Bring on autumn with this Oktoberfest-inspired cauldron brew beer stroganoff.
Hot, soothing and decadent, put this recipe on in your slow-cooker on a cool fall morning.
Then, look forward to coming home to the tender richness of a homemade meal after a day of hay rides or pumpkin picking.
Autumn encourages loved ones to get together to share warmth and break bread.
Of all my published kitchen witch recipes, this stroganoff recipe marks my first meat-based meal.
For me, including meat in a ritual meal takes on a special significance.
With ritual of kitchen-witch based cooking, I try to show particular reverence for the ingredients I use.
Meat feels a little trickier in that respect.
Some people abstain from it all together, even if just for ritual meals, and I respect that.
But for me, this means choosing locally sourced meat from a farmer whose ethical practices I know.
We need not get into a long debate about what constitutes “ethical,” as I know that differs from person to person.
I only offer you the simple encouragement to mindfully select meat in a way that shows regard for the animal from you take it.
If possible, consider actually visiting the farm from which you sourced the meat. If not, perhaps getting to know your butcher and the way they source their meat satisfies the obligation for you.
However you choose to go about it, I find that going out of your way imparts meaning to ritual meals.
The key ingredients in stroganoff correspond to the fall season in some distinctive ways.
Ancient Greeks closely associate stroganoff’s traditional garnish of parsley with death. This symbol of mortality plays into the modern witch’s association of the month of October with honoring the dead.
In the era of Shakespeare, the people of Europe often referred to mustard as “Eye of Newt.” If you read Macbeth, may recall the witches in that play using it in their cauldrons. What a clever addition to a kitchen witch cauldron brew like the one below!
Beef, the key ingredient of this recipe, played (and continues to play) some interesting roles in spiritual traditions around the world. Some religions (like Hinduism, and certain sects of Buddhism) prohibit the slaughter and consumption of cows.
Others, like the ancient pagan religions of Greece, offered sacrificial beef to their temple gods.
For the purposes of this magical meal, consider the beef a symbol of warmth and nourishment in the fall.
The sour cream included in traditional stroganoff comes from the fermented cream skimmed off the top of milk. Its richness fills the belly during the scarcity of fall and winter.
Finally, the addition of beer to this recipe calls on the ancient spirits of human civilization.
Once thought to only be about 5,000 years old, in 2018, archaeologists discovered evidence of beer brewing dating back over 13,000 years. Historians even say that the ancients brewed beer for ritual feasts to honor the dead.
How perfect is that in a cauldron brew for a traditional October Pagan Dumb Supper?!
Consider this culinary reference to our most ancient beginnings an homage to our human ancestral heritage.
-1.5 pounds round steak or beef stew meat
-1 cup beef broth, divided
-2.5 tablespoons cornstarch
-1/2 cup beer (a lagar or dark beer, works well)
-16-ounce package baby mushrooms
-1 small, yellow onion, diced
-3/4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 cup full fat sour cream
-1.5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
-8-10 ounces uncooked egg noodles
-3 teaspoons paprika
-2 teaspoons dill
-2 teaspoons salt
-1 teaspoon pepper
-2 cloves finely chopped garlic
-chopped fresh parsley
Set the slow-cooker on low.
Add olive oil, meat, paprika, dill, salt, pepper and garlic. Stir briefly to coat the meat with the oil and the seasoning.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, beer, diced onions and mushrooms.
Cook on low for up to 7 hours. It’s best to taste test the meat every 2 hours after the first four hours. It should be completely tender when done.
Combine the remaining beef broth with cornstarch. Add it to your slow-cooker brew.
Then, turn up the heat and cook an additional 15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Turn the heat back down and add in the sour cream. Cook on low for an additional 8-10 minutes.
During this last phase, make your egg noodles according to the package instructions.
Spoon noodles into 4 bowls. Then, top with stroganoff.
If desired, add an additional dollop of sour cream and sprinkle fresh, chopped parsley on top.
Serve and enjoy!