I finally had gone long enough in life without owning a crockpot, so off to the store I went last night, picking up a six quart unit (when I cook, I cook large, and freeze up a weeks worth of lunches). This was inspired by reading a recipe for mushroom stew.
I made the recipe pretty much as noted, although I didn't have any portobella mushrooms, and I was kinda free handed with the amount of ingredients. For my size crock pot, I'd probably up the amount of the sauce by half — I added a bit of water to it, which cooked off, but the stew was slightly too thick. More sauce would fix that, I believe. I also used the hand blender to blend the sauce stuff until the little tapioca balls were mostly broken up — you probably don't need to do that, I'd guess.
It turned out very tasty. The best part, however, is if you follow the instructions and put a thick layer (I mean thick) of onions on the bottom of the crock pot, and do not disturb them at all. I only poked a bit at the ingredients when I added the liquids, just to make sure everything got in. When I got up this morning (I was late in getting everything together, so I just let it stew while I slept, and man, was that great to wake up too) I turned it off, let it cool while getting ready for work, scooped some out of the top for lunch and put the rest in the fridge. It wasn't until tonight, when I put the rest in containers and put some over some leftover couscous for dinner, that I discovered the hidden treasure.
That thick layer of onions basically turned into a camelized layer of pure TASTY. Seriously, so good. So, I highly recommend this recipe, crock pots in general, and I'm also sitting here trying to come up with a good French onion soup recipe that can use this carmelized onion process to good effect.