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Can I simply throw all these ingredients together in my cast iron skillet and cook in the oven? Potential pitfalls, seasoned advice?

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Yes, it's pretty reasonable to cook a beef stew in the oven.

Do note that one generally cooks chuck roast for a good long time (maybe two hours or more) to get it nice and tender, so it may be a longer cooking time than you want for the onion and potato. You could add them later if that's the case. You might also want to brown the beef in the pan before adding liquid, to get some extra flavor out of it. Finally, if you don't have an oven-safe lid for your skillet, keep an eye on it and make sure you don't boil off too much liquid in the oven; if it gets low, you can just add some water.

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Just finished eating one of the tastiest dishes I have ever made. (That is not saying much hehe) The meat was tough but the veggies came out delicious. The meat was tasty too but very chewy. I seared the meat like you suggested and put everything in a cast iron skillet, baking at 320 degrees for roughly 45 minutes. If I had to do it over, maybe not so much heat and a little longer cook time to tenderize. –  user970638 Jan 18 '13 at 4:36
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@user970638 Sorry for not being clearer about cooking time - I think a cooking time of at least an hour and a half to two hours is more typical for stews like that, depending on how tender you want the beef. –  Jefromi Jan 18 '13 at 4:59
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