I got this recipe from an old friend. It is delicious, but it is spicy, due to all of the black pepper. You can certainly cut down on the pepper, but it helps to serve the stew with a tossed salad and a nice crusty bread, to cut down on the hotness of it.
2 lbs stew meat, cut up in even pieces (I sometimes use a chuck roast that I've trimmed of fat, and cut into chunks. I sprinkle some paprika onto the meat for added flavor and color.)
carrots, cut into large chunks
celery, cut into large chunks
4 - 6 potatoes, scrubbed, skins left on, cut into large chunks
1 (14 1/2-0z) can tomatoes, undrained and tomatoes cut up
6 tbsp Minute Tapioca (found in the baking aisle of the grocery store)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp minced garlic, optional
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tsp pepper (original recipe calls for 1 tbsp)
Mix everything together in a large roasting pan. You do not need to brown the meat, first. Cover roasting pan and bake at 250 degrees for 5 hours, or more. Stir a couple of times, during baking.