Fork-tender beef and home style noodles, slow cooked in a rich, beefy mushroom-onion gravy. Comfort and convenience in one pot.
Beef and noodles is one of my favorite comfort foods. But it always came out with tough, rubbery beef. Then, while watching an episode of Good Eats, Alton Brown showed me the the error of my ways.
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I always made beef and noodles on the stove top, I thought cranking up the heat would make it cook faster and make the beef tender.
I would taste a piece, it would be tough, so I would crank up the heat more. I could never figure out what I was doing wrong.
Then, while watching an episode of Good Eats, there it was. The secret. High heat is the enemy of some cuts of beef. They need low heat and long cooking times to break down the connective tissue in the meat.
Enter the slow cooker. The low gentle heat from the slow cooker is perfect for breaking down that pesky connective tissue in the beef.
So I had the beef part sorted out, but what about the noodles? I would boil them seperatly and add them in at the end. An extra step, one more pot to wash. Ugh!
Then I started seeing people on Pinterest (hi, my name is Lisa and I’m a pinaholic) putting the noodles directly into the slow cooker. Wow!
But surely they’d get mushy, right? So I tried it and they were perfect! (And don’t call me Shirley)
So…short story long, that’s how my Slow Cooker Beef and Noodles came to be.
Now I feel the need to warn you, this recipe needs to be made with frozen egg noodles. My favorite brand is Reame’s.
They just hold up better. And they don’t fall apart when I reheat any leftovers. I find them close to the frozen ravioli, tortellini, that sort of thing. They go into the slow cooker still frozen at the end.
Spray your slow cooker with some cooking spray or use a liner. This stuff can stick a little sometimes.
If you have time and want to brown the beef first you can, I usually don’t. I’d like to say it’s because my life is too full of amazing things to take the time, but the truth is that it’s pretty much an unnecessary step and I’m just that lazy.
Start by putting the beef and the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the mushrooms and noodles into your slow cooker.
I’m using my DIY Homemade Onion Soup Mix instead of the packaged stuff. The flavor is soooo much better. I mix it up 4 at a time so I always have some on hand.
You can use store bought, I promise you won’t hurt my feelings. But if you go that route, I recommend Lipton. It’s worth a few extra cents.
Give everything a good stir to make sure it’s well combined.
Cook it on low heat for 6-7 hours and go about your day being awesome knowing dinner is just about taken care of. One more easy step.
When time is up, turn the heat up to high, add in the mushrooms and frozen noodles. Seriously! You don’t even have to thaw them.
Check the noodles after about 30 minutes.
If you like where they’re at, dinner is served. If you like them a little more done, go another 15 minutes or so.
If you’re in the market for a new slow cooker, I highly recommend this one. It’s not super fancy but a couple of features that I love are:
- a) it automatically switches to warm at the end of the cooking time, which is handy if I can’t be there to do it manually and
- 2) it has a lock-down lid with a rubber seal that makes for mess-free portability.
If this one doesn’t appeal to you, just click the link and you can find plenty of others with lots of different features.