This is my adaptation of LifeIsGood's recipe #483151 #483151 for making in the crock pot, for A French Love Affair challenge of ZWT 8 / France.
I haven't changed the ingredients, only the preparation is adapted for making in a crock pot.
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches, in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all of the beef is browned. Set aside.
Toss the carrots, sliced onions, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons pepper into the fat in the pot and cook over medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the cognac (stand back and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol).
Put the meat and the bacon back into the pot with any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Add the wine. Bring to a boil, then add tomato paste and thyme, boil for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer everything from the pot into the crock pot, then add the hot beef broth. Stir once, then cover and let cook on high for 3 hours.
Meanwhile, thaw the frozen onions.
After 3 hours, saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until lightly browned. Set aside.
In the remaining 2 tablespoons butter saute the thawed onions until translucent, then add the flour, stir well, and add the sauted mushrooms.
Add onions and mushrooms to the crock pot, stir well to combine, then continue cooking for another 45 minutes. Season to taste, if necessary.
For serving, rub each slice of bread on one side with the garlic. For each serving, spoon the stew over a slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley.
If sauce is too thin, dissolve one teaspoon to one tablespoon in some cold water and stir into still simmering stew.