This is a very free-form recipe for beef stew. Basically, you make it with whatever things you have on hand. You can try other spice combinations; rosemary would likely taste wonderful in this stew. Using soy sauce is a trick that I have learned does well with cooking meat in the slow-cooker. It makes it taste more savory. Ideally, the beef cubes dredged in flour and the onion would be browned before adding the liquid, but this extra step seems to defeat the simplicity of the slow cooker. Besides, this stew is perfectly yummy as it is!
2 pounds (approx) cubed stew beef
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 onion (shallots are nice, too)
1 or 2 cloves crushed garlic
Some veggies: any combination of carrots, potatoes, celery, frozen peas, winter squash, even cabbage, cut into approx 1″ chunks (should total about 2-3 cups or whatever looks about right)
2 bay leaves
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
Liquid to total 1 1/2 cups: beef broth or red wine or both
Put meat in slow cooker. Mix together flour, salt and pepper. Toss meat cubes with flour mixture. Add everything else. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours. Taste, add more salt or soy sauce or pepper as needed.