Crockpot Beef and Wine Stew

This recipe appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press today, and this recipe resembles the crockpot beef stew we have made for a long time. We prepare the ingredients the night before and keep the beef and vegetables in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, start the crockpot and set it on low for eight plus hours. When you get home cook (or reheat) noodles, rice or mashed potatoes and serve with the stew. Voila! Weekday dinner is done (and you have bacon pieces for breakfast as a side benefit).

This particular version is attributed to Jonathan John of Monroe, Michigan.

1 lb. bacon, cut into pieces

3 lbs. boneless beef roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup flour, lightly seasoned with salt and black pepper

1 cup sliced shallots

2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 oz. cremini or white mushrooms, wiped clean, cut in half if large

2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1½ cups full-bodied red wine or 12 oz. stout beer

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water, optional

cooked noodles or rice or mashed potatoes, optional for serving

To brown meat: In large skillet, cook bacon until just crisp. Using slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces, leaving drippings in skillet. Keep heated over medium heat. Reserve bacon pieces for another use. Place beef cubes in large bowl. Sprinkle with seasoned flour. Toss to coat beef cubes lightly with flour. Working in batches, brown beef cubes on all sides in bacon drippings. Remove to crockpot.

To saute vegetables: In same skillet, saute shallots, celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes or until just lightly browned. Transfer to crockpot.

To cook stew: Add wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper to crockpot. Stir. Cover. Cook for 7 to 9 hours or low setting (or 4 hours on high setting). Meat should be falling-apart tender.

To serve: About 30 minutes before serving, if sauce needs thickening, stir in cornstarch mixture. Cover. Cook until thickened. Remove bay leaf. Serve stew with some sauce, over cooked noodles, cooked rice or mashed potatoes.

Serves 6.

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