I think it's the best stew I have ever made. My search for a perfect stew isn't over but wow, this is good. It's on the thick and hearty side rather than the thin and hearty side. If you want it thinner add water 1/2 cup at a time. I served this with hot rolls to sop up the gravy and caesar salad for my garlic fix. The "beef base" is the Better than Bouillon brand. The "dry french rub" is McCormicks. I tried this recipe twice. The first time I used regular beef stock-it was borderline to salty. The second time I used low sodium beef stock-just right. I used my cast iron dutch oven.