1Set crockpot to low heat. Pour beef broth into crockpot; add all spices, potatoes, veggies, and apple pieces. If you use crispy apples the pieces will stay intact and not turn to mush. The apples give the stew a unique lightly sweet flavor. If you don't have any apples, use a 1/4 cup apple juice instead.
2Mix dash of salt and pepper to 1/2 cup flour in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add stew meat and shake to coat.
3Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat in skillet; add stew meat and brown on all sides. Be sure NOT to cook the meat in the skillet, as that will toughen it - Browning should take less than 8 minutes total time.
4Add meat to the crockpot. Cover crockpot and set to cook for 6-8 hours on low. Cooking on high heat will likely toughen the meat.
My family likes to put Pepper Jack cheese slices in the bottom of their bowl before pouring stew over it.
If you don't like spicy, omit the crushed red pepper, and put Monterey Jack cheese in your bowl.