Turn on your crockpot (if it is the programmable type, set it for high 4 hours, low 7 hours)
First, pat the meat dry. (Julia Child said you have to dry the meat so it will brown). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat skillet or dutch oven (if not using a crockpot). Add oil and 1/2 of the meat. Don't crowd your pan. You need to brown the meat, not steam it. Once the meat is browned, spoon it into the crockpot. (use a slotted spoon)
Next, add the chopped onions to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook about 2-3 min on medium-high heat. Add minced garlic, rosemary & thyme and cook another minute.
Add this mixture to the meat in the crockpot. Add the potatoes, carrots, hand crushed tomatoes, juice of tomatoes, water, and beef consomme.
About an hour before serving, mix the cornstarch and 1/2 cup water (called slurry). Pour into stew and stir.
Just before serving, top with parsley (optional) Serve plain or over rice.