I originally picked up this recipe from my friend Karen, who brought it for my fam after James was born. It is tasty, hearty, and filling...everything a beef stew ought to be. (This recipe is also dairy free for you folks with allergies or intolerances. This was great when I was nursing James and needed lots of protein since he could not handle any kind of dairy in my diet.)
In the interest of time, I'm just going to give you the link to the recipe for Carol's Beef Stew and list a few little additions I make.
I add about 2x the ketchup called for in Carol's recipe, and I also add about 1tbs of worcestershire sauce and 1/4C of whatever red wine or cooking sherry I have on hand. I've used Cab Sauv and Malbec. Both were very nice, though beware of adding to much. Turns a bit coq au vin in my opinion.
I also like to add about 3/4 C chopped mushrooms, which also dresses it up a bit.
As a bonus, Karen has a recipe for traditional white bread on the same post. The bread is perfect for sopping up that extra gravy.