Quite possibly the best thing I have ever eaten. And I'm not exaggerating . . .
Beef Stew with Molasses and Raisins
1/3 c. flour
2 tsp salt, divided
1 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 in pieces
5 Tbs oil, divided
2 medium onions, sliced
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup beef broth
3 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs cider vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp celery salt
1 bay leaf
8 oz baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
2 parsnips, diced
1/3 c. golden raisins
1. Combine flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Toss meat in flour mixture. Heat 2 Tbs oil in large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of beef and brown on all sides. Set aside browned beef and repeat with 2 additional tablespoons oil and remaining beef.
2. Add remaining 1 Tbs oil to skillet. Add onions and cook 5 minutes, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Add tomatoes, broth, molasses, vinegar, garlic, thyme, celery salt, bay leaf and remaining beef and boil 1 minute.
3. Transfer mixture to Crock pot. Cover, cook on low 5 hours or on High 2 1/2 hours. Add carrots, parsnips and raisins. Cook 1 to 2 hours longer or until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard bay leaf.
*My Modifications: I didn't have diced tomatoes, so I used a large can of whole tomatoes and cut them up, but added the juice also. I probably added another 1/2 cup broth, because I wanted it with a bit more juice, and I didn't add the celery salt because I didn't have any.
Also, I did all of this in my dutch oven and put it in a 300 degree oven (even added the vegetables right away) and let it cook for about 3 1/2 - 4 hours.
It was perfectly divine. Definitely 5 stars on this one!