Beef and Mushroom Gravy over Noodles

We are in full fall mode, strolling into winter. That means, when I have a Sunday with no real plans, it’s crock pot time. I had recently found this recipe and since it included so few ingredients – none of them obscure – it was the easiest and best choice this weekend.

I generally followed the recipe but tweaked the spices a bit and also guesstimated measurements since we got our meat from the local butcher and have no idea how much we actually purchased. Start by tossing cubed beef round in seasoned flour. I used salt, pepper, white pepper, and garlic powder. RESERVE THE LEFTOVER FLOUR THAT DOESN’T ADHERE TO THE MEAT. Sear the meat so it’s got a nice crust. Thanks to the slow cooker, the meat will be tender, but thanks to this step, it’ll be flavorful. Put the meat in the crock pot, along with cremini caps. Next, cook up some onions and garlic with dried thyme in the same pan you used for the meat, adding some more of that seasoned flour and then some beef stock. Let it simmer and then add it all into the crock pot. Let it go on low for about 7 hours, then add in a slurry made with flour and half and half and let it go on low for another 30 minutes. Note: the recipe has it go for an hour longer and calls for heavy cream. After a total of 7.5 hours, I thought the meat was still super tender, falling apart with a fork but not breaking down before reaching your plate. And it was plenty thick with the half and half but not quite as bad for you. I added just a bit of corn starch though, just in case. Serve over egg noodles and top with fresh parsley.

Other than needing more salt, this is exactly the kind of meal I envision when I think of slow cooker Sunday. It’s what you want to be eating on a couch, in front of a fire, while watching holiday movies. And if you substitute candle for fire, you now know exactly how I closed out my weekend.