When I make dinner in the crockpot, I like to keep color in the food. Most beef stews in the crockpot come out looking kind of gray. My secret is to wait until the end of the cooking time to add the peas so that when everything is done, you still have good color in the vegetables.
Shake salt onto roast meat. Set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, pepper, onion powder, and thyme in a big Ziplock bag. Shake to combine, then add stew meat. Shake until evenly coated.
In a frying pan, brown the meat on all sides without cooking through. Dump into slow cooker.
Add potatoes, carrots, and onions to slow cooker. Do not add the peas at this time. Combine beef broth with tomato paste and mix well. Pour over stew meat and vegetables in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Add peas and cook 15 - 20 minutes more to cook the peas but they won't lose their color.
** Editor's Note: I don't buy the meat that's labeled as stew meat in the grocery store. I feel like I'm getting the leftovers from other cuts of meat. I buy a nice beef roast and cut it up into the proper sized pieces.