…every recipe I’ve found calls for using cream of mushroom soup. And maybe onion soup mix. I don’t like either, so what could I substitute? Can’t I use extra water or beef broth or something else without mushrooms? The soup has to primarily be a source of moisture, right?
You could use broth or wine; for a boost of “umami” you could add a little soy sauce and/or tomato paste as well.
If you want it to be as close to the recipe, but without mushroom, you could try one of the other of Campbell’s “Cream of” soups. Like Cream of Onion or Cream of Celery. Onion and celery being flavors that would go with the beef.
I have another recipe that calls for a packet of onion soup mix and I just use bouillon and dried onion flakes in the place of it.
Any liquid-ish thing will work. Broth will be fine. Or any “cream of” soup if you want to go in that direction.
The soups are sources of moisture and glutamates. For moisture any type of broth will do, for glutamates, MSG, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce.
I would substitute any other “cream of” soup that you like (celery, potato, chicken), and for the onion soup mix, the amount of regular beef bouillon to replace that - so if the packet makes 2 cups, then whatever amount of bouillon makes 2 cups instead.
I used to pound the heck out of round steak, dip it in flour and seasonings, fry quick on both sides, and layer it in the crockpot with chopped green pepper, onion, a bit of bay leaf and rosemary, salt and pepper, and a pinch of allspice - to season, mixed with a couple cans of plain tomato sauce, or crushed tomatoes. Simmer in the crockpot all day till tender, that’s good eats! (Not an Italian tasting recipe.)
As others said, any ‘cream of’ soup should work. My first thought is cream of chicken, since it’s probably the closest to cream of mushroom, maybe cream of potato so you don’t have little chunks of chicken mixed in and it’ll go with all the other vegetables.
However, if you just don’t like mushrooms, I should mention that when I was about 25ish years old it was revealed to me that both my mom and my (now ex) wife were using cream of mushroom soup in one of my favorite dinners (beef stroganoff, same recipe). My ex knew how much I didn’t like mushrooms and when she got the recipe from my mom she asked her about it. Turns out my mom was just running the cream of mushroom soup through the food processor before adding it.
Of course, I don’t think I could bring myself to do that in something I was making, I’m just saying I went 20+ years without noticing it.
Swiss steak. Mirepoix and tomatoes, basically. You’ll want to dredge the pieces of meat in flour and brown them first.
I always substitute cream of chicken for cream of mushroom in any recipe.
FTR: I HATE with a passion, all things mushroom. But when it comes to recipes such as the one in the OP, cream of mushroom soup can be quite tasty.
It took me forever for my brain to get over that “ick” factor; as in: "eww, you’re eating mushrooms" but once I did, I really started to enjoy recipes with COM soup…
My wife is allergic to mushrooms, I have Celiac so I can’t have gluten. The only pre-made, gluten-free cream style soups I can find are chicken or mushroom. I’ve made my own lately with vegetable stock and half-and-half and corn starch as a thickener. Only slightly more effort and you can saute almost any vegetable and use that as a start point. If you don’t have to be gluten-free, you can thicken with flour. In either case, this gives you a lot more flexibility to get the flavor blend you like while avoiding the things you don’t want.
There’s a bland easy version: flour and brown the steak, throw in the crockpot with some canned or bottled gravy. Done! (you can add garlic, onion, whatever.)
I don’t know if this is usable but my grandmothers recipe for potroast uses orange juice.
Although I only dislike mushrooms, like tim-n-va’s wife, my dad’s actually allergic to them so I avoid anything that uses them.
I’m a top round guy myself.
Use the Golden Mushroom Soup. (If you are, in fact, using Campbells.) I have never liked the Cream Of Mushroom, but the Golden Mushroom is this wonderful gravy and sauce. I don’t even know how it’s an actual stand alone soup, but it cooks meat very well and tasty.
You’re just braising a relatively tough cut of meat in that recipe. The soups are essentially a pre-made gravy.
I’d probably just use beef broth, or a mix of beef broth and beer(or wine) as the braising liquid, and then at the end, take out the meat, take out the vegetables and pour whatever juices are left into a clear measuring cup. Then I’d let the fat separate out and spoon as much as possible off the juices.
Then use the remaining juices to make a pan sauce / gravy of your liking. (look up how to do that).
FTR, the guy making it on the OP’s link kind of sucks at browning steaks- those suckers ought to be well crusted, not minimally so.