Slow Cooker Beef Stew

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into about 1-inch pieces (I purchased marbled meat to add extra flavor to the stew)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided (cook the beef in 2 batches...1 tablespoon oil per batch)

3 to 4 cups peeled and cubed russet potatoes

1 1/2 to 2 cups diced carrots

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons Emeril's Original Essence seasoning

32-ounce carton beef broth, divided

1-ounce package dry onion soup mix

3 tablespoons butter

2 small onions, peeled, cut in half then sliced

1/4 cup red wine (I used Burgundy and I used closer to a whole cup)

8-ounce can tomato sauce

1/4 cup warm water

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  1. Prep the potatoes and carrots and add them to the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with the dried parsley, black pepper, and Emeril's seasoning.  Give it a rough stir to coat. 
  2. Place the stew meat in a gallon-size resealable baggie along with 1/4 cup flour and 1 teaspoon seasoned salt; shake well until all pieces of  meat are coated. 
  3. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and brown the beef on all sides...DO NOT fully cook the beef.  Also, you should do this in 2 or 3 batches so as not to crowd the pan.  I use stainless steel cookware, because I have an induction-top stove...here are some tips on less sticking; however you want some of that gunk to stick so when you de-glaze the pan with the wine you get all that flavor.  If you are using stainless steel cookware, heat the cookware prior to adding the oil.  You know your pan is ready by throwing a few drops of water into the pan and they dance across the hot surface.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot pan and work the pan until the bottom is coated.  Now wait until the oil is hot....really hot...no REALLY hot.  You should see faint wisps of vapor when the pan is ready.  To test it, touch the edge of the meat to the bottom of the hot pan.  If it is properly heated, the meat will easily slip and slide across the bottom of the pan...no sticking.
  4. Add the meat to the top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  5. Boil 2 cups of the beef broth; add in the packet of onion soup mix and stir until dissolved.  Pour this over the beef and vegetables in the slow cooker.
  6. Using the same pan you cooked the beef, melt 3 tablespoons butter; add onions to the hot butter and sauté until they are softened; add them to the slow cooker.
  7. Keeping the same skillet heated, pour in the red wine slowly so the vapor doesn't make your eyes water; scrape up all the bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan; let simmer on low until the wine has reduced and is thick; pour this in the slow cooker.  If you're using a stainless steel pan and the bits are really stuck, use a metal spatula to scrape them up.
  8. Place the lid on your slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.
  9. Reduce slow cooker heat to LOW and cook for 6 to 6 1/2 hours.
  10. Right at about 6 hours, I added the 2 remaining cups of beef broth, the can of tomato sauce, and the flour/water mixture, stirring to combine everything.  Take a taste test to see if it is salted to your taste...at this point you may want to add some additional salt.
  11. Continue to cook on LOW for 30 minutes.

This is a pretty thick stew, so feel free to add more beef broth to thin it out. 

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