This is a great recipe! However I did use some of the suggestions of the other reviewers. Definitely use a few tablespoons of cornstarch with a few tablespoons of cold water instead of the tapioca. I've used tapioca in the past (because that was what my mom used), but the stew gravy always seemed to have little geletin like dots in it--corn starch leaves it nice and creamy. I dredged my meat in flour, garlic and onion powders, pepper, and salt by combining all ingredients in a plastic bag with the meat and shaking it. Then I browned the meat in a cast iron pot, took out and set aside. Added about 4 cups of water with 4 bullion cubes and brought to a boil. Added can of diced tomatoes, garlic powder, 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic, a little salt, sugar, corn starch and cold water mixture, and made my gravy being sure to dredge up the bits and pieces left over from the meat in the bottom of the pan. Then I returned the meat to the pot and added the vegetables (which I chopped up while the meat was browning). After adding everything, I noticed that I needed more liquid to cover everything up. I used about 1/2 box of beef broth (the kind that you can store in your fridge and use as needed instead of being stuck with 1/2 a can), but you should use just enough to cover up all your meat and veggies. Then I put into the oven for 3 hours at 325 degrees, and it was just perfect yummy.
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This is a great recipe! However I did use some of the suggestions of the other reviewers. ...