On a cold day, I can't think of anything more warming and satisfying than a bowl of hearty beef stew. Butternut squash seems to have a magical effect in this dish. Plus, I froze the leftover wine in popsicle molds, which I find quite comical.
This recipe is adapted from a recipe that was adapted from a recipe from Cook's Illustrated: http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Slow-Cooker-Beef-Stew-Recipezaar_2
1. Brown onion and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat (about 10 min). Stir in tomato paste and cook for another few minutes. Add wine and scrape browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in tamari, add 1 tsp thyme and the bay leaf. Pour this mixture into slow cooker. Add meat cubes.
2. Toss cut up veggies with 1 Tblsp olive oil, 1 tsp thyme and some salt and pepper. Create an aluminum foil packet for the vegetables and place this packet on top of the meat mixture to steam.
3. Slow cook on a low setting for 9-11 hours. Carefully open the packet and add the vegetables to the stew. Add salt and pepper to taste. YUM!!!