I will admit that the photo doesn't do this beef stew justice.  Look!  I may know my way around a kitchen, but I certainly don't know my way around a camera.  This homeboy isn't Olan Mills.  But homeboy knows a good recipe when he sees one.  And during our lovely (and by "lovely" I mean "ridiculous") snow/ice storm the other night, I worked my slow cooker like it was at a Zumba class!  :)  This beef stew recipe, with bacon and onions and sweet potatoes, will make you wanna get a ladle and slap someone straight upside the head.  It's comfort food to the nth degree.  Sweet. Filling.  Foodgasmic.   LOOK!

BEEF STEW w/ SWEET POTATOES, BACON and ONIONS

1 1/2 pounds stew beef (cut into bite-sized chunks)

1 14-ounce can beef broth

1 large onion (cut into chunks)

2 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks)

4-5 slices of bacon (I buy thick-cut because it's easier to dice)

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons corn starch

2 tablespoons water

Okay.  The first thing you need to do is grease your crock pot.  Now, I am going to be honest.  I don't like cooking sprays at all.  Once in a human sexuality class I made a really inappropriate joke about Pam cooking spray and haven't been able to use it since.  So, take it from me.  Grease that slow cooker with a little butter.  Butter has a lot more flavor than cooking spray anyway.

  Now, layer in your stew beef, onion, bacon, potatoes, thyme, salt, pepper and your broth.  Cook this, covered, on LOW for about 6 to 7 hours.  I also recommend stirring it every hour or so to make sure everything is cooking evenly and soaking in all the juices.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and veggies from the crock pot and place in a serving dish.  You may want to cover that in foil to keep everything warm and toasty.

  Now, turn that crock pot to HIGH.  In a separate dish, combine your cornstarch and water until it's smooth . . .then stir into the remaining juices in the crock pot.  You're going to cook this, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.  Btw, you'll notice the sauce getting quite thick.

Add the beef and veggies back in and heat, covered, for another 15 minutes or so.

I suggest serving this with some kind of bread.  We made some cornbread and it was a delicious compliment to the meal.  And, I'm not gonna lie.  I was breaking chunks of the cornbread off and dipping it in the stew.  I mean, who needs a spoon?

This beef stew is meaty, hearty and has just enough bacon and  "sweet" from the onions and sweet potatoes to qualify it as classic comfort food.  ENJOY!