Slow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Stroganoff is a traditional Russian recipe made of sauteed pieces of beef served with sour cream. Since dairy is a no-no on the Whole30, I decided to make a coconut sour cream that still created the delicious texture I was looking for. Also, by sauteeing the aromatics to make a flavorful base, it eliminated the need for browning the meat, which saved some time. Instead of serving the Stroganoff over buttered egg noodles, which contain grains, I served it over a baked potato with some melted ghee drizzled on top.

Ingredients for the Stroganoff:
3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lbs whole white mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small and quartered if large
Salt + Pepper
2 large onions, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced
1 TBS minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
3 TBS arrowroot powder
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
1/3 cup coconut aminos
2 bay leaves
1 (4 lb) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/3 cup coconut sour cream (from recipe below)
2 tsp Dijon mustard (make sure it does not contain white wine if on a round of Whole30. I use Annie's brand)
2 TBS minced fresh dill

Ingredients for the Coconut Sour Cream (this will make more than is needed for the recipe. See below in serving suggestion how to use it.)
1 can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated so that the fat rises to the top and solidifies (2-3 hours)
1 1/2 TBS lemon juice
1/2 TBS apple cider vinegar
1/8 rounded tsp of salt

Instructions for the Coconut Sour Cream:
1. Drain liquid from can of coconut milk into separate container for other use. Scoop out remaining coconut solids into a small bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate.* Refrigerate until needed.

*If you want to eliminate all clumps, you can either throw the ingredients into a blender to mix further, or use an immersion blender right in the bowl to make it thick and smooth.

Instructions for the Stroganoff:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add in mushrooms and 1/4 tsp salt, cover and cook until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Take the cover off and continue to cook until mushrooms are dry and browned, about 5-10 minutes longer. Transfer contents of skillet to slow-cooker.
2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, tomato paste, garlic, porcini mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are softened and lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in Arrowroot powder and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth, scraping up any accumulated brown bits stuck to the skillet and smoothing out any lumps. Transfer contents of skillet to slow cooker.
3. Add coconut aminos and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper and nestle into the liquid in the slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high. (Keep in mind that cooking times are approximate and are based on how fast/slow your slow-cooker is. My slow-cooker tends to cook things quickly, so I always reduce the time 1 1/2 hours on the lowest time recommended. For instance, for this recipe, I would cook mine for 7 1/2 hours on low, so I don't overcook the beef).
4. Let stew settle for 5 minutes after it is done cooking, and then remove the fat from the surface using a large spoon. Discard the bay leaves. Place 1 cup of the hot stew liquid in a small bowl and add the coconut sour cream and Dijon. Stir mixture together, then add back into stew with the dill and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Serving suggestion: You can either serve the stew by itself, or do what I do and serve it over half a baked russet potato. Dallop with a spoonful of extra coconut sour cream and sprinkle some dill on top. Of course, if you have family members that are not on Whole30 and want buttered egg noodles, you could serve it over that as well.