Made this recipe Thursday overnight, left it on low and it was ready for Friday night dinner. Didn't have any beef soup mix so I browned the beef in a pan, then deglazed the pan with water and diluted to create 3 cups broth. Result: good stew, but a bit bland. The beef I used was a bit too lean. Try to get stew beef with some marbling. Additions I'll try next time: barley, Tabasco.