In the past, I’d make beef stew either in the crock pot or stove top, using a seasoning packet and bouillon. I’d use left over steak or stew meat bought at the store, with plenty of fresh and/or canned vegetables. Now that we are low sodium, I can’t just throw in bouillon and seasoning packets. The sodium is in the thousands in both the broth and bouillon.
What we have been learning is the fresher the ingredients, the better the flavor, even without salt. I recently made a beef stew using a low sodium liquid beef broth and just 1 teaspoon of a seasoning packet. I add water 3 times equal to the broth (14.5oz) This keeps the sodium low, but keeps flavor in there. Also, the left over steak was marinated in low sodium Teriyaki sauce, so once cubed and put into the stew, it added flavor.
I add cubed potatoes (Russet give an earthy flavor, red potato are a bit sweeter), celery, carrots, green beans, onion and corn. All add their own flavors to the whole stew. 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic and a bay leaf also.
It simmers for a couple hours, till all veggies tender. We like it thickened so right before serving we mix corn starch with a little water and then pour into stew. It will thicken the whole thing.