Cooking On A Budget: Slow Cooker Smothered Onion and Mushroom Beef Chuck Steak

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Smothered Onion and Mushroom Beef Chuck Steak

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Beef chuck under blade semi-boneless steak - that's a mouthful, a mouthful of very flavorful meat. Back in the day as they say, a friend and I who were still single young females looking for that perfect mate often went in together on freezer bundles to divvy up between us. It was a way to survive and eat well on a budget. We would also take turns cooking as it's awful just cooking for one person! Well she took the cut of meat that I mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph with the exception I think hers was full bone in and made it into a delicious pot roasted meal. The other main ingredient was a package of onion soup mix and some water. After searing the meat she added the soup mix and some water and slow braised the beef until it was succulent and tender. Winner, winner cheapo dinner back in the day.


Well that cut of beef isn't as inexpensive these days (nothing is, correct?) but this was the sale price at my store: $4.29 per pound for semi boneless. Bone in was $3.99 per pound. Not the greatest bargain in the world but this nearly 2 pound roast for $7.85 is enough for three large portions or four smaller ones.

Add some celery, onions and carrots for flavor and serve over mashed potatoes and you have a complete meal. After searing the meat on both sides you can add it to a crock pot or slow cooker and set it and forget it. That way you are not heating up the kitchen on an already warm day. The addition of spices makes this dish so packed with flavor.

Whenever I read recipes I often wonder about the size of the vegetables so I decided to take a shot of what I was putting in the dish to give you a point of reference.


  • 1 3/4 - 2 lb. semi-boneless chuck steak
  • 1 can Campbell's® Beef broth
  • 1/2 can of water
  • 1 large onion - cut in half moon slices
  • 1 - 10 oz. package sliced crimini mushrooms (or white button mushrooms)
  • 2 carrots - cut in large chunks
  • 2 celery stalks - cut in large chunks
  • 1 large clove garlic - smashed
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic + extra for the meat
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • onion powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp. shortening (for searing the meat)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch + 2 tbsp. water (for a slurry) 
  • 1/2 tsp. Gravy Master®  (or kitchen bouquet)


  1. Start out by seasoning your meat on both sides with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion powder.
  2. Get a skillet large enough to sear the meat and heat it over high heat with one tablespoon of shortening added to the pan. When it's hot enough turn the heat to medium high and sear the chuck on both sides for two minutes and transfer to a plate.
  3. To the slow cooker add the can of beef broth and a half a can or so of water, the thyme, granulated garlic and parsley. Quick stir.
  4. Next add in the chopped celery, carrots and the garlic clove.
  5. Add in the steak and the onions and mushrooms over the steak. Lid it and simmer on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.
  6. When you are ready fish out the steak and put on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  7. Drain all the vegetables in a large colander so the juice goes into a pot.
  8. Place the liquid on the stove top and bring to a full boil. Add in 1/2 tsp. gravy master and stir and cook for a minute.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium and add in one half cup sour cream and whisk until fully incorporated.
  10. Make a slurry with cornstarch and water and whisk in while the mixture is boiling . Thicken to your desired thickness. As you can see I left my gravy or "sauce" a little looser.


Tender, juicy and flavor chuck steak is a fairly inexpensive meal. We served our with mashed potatoes. Now the carrots I put in at the beginning were to add flavor to the sauce but you could add extra carrots in and use for the other vegetable on the plate. This smothered chuck steak cost me $13.50 to prepare, feeding max four people for $3.37.
If you find a chuck roast on sale you can use that instead.

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