A simple beef stew recipe begins by browning stew beef. Put vegetables and prepared gravy into a slow cooker, add the beef, and then cook the mixture on low for eight to nine hours.
To brown the beef, put 1 1/2 pounds of stew beef into a skillet coated with cooking spray. Add seasoned salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about five minutes. Stir often until the meat has browned. Drain away any excess fat.
Put one 18-ounce jar of brown gravy and one 14 1/2-ounce can of undrained diced tomatoes into a slow cooker. Add the beef. Toss in three medium Yukon gold potatoes cut into 2-inch pieces. Also add a medium onion sliced into eighths, 8 ounces of baby carrots and 8 ounces of whole mushrooms. Stir all of the ingredients thoroughly. Cover the slow cooker and heat on the low setting for eight to nine hours. Both vegetables and beef are tender when done.
For a stove top version, cut 2 pounds of beef sirloin steak into 1-inch cubes. Toss the cubes with 3 tablespoons of flour to coat them. Divide the beef into two batches, and brown each batch on medium-high heat in a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Put all the beef into the skillet. Mix in one package of beef stew seasoning mix and 3 cups of water. Add 5 cups of frozen vegetables, and bring the stew to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer for about 15 minute.