You can keep the stew warm in its covered casserole on a hot plate for about half an hour. If dinnertime is still some hours away, let the stew cool, then press a piece of plastic wrap over its surface and put it in the refrigerator. Rewarm it slowly.
Choose flavorful cuts, such as chuck and round, that benefit from long, slow, moist cooking and won't fall apart.
Don't try to rush when you're browning meat for a stew. It's a very important step that will take at least 10 to 15 minutes to do right. Make sure you dry the meat thoroughly on paper towels before browning it, and don't crowd the pan. Damp meat won't brown, nor will pieces that are too close together in the pan.