Slow cooker french beef stew

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Ingredients

  • 4 ounce beef fry cut into small pieces
  • 3 pound cubed stew meat
  • 2 large carrots peeled and cut crosswise into large chunks (can substitute 8 baby carrots)
  • 1 medium onion peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 3 medium garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 pound mushrooms stemmed and cut into .25-inch slices (can substitute 8oz. package sliced mushrooms)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • .5 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • .5 teaspoon thyme leaves dried
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 1.25 cup beef broth
  • 2 cup red wine suggest cabernet sauvignon
  • 2 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf

Preparation

Line a plate with a few layers of paper towels. Cook the beef fry in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to drain on the paper towel-lined plate; remove all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat from the skillet and discard the excess.

Add the beef cubes to the skillet and cook, turning them to brown on all sides. This will take about 12 minutes. The meat will not be cooked through. Transfer the browned cubes to a 4-5 quart slow cooker/crockpot.

Add the carrots, onions, and garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until the onions have softened and become fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Add the flour and stir to coat. Add the cooked beef fry, broth, wine, tomato paste, and bay leaf, stirring to combine. Increase the heat to high and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dislodge any browned bits. Transfer this mixture to the slow cooker.

Cover on cook on high for 5 hours or low or 8 hours. Stir once or twice during cooking. Discard the bay leaf before service.

The stew picks up flavor after a day's refrigeration, so it's nice to make it in advance. The soup can be frozen for up to three months. Serve the stew over noodles and with a crisp green salad on the side for a true soul food meal.