Beef Stew with Wine
1 pound bacon, cut into pieces
3 pounds 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 ounces cremini or white mushrooms, wiped clean, cut in half if large
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1½ cups full-bodied red wine or 12 oz. stout beer
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Cooked noodles, rice or garlic mashed potatoes, optional, for serving
In a large skillet, cook the bacon until just crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon pieces, leaving the drippings in the skillet, and keep heated over medium heat. (Save bacon for another use.) Place beef cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with seasoned flour. Toss to coat beef cubes lightly with flour.
Working in batches, brown the beef cubes on all sides in the bacon drippings. Remove to the slow cooker. In the skillet, sauté shallots, celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add wine, bay leaf, salt and pepper and stir. Cover; cook for 7 to 9 hours on low setting (or 4 hours on high setting).
The meat should be falling-apart tender. About 30 minutes before serving, if sauce needs thickening, stir in cornstarch mixture. Cover and continue cooking until thickened. Remove bay leaf and serve stew with some sauce, over noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Serves 6.