Adding apple cider and cinnamon gives a unique flavor to this economical and easy-to-make beef stew.

4 cups frozen vegetables for stew, thawed
1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts
1 (4-1/2 ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 envelopes brown gravy mix
2 tablespoons onion soup mix
2 teaspoons steak seasoning
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (14-1/2 ounce) can beef broth
1-1/4 cups apple cider*
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup cold water

1. Place the vegetables, water chestnuts, mushrooms and onion in a 5-quart slow cooker. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the gravy mix, soup mix, steak seasoning and cinnamon; add the beef, a few pieces at a time and shake to coat. Add to the slow cooker.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the broth, cider and tomato sauce; pour over the beef. Add the bay leaf; cover and cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours or until the beef is tender.

3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into the stew. Cover and cook on High for 15 minutes or until thickened. Discard the bay leaf before serving. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

* You may substitute unsweetened apple juice for the apple cider if desired.

Emily

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