top of it.
2. Open the can of soup and pour it over the top of the roast, spreading it across the top. Fill the empty soup can with water and pour that around the edges of the roast – not over the condensed soup. Make sure there is enough liquid to go about half way up the side of the crock pot.
3. Put the teaspoon of Beef Base paste somewhere on the side too. It will dissolve and spread around in the liquid.
4. IF you are doubling the recipe, place more onion slices on top of the soup-covered first roast and repeat the process.
5. Cover the crock pot and cook on low around 8 hours or on high for 5 (but it works best
slow and low).
6. You’ll know the meat is almost ready when you stick a fork down into it and it doesn’t resist at all. It should be incredibly tender. If it’s approaching dinner time and you feel resistance, turn up the Crock Pot to “high.”
7. Closer to dinner time, make the mashed potatoes the way you like (I use the shortcut of pre-cooking cubed potatoes in the microwave just to soften them a bit.)
8. Remove the roast from the Crock Pot and put it in a large bowl. Let it sit a bit. Pour the
liquid into a pot over medium-high heat to reduce down and thicken slightly. Leave the onions in or strain them out – they will have flavored the broth. Add the sour cream at this point.
9. In a small skillet, add the mushroom slices with NO oil or butter. They will release their own moisture and will brown beautifully. Saute only until the edges start to brown then add them to the sauce.
10. Using two forks, shred the beef in the bowl.
11. To serve the meal, place a bed of mashed potatoes down first, then beef shreds, then a generous ladle or two of the mushroom sauce.
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