I haven't had a chance to taste any of it yet, but I made this recently and my husband said this was the best beef stew he has ever had. (And, believe me, he's not a man that I hear this from often.) The recipe came from Family Fun, March 2005.
1 1/2 lb stew beef, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp flour
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 rib celery, thinly sliced (I used about 4 though)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 cup tomato juice or vegetable juice
3/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
2 bay leaves
2 large all-purpose potatoes
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds (I used about 4)
2 cups fresh green beans, in bite-size pieces (I used a bag of frozen green beans)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
Black pepper to taste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
Set a large, heavy-bottomed soup or stew pot over medium heat for several minutes. Meanwhile, combine the stew beef and 1/4 cup of the flour in a gallon-size plastic or paper bag. Shake well to coat the meat.
Brown the meat in the vegetable oil (about 4 min.). Stir in onion, garlic, celery and saute for 3 min. or till onion wilts.
Stir in broth, tomato juice, salt and bay leaves. Increase the heat, bringing the liquid to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and gently simmer the stew for one hour, stirring several times as it cooks.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the reserved 3 tbsp of flour. Bring the stew to an active simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer gently for 45 min. more, until the vegetables are tender.
To thicken the stew, spoon a ladleful of broth into a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the reserved flour, then stir the mixture into the stew and simmer for 10 min. more. Serve with dinner rolls or over rice or egg noodles. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
(I skipped the last thickening step - I thought it was thick enough. The original recipe also called for browning the meat in two batches but I used a big pot and it wasn't necessary.)