Columbian Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

1 pound beef boneless chuck
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil
3 cups peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 whole cloves
1 dried bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1 large onion, cut into eighths
1 (28 ounce) can of Italian style tomatoes, undrained
8 dried apricots cut in half
Chopped fresh parsley

Remove excess fat from beef. Cut beef into 1 inch pieces. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Cook beef in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned.

Mix beef and remaining ingredients except apricots and parsley, in 4 to 5 quart crockpot.

Cover and cook on Low 8 hours or until beef is tender.

Stir in apricots. Cover and cook on Low about 15 minutes, or until apricots are tender. Discard cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Sprinkle parsley over stew.

Serve this over cooked couscous.