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1. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. If desired, in a large nonstick skillet cook and stir half of the meat over medium-high heat until brown. Drain off fat. Place meat in a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Repeat with remaining meat.
2. Add mushrooms, onion, and garlic to cooker. In a bowl stir together broth, wine, mustard, and dried thyme (if using). Pour mixture over meat in cooker.
3. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.
4. If using low-heat setting, turn cooker to high-heat setting. In a small bowl stir together butter and flour. Stir in 2 tablespoons cooking liquid to make a paste. Stir in fresh thyme, if using. Stir mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook on high-heat setting about 30 minutes more or until mixture thickens.
5. Serve meat mixture with Whole Wheat Bread Planks. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.
1. Preheat broiler. Diagonally cut six 1-inch-thick slices from a loaf of whole wheat baguette-style French bread. Lightly brush some of olive oil over one side of each bread slice. Rub a cut-side of a garlic clove over the oil-brushed side of each slice. Place slices on a baking sheet. Broil slices, 4 to 5 inches from heat, for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasted, turning once. Carefully watch the bread as it can burn easily. Makes 6 planks.