For more flavour, add 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves to Dutch oven with the meat and vegetables.
How to Discard Bacon Drippings
Do not pour bacon drippings down the sink. Instead, carefully pour drippings into empty can. (Bacon drippings will be extremely hot.) Place can in refrigerator until drippings have solidified. Then, discard both the can and the drippings.
How to Prepare Stew in Slow Cooker
Marinate beef and cook bacon, onions and mushrooms as directed. Remove beef from marinade; discard marinade. Add beef, onions, mushrooms and remaining ingredients to slow cooker; cook 10 to 12 hours on LOW (or 5 to 6 hours on HIGH). Stir in 2 Tbsp. flour mixed with 2 Tbsp. water. Cook 15 min. or until sauce is thickened.