"Marbled" stewing beef is hard to come by where I live, beef is either steak or ground beef. Steak is expensive whilst ground beef is not. It's a shame I have to choose between these two poles. I'd like to use ground beef meatballs instead of stewing beef to save money. Any advice?
It would be a different dish, but that's no reason not to try it. Unless they're very picky, I'd make it as a family meal first before trying it on anyone else. You may need to make some adjustments. I suggest browning the meatballs first then not cooking them for as long in the stew, in the hopes that they don't fall apart. The rest of the ingredients may still need a long cooking time, so you might want to add the browned meatballs partway through cooking if you cook the stew in an oven or on top of the stove. A slow cooker is much gentler and shouldn't be opened during cooking, so I'd put them in at the beginning as normal in that case.