2 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 ounces button mushrooms with their stems, sliced (4 cups), or 8 ounces cremini mushrooms with their stems, sliced (4 cups), or 4 ounces (2 cups) of each
2 ounces fresh shiitake mushroom caps, sliced (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup dry sherry, preferably Spanish
4 ounces dried mushrooms such as porcini, chanterelle, and morels, any type or a combination
2 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat a slow cooker to Low.
Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until they are soft and fragrant. Transfer the shallots and garlic to the slow cooker insert.
Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the saute pan and increase the heat to high. Saute the fresh mushrooms in batches until they are browned and lightly crispy, adding more oil if necessary. Season each batch with salt and pepper. Before adding the last batch of mushrooms to the insert, turn off the heat under the saute pan and stir in the sherry. (This will prevent the alcohol in the sherry from igniting.) Turn on the heat and cook mushroom mixture over medium heat for several minutes to burn off the alcohol. Transfer the last batch to the insert.
Add the dried mushrooms and the stock to the insert. Cover and cook on Low for 90 minutes.
Ladle out and reserve about 11/2 cups of the mushroom liquid from the slow cooker. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk the flour into the butter until it forms a paste. Cook for 2 minutes to remove the starchy taste. Pour in the reserved mushroom liquid while continuing to whisk. Whisk in the sour cream until thoroughly blended. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker and add the thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Cover and cook the stroganoff for 30 minutes more, until the sauce has thickened. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Ladle the stroganoff into a large bowl piled high with your choice of accompaniment.
Cook's note: I use a variety of mushrooms, as each one adds a unique flavor and texture to the dish, but you can simplify it by using one type of fresh and one type of dried.
"Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes" by Laura Frankel (2009 Wiley, $24.95)