In response to Cookie's concerns about natural ingredients, one could replicate the ingredients using natural ones:
- Check the contents of canned stewed tomatoes - I think the major ones are tomatoes, celery and onion. Buy fresh and chop up. Add freshly grown (or dried seasonings, too, used in canned stewed tomatoes)
- Look at a package of beef stew seasoning mix and replicate the ingredients using fresh one or from your own supply of dried herbs and spices.
- Other readers' suggestions for a little red wine, fresh natural potatoes, and carrots could also be employed.
Doing all this would reduce reliance on "chemicals" and produce a more "natural" dish -- at the expense of convenience, of course.....