I sometimes use ground beef in a stew when I don't have time to let it simmer for an hour or two. You can always substitute proper stew beef, browning it at the beginning and letting it simmer until nice and tender. This a simple and easy but hearty stew, perfect for fall weather and quick enough for a weeknight. Feel free to add or substitute additional root vegetables.
1 lb ground beef
3 fat leeks, sliced in thin rounds
1 Tbsp brown mustard
1 1/2 lbs potatoes, cubed
3 medium carrots, sliced
Water and/or beef stock
1-2 tsp minced fresh sage or 1/2-1 tsp dried
Salt and pepper
Brown the beef in a large pot. Add the leeks and continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mustard, then add the potatoes and carrots and enough water and/or beef stock to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add sage and salt and pepper to taste; let simmer another 5 minutes or so. Serve hot.