I need some help. Every year for Christmas Eve I make the recipe linked below (Rachel Ray's "Elsa's Cider Beef and Cheddar Smashed Potatoes"). Everyone loves it and it is really easy to make. However, I haven't perfected the timing, since I increase the servings greatly. I've cooked it slow and low for several hours to have the beef very tender but the stew too soupy since the heat didn't trigger the proper reaction to make it thicker. I've also increased the cooking time and temp (separately and together) to have the beef too chewy. So, I was thinking this year I would reach out to see if anyone has some good ideas on how to get the meat tender and the stew thickened.
This year I need to quadruple the recipe, but I cook it in two same size pans, so essentially I double the recipe in each pan. Any and all tips you have would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much in advance and I hope you all have a very happy holiday.