This stew is really good and easy to put together. It comes from Taste of Home 2004 Annual Recipes. It is under their Meals on a Budget section so it's pretty economical to make.
1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (1 used 4 average size potatoes)
6 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch slices
1 medium onion, corasely chopped
3 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon browning sauce (I left this out)
Layer the potatoes, carrots, onion and celery in a 5-qt. slow cooker.
Place flour in a large resealable plastic bag. Add stew meat; seal bag and toss to coat evenly. In a large skillet, brown meat in oil in batches. Place over vegetables.
Combine tomatoes, broth, mustard, salt, pepper, thyme and browning sauce in the skillet used to cook the meat. Heat and scrape off all the yummy brown bits in the pan. Pour over beef and vegetables in slow cooker. Cover; cook on high for 1 1/2 hours. Reduce heat to low; cook 7-8 hours longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. YIELD: 8 servings.
I'm sure you could cut the ingredients in half if you have a smaller slow cooker.