Well, 4.5 stars, really. Great flavor, but here's the thing: this was FAR too much food for my 6-qt. crock pot. Seriously. I only put in half the meat - full measures of everything else - because the meat was the last thing I put in and there was no more room. (Not my best idea.) Then I had to leave for the afternoon (picture my fear), and the stew was literally lifting the lid of the crock pot, with absolutely no liquid in it at all, by the time I came back home.
Here's what I would do next time: half everything, and keep and eye on it so you can add water now and again and keep it stew-like. Don't add the potatoes until there is just an hour or two to go, because they get mushy really quickly. Maybe toss in a beef bouillon cube, too.
But again, as far as the flavor goes (even *with* indistinguishably mushy potatoes), straight A.