Slow Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew

I love having the slow cooker available to do its job while I am out. Everyone in the house was happy to eat this stew, which I found here:

My mother bought a first-generation Crock-Pot, but she was nowhere near as sold on it as I. What did the job was no longer having to eat pea soup reconstituted from a packet, which was always a trial for my mother to get me to eat – not even “Look, I cut up hot dogs into it!” I loved the hotdogs, but the soup still tasted the same. Then I got the chance to taste a pea soup made from green split peas and fresh carrots, onions, and bay leaf, and that was that. I became the slow-cooker partisan, asking, “Are you going to cook something in the crockpot this week?”

1 ½ pounds stew beef, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can (10 ¾ ounces) condensed French onion soup
½ cup dry red wine (burgundy, pinot noir,  cabernet, etc.)
½ cup sweet vermouth
4 to 5 medium potatoes, cubed
2 medium carrots, sliced
16 ounces fresh mushrooms
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary or a pinch of dried, crumbled

3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons of cold water

  1. Combine the stewing beef, condensed onion soup, red wine, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and rosemary. (If you use fresh rosemary, I recommend wrapping the sprigs in cheesecloth, or else you will be eating the leaves which will go throughout the dish. You can eat them, but it is annoying that you didn’t remember that about fresh rosemary.)
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 5 to 6 hours.
  3. About 20 minutes before the stew is done, combine the flour and cold water in a small bowl. Whisk or stir until smooth and well blended.Add the flour and water mixture to the stew. Taste and adjust seasonings with more salt and pepper, if needed.
  4. Serve with biscuits, French bread, or crusty rolls.

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