Baby, it's COLD outside. Iowa winters suck. I tend to make a lot of soups and stews in the winter, but I'm really picky about my beef stew. I've tried a million recipes, none of which I've been ecstatic with. I came across this one on Pinterest and doctored it up. I was very pleased with the results, I hope you will be too!
2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into cubes
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks (I like to leave the skin on)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8 oz) container fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 bay leaf
2 envelopes dry brown gravy
1 envelope McCormick beef stew seasoning
1 C. red wine
2 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet
3-4 C. beef broth
Mix meat, veggies, and seasoning ingredients into crockpot insert. Pour in enough beef broth so that everything is submerged. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours. To thicken, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing 2 tsp. cornstarch with 2 tsp. water - pour into stew and stir occasionally until stew has thickened to desired consistency.