Fridge Clean-Out Beef Stew. (Step mushroom of it, anyway.) I sautéed mushrooms in olive oil, deglazed the pan with balsamic vinegar, then dumped into a slow cooker together with chopped onion, sliced carrots, a couple pounds of stew meat, 6 or 7 whole cloves of garlic, a 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes, and a little bundle of fresh thyme. Salt and pepper, too. Cooked for 6 hours.