Country French Beef Stew

This takes a little more prep time than your average beef stew but it is so worth it!  The bacon gives this stew such a great flavor and the beef just falls apart, it is so tender.  It’s from Betty Crocker.

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 (3 pound) boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat, cut into 1″ pieces or 3 pounds beef stew meat (I went with the stew meat)

1 large onion, cut into 1/2″ wedges (didn’t have any onions on hand so used 1/4 cup dried onions)

3 cups ready to serve carrots (the recipe didn’t say to do it but I cut these into thirds because a whole baby carrot is really hard to eat out of a bowl of stew gracefully)

1 cup red Zinfandel wine or non-alchohlic wine or 1 cup additional beef broth (I used the broth)

3/4 cup beef broth

3 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves (I only had ground thyme so used 1/4 teaspoon of that)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (8 oz/3 cups) package sliced fresh mushrooms (I left these out)

1/2 cup julienne cut sun dried tomatoes (not oil packaged) (didn’t have any so left them out)

hot cooked egg noodles

Spray 5 – 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  Cook bacon until crispy.  (It holds up better in the stew the crispier it is so cook it until it is almost burnt.)  Place bacon in slow cooker.  Discard all but 1 – 2 tablespoons bacon fat.  Cook beef in fat in batches 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown.  Stir onion into beef.  Cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally.  Spoon mixture into slow cooker.  Stir in carrots, wine, broth, flour, basil, thyme, salt, pepper and canned tomatoes.  Cook on low 7 – 9 hours.  Stir in mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes.  Cook on low 20 – 30 minutes longer or until tomatoes are tender.  Serve over noodles.

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