For five consecutive Saturdays, we were on the road with our beloved Pokes. First, we watched them play in Iowa City, a true B1G experience.

Then we drove to Laramie four Saturdays in a row, making round trips in a day three times and spending one night in a one-star dive motel after an 8:15 p.m. kickoff. On the first Saturday that I didn’t travel, I busted out the crock pot and made one of the friend’s favorites: ham and beans. Served with hot biscuits, it was the perfect meal after a day of chores for me and activity bus driving for him.

Longtime readers will know that a crock pot is my single favorite kitchen appliance.

Here is a recipe that has a long list of ingredients but goes together in a snap. It’s the perfect chance to check your spice cabinet for fall cooking and replenish what you’ll need through the heavy cooking months just ahead.

You can serve it over mashed potatoes, buttered noodles or rice, whichever you prefer. If you are lucky enough to have fresh deer or elk roast in the freezer, I’m jealous, but this is a great recipe for that as well.

Chuck roasts are so versatile, and often, we think of old-fashioned pot roast with potatoes and carrots when we grab a chuck roast on sale. There is nothing wrong with that, but this takes it up a notch and is more something you’ll find at a great restaurant for a special dinner out than a random Wednesday at home.

Beef Burgundy

6 bacon strips, diced

1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds), cut into 1½ inch cubes

1 can (10½ ounces) condensed beef broth, undiluted

1 small onion, halved and sliced

1 medium carrot, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

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1 bay leaf

½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

½ cup burgundy wine or beef broth

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2⁄3 cup cold water

Hot cooked noodles, mashed potatoes or rice, optional

In a skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove to paper towels. In the drippings, brown the beef; drain. Place beef and bacon in a 5-quart slow cooker. Add the broth, onion, carrot, butter, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or until meat is tender.

Add mushrooms and wine or broth. Combine flour and water until smooth; stir into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 30 to 45 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf. Serve over starch of choice if desired. Yield: 8 servings.

(Recipe courtesy of “Best of Slow Cooker Recipes Vol. 2,” Taste of Home)

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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