Deluxe French Beef Stew

Ingredients

3 slices bacon
2 pounds beef stew meat
1 cup dry red wine
1 cube beef bouillon
1 cup boiling water
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
strip of orange peel
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 cups pickled pearl onions, drained
3/4 pound fresh button mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed and drained

Directions

Place bacon strips in a stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook until browned and crisp. Set bacon aside, and brown the beef cubes in bacon fat. Gradually stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits as you stir. Dissolve the bouillon cube in boiling water, and pour into the pan. Add garlic, thyme, minced onion, salt and orange peel. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for one hour, until meat is tender.

Dissolve cornstarch in cold water, and pour into the soup. When soup has thickened, add the peas, onions, olives and mushrooms. Cook until heated through, and serve.