How to make Burgundy beef in a slow cooker

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Bonjour!  Beef Burgundy is a complex dish only to be attempted by experienced cooks, preferably French ones, right?  Wrong!  This version is quick to prepare and the mouthwatering result belies its simplicity.  With a couple of valuable hints to maximise flavor and turn this dish into a special occasion crowd-pleaser, it's a superb recipe to master and delight your friends and family with.  
Don't be tempted to skip the browning step; known in Michelin kitchens as the Maillard Reaction.  It intensifies the taste of the meat and is definitely worth taking a few minutes over. 
2 slices bacon, cut into squares
2 lbs. sirloin tip, or round steak, cubed
¼ cup flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. seasoning salt
¼ tsp. dried marjoram
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 beef bouillon cube, crushed
1 cup burgundy wine
¼ lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1-1½ cups ketchup
2 Tbsp. cornstarch, optional
2 Tbsp. cold water, optional
1.  First, crisp the bacon over a high heat in a skillet or frying pan, and then remove, retaining the bacon drippings in the pan.
2.  Toss the meat cubes in flour until evenly coated before browning the meat in the bacon fat, in two batches to ensure an even color.
3.  Remove the meat into a bowl and deglaze the pan with half of the red wine by simmering for a few moments then turn off the heat.
4.  Place the meat and crisped bacon into the slow cooker along with the salt, seasoning salt, herbs, pepper, garlic, bouillon, the remaining wine and finally the contents of the deglazed pan using a wooden spatula to scrape all of the browned bits in the skillet into the slow cooker, stirring gently to combine, before cooking on low for 3 -4 hours.
5.  10 minutes before the end of cooking time, stir in the mushrooms and ketchup, along with the cornstarch dissolved in a small bowl of water if the sauce is not thick enough, then cook on high for the remaining cooking time.  
Serve with noodles or mashed/steamed potatoes.  You'll be amazed at the complexity of flavor that can be achieved with only a few minutes preparation, and your family will think that you spent the day pouring over Cordon Bleu recipe books.  It's completely up to you if you want to confess the truth or not!  Bon Appétit!
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