Crock Pot Beef (Not) Burgundy with Christa Maurice

“Cassandra Geoffrey runs In the Pines Campground six months of the year and spends the other six months alone in her cabin on the mountain. At least until she’s offered more money than she can refuse for a single guest. When he arrives without any supplies to keep himself for the two weeks of his stay, Cassandra happens to have a meal in her Crock-Pot which she invites him over for until he can get out for groceries. Not too surprising since I grew up slow cooking and love to try new recipes in it. When I was living in Abu Dhabi, I shipped my Crock-Pot over and it broke in transit. There were tears. Especially since slow cookers are nearly impossible to find over there and extremely expensive should you stumble over one. This particular recipe is one that I tailored for my migraine tendencies. It is perfect cold weather food and it freezes beautifully. In fact, at this writing, I’m thawing some for dinner today.”

1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
2 pounds cubed beef for stew
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic {or mince two garlic cloves}
16 ounces sliced baby Portabello mushrooms
1 tsp salt
3 bay leaves
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup warm water
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped parsley {optional}

1. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and steak seasoning in a ziploc bag and shake to mix.

2. Add stew meat to the bag and seal; Shake to coat and set aside.

3. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium high heat.

4. Once the oil is hot, add the beef mixture and cook 5-6 minutes, turning often to brown meat on all sides.

5. While the beef is browning, peel and slice the onion in half and chop into 1/2-inch pieces.

6. Add the onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.

7. Stir in garlic, mushrooms, bay leaves, and beef broth, and bring to a boil.

8. While that comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and the warm water to a small bowl and stir until

9. Pour the cornstarch mixture into meat and stir for 1-2 minutes.

10. Remove from heat and pour the stew into the Crock Pot.

11. ***At this point, the stew could be refrigerated overnight to slow cook the next day. IF refrigerating overnight, add an extra 1/4 cup each beef broth to the stew. ***

12. Cook on LOW for 8 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.

13. Discard bay leaves before serving and add salt & pepper to taste.

14. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.

Preparation time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cooking time: 4-8 hours, depending on temperature
Number of servings (yield): 6