In true A Girl and Her Kitchen fashion, I found the recipe I liked and immediately went about adjusting it. I am that girl who finds a good base recipe, builds upon it with ideas from other recipes, and then adds things here and there as I cook and taste test. By and large, my laissez-faire method has served me well.
I started with a recipe from the Parsley Theif adapted from Cooks Country magazine. Then I addedd bacon (bc EVERYTHING is better with bacon), garlic, rosemary, cayene, red pepper flakes, frozen peas, tomato paste, mushrooms and pearl onions. I split the stock and did half beef and half chicken and then added a bit more beef stock for good measure. OH and for some reason along the way I threw in a dash of red wine vinegar. Felt like it needed a mini acid boost.
I decided to season my flour with salt, pepper and cayene pepper and toss the toweled off beef chunks in that before browning them. I used shallot instead of onions (though I did also add a bag of pearl onions).
And then I changed the cooking method. I know that sounds big, but I don't own a slow cooker.
So I made do with my 5 1/2 quart round french oven from creuset. I use this pan for everything!! It also helps that I am working from home right now so the stew could simmer away on the stove for hours while I worked. If you have a slow cooker, go ahead and use it and let me know how it goes.
I made enough to feed an army so I am sure we'll be eating this for the next few days. Good thing stew is one of those dishes that just gets better with time. :)