This is always how we've made beef stew--my family wasn't partial to the beef stock gravy. I'm not a ketchup fan, but in this recipe, it has its place. I always add a little extra to my bowl. We're not big meat eaters, so if you want to add more beef cubes, feel free. I was missing a crucial step aparently as my dad showed me just recently. Making the slurry makes it so you can add less ketchup and still have the thick sauce!