I found this recipe in the January 2008 issue of Better Homes and Gardens. It turned out pretty well. I think I prefer beef stew that's been simmering all day in a slow cooker, when the flavors have all melded together all day and the beef gets really tender, but this is a good recipe if you want some for dinner and you don't happen to think of it until 4:30 or 5:00, which is what happened to me.
Skillet Beef Stew
(photo and recipe courtesy of bhg.com)
2 Tbsp. cooking oil
2 lb. cubed beef stew meat
2 tsp. dried thyme or oregano, crushed
6 medium carrots, peeled and quartered
4 stalks celery, cut in 2-inch lengths
2 medium onions, cut in 1/2-inch slices
6 cups lower-sodium beef broth
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
In 12-inch skillet, brown beef in hot oil over medium-high heat with thyme and 1.4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Remove, set aside. Add carrots, celery, and onions to skillet, cook and stir 5 minutes. Return beef to skillet. In bowl whisk together broth and flour; add to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 45 minutes. Uncover; simmer 10 minutes or until meat is tender. Serve with potatoes. Makes 8 servings.
My Notes: I used about a tablespoon of fresh thyme instead of dried. I'm not sure if it made any difference. Also, I only had 4 cups of beef broth, so I just added about 1 1/2 cups of water and a little less flour. The recipe says "12-inch skillet" and they mean it - my 12-inch skillet was almost full and was short 1/2 cup of broth. If you don't have a skillet this big, you could just brown your meat and veggies in the bottom of a Dutch oven and make the stew in it as well. (It would just take the meaning out of the title of the recipe)
All in all, it turned out pretty well. I would say it tastes more like pot roast and vegetables with a ton of gravy than beef stew, but it's still very good, especially when poured over a heaping mound of hot mashed potatoes. Great comfort food!