My husband's babci (Polish for grandma) is an amazing, graceful Polish woman that cooks the most drool-worthy food. There are always multiple courses, including everything from fresh homemade soups to incredible hazelnut tortes. One of my favorite things that she cooks is her Polish beef roulade. The dish is a thinly sliced and pounded beef cutlet, topped with mushrooms, onions, and bread crumbs. Then it's rolled, tied, browned, and baked slowly in a rich sauce topped with bacon. It is heaven on a plate.
Although I love roulade and enjoy making it, it takes a bit of time to twist up and tie all those beef rolls. I set out to create a similar dish, one that has the same delicious flavor without all the work. I came up with this version of slow cooker beef stew, and the whole family loved it!
Notes About The Ingredients
You may notice a couple of ingredients in this recipe that you've probably never seen in stew before. I'm using mustard and breadcrumbs here because that's what is used inside the Polish roulade, and although they may seem out of place they work wonderfully in this. The mustard adds a bit of acid to help balance out all that salty richness, and the breadcrumbs work as a bit of a thickener without making the sauce gritty.
This stew is delicious when served over some Polish potato dumplings (called kluski). If you don't have the time to make them, I'd recommend serving this over some ready-made gnocchi or a nice helping of mashed potatoes. And don't forget a warm roll or slice of crusty bread. That sauce is delicious and you'll want to savor every bite!
Slow Cooker Beef Stew, Polish Style
- Heat a stovetop-safe skillet over medium-low heat, or turn your pot to sauté.
- Dry your beef well with a paper towel, and season it with salt and pepper. Set it aside at room temperature.
- Cook your bacon in the heated skillet or pot.
- When the bacon is done, use a slotted spoon to scoop it on to a plate and set aside.
- If there is a lot of grease in the pot, drain most of it. Leave a little bit of the grease to brown the beef in.
- Brown your beef in the bacon grease until browned on all sides, then set it aside on a plate.
- Add your onions and mushrooms to the pan. If the pan is dry you can add back a bit of the bacon grease or a swirl of olive oil.
- Cook the onions and mushrooms until they're nice and soft and the mushrooms are brown.
- Stir in the mustard and the bread crumbs. Keep stirring it for about two minutes.
- Add your beef back to the pot with the tomatoes (with the juices), bacon, and beef broth. If you prepared this in a separate pot, carefully pour it into your slow cooker.
- Give it all a good stir and cover the pot.
- Cook your stew on low for 8 hours.
- Serve over freshly made dumplings, gnocchi, or mashed potatoes.
Did you make this slow cooker beef stew?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and rate the recipe.