I fired up the crock pot again this morning with this classic. Like beef stew, use a tougher cut of meat such as chuck or bottom round.
I make this in my 7 quart crock pot.
Trim 4 pounds of stew beef into 1 inch cubes. Get rid of visible fat.
Mix 1 cup of flour with several grinds of black pepper, 2 tsp. thyme, 2 tsp. granulated garlic, 2 tsp. paprika.
Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a large skillet. Working in batches (this morning I did 4 batches in a 10 inch skillet) dredge beef in flour and place in skillet. Allow beef to sear for at least 1 minute on all sides. You should be developing a nice brown color. Transfer to crock pot and do next batch. Add more oil if needed. Do not overcrowd the skillet as you will not get the proper sear and the meat will "juice out".
When all the meat is cooked add 2 pounds of peeled pearl onions and 2 12 ounce packages of fresh mushrooms (sliced in half) to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes. Transfer to crock pot.
Deglaze the skillet with 1 bottle of red wine (Burgundy, Cabernet). Bring to a boil and add to crock pot. Add 3 cups of beef stock to crock pot. Add 4 cloves of garlic, diced, 2 tsp. thyme and 4 bay leaves. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours (more or less). Dish is done when the beef is very tender.
When finished cooking you can eat as is but I like to transfer most of the juice to a sauce pan and reduce (by 1/3) on the stove to concentrate the flavor. I also like to skim any fat that floats to the top. Then I add the reduced defatted juice back to the beef.
Tonight I am serving this with whole wheat egg noodles. Enjoy.