This is in the oven right now and it smells so good, we can hardly wait for it to be done! No browning necessary. Company coming? Toss in another potato and carrot - this recipe is forgiving! Serve with Recipe #348286, hot and buttered. My youngest brother would find out I was making this stew and biscuits and he would invite himself over and eat me out of house and home. His favorite way to eat this stew was on top of buttered biscuits. I think with a salad and dessert this would serve about 6 but around here I would say it serves 4. ***UPDATE*** This recipe is for a cast iron dutch oven with a heavy tight-fitting lid. I've made this a million times and have had left-over gravy for noodles, rice, etc. Make sure you don't bake at any higher temperature than 300* and you don't use corningware or any other casserole. The heavy cast iron Dutch oven with a lid will prevent almost all of the evaporation of liquid, kind of like a slow cooker.