I'm not impressed with any of the recipes I've tried out over the last few years, so I've gone and developed my own. Well, I'm developing my own; it may take some tweaking. Here it is as stands:
November 1, 2009 Version
Thyme For Slow-Cooker Beef Stew
2 lbs of your favorite cut of beef for stew, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you have my permission to use all-purpose if you prefer)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 to 2 bay leaves (depending on preference)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos (use low-sodium soy sauce if you must)
3-4 cups good quality beef broth
1/2 to 3/4 of a small bag of baby carrots (hey, it saves time!)
1 large onion, chopped
2 pounds of diced potatoes (I like 'em home grown.)
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the beef in the flour mixture.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the beef to the hot skillet and cook until all sides are nicely browned.
In a 4-quart slow-cooker, combine the browned beef and the rest of the ingredients. Cook over low heat for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours.
If you added too much beef broth and it's more soupy than stewy (ok, I made that word up) you can use a cornstarch roux to thicken it up a bit.