I actually made this in the crock pot today. We had a two month old faulty furnace replaced today with another new one and the path to the basement is through my kitchen. Long story short, I browned the beef, cooked the onion and garlic for a bit in the same pan and then chucked everything into the crock and put it on low at about 8:45am. By the time the furnace man was finished I think he was on the verge of drooling when passing through the room. As we didn't get lunch DH and I had an early dinner and it was indeed wonderful. It has a rich and deep flavor that is very satisfying and was certainly easy to make in the crock. Sorry Cookie, no pix tonight as we have to go clean concrete dust and bits out of the basement.
Delicious! We really enjoyed the rich tanginess and depth of flavor of this stew, and the aroma was wonderful! I made using beef consomme, pearl onions (had some frozen ones handy), and subbed 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme for the basil due to personal preference. Very easy to put together and the results were fantastic. Thanks cookiedog! Made for the Soup and Stew event in the Photos forum.