I've been making this beef stew for my family for years. It's slow cooked and delicious. I tend to make it more in the cold months, since it's slow cooked. (I don't want to heat up the house in the summer)
I used a chuck roast for this stew. I cut the roast into 1 or 2 inch chunks. If you wish you can buy stew meat.. (It's already cut into pieces)
I put these into a frying pan to sear the edges of the meat
You want to brown the meat like this to get some nice flavor in your stew:
Fill a large pot a little over halfway with water. Place the meat into the water. Turn up the burner to medium high to bring this to a boil. While waiting for this to come a boil, peel and cut the potatos into chunks the same size as you did the meat.
Place the potatos into the pot with the meat.
Grind in some black pepper. (Don't add salt while cooking. Let people salt to their own taste later) When this comes to a boil, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. It should be low enough not be be boiling, but still simmering. Let this simmer for 2-3 hours. For your stew to be a success, you really need to cook this slow and at a low temp in order for the collagen in the meat to break down. This makes the meat tender and delicious. When it's been cooking this long, you get a nice beef broth in the pan. I like to thicken this up into almost a gravy.
To do this, I whisk together a 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water. Pour this into the simmering pot of stew and stir until it thickens.
Serve with chunks of bread. Definitely a nice winter comfort food. :)