Craving Life Beef Bourginon Stew

When the weather gets colder one of the more satisfying meals is a hearty beef stew. A favorite recipe I use is a variation inspired from The Canadian Living Cookbook. Initially I used to make the recipe as stated in the book yet over time I have added my own preparation methods and changed the ingredients to create a healthier version — yet it still has that same rich and flavorful taste as the original.

Guess what? No one noticed when I made these swaps and I get constant praise when I serve it.

Servings got a 9.5% smaller because of the reduction in butter. However, the rewards of over 100 calories less (22% reduction) as well as the significant drop in fat (42%), which include 56% less saturated fat, are definitely worth it.

Craving Life Beef Bourguignon Comparison


Rich Beef Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I often serve this with green beans.
Serves: 8
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb) lean boneless beef roast
  • 1 litre (4 cups) low-sodium beef stock
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) red wine vinegar
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) tomato paste
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) besan (chickpea flour)
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) salt
  • 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) black pepper
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) unsalted butter
  • 300 g (2/3 lb) pearl onions, peeled
  • 454 g (1 lb) brown (preferred) or white mushrooms
  • chopped parsley as garnish (optional)
  1. Combine the beef stock, red wine vinegar, and tomato paste in a large pot. Sift the chickpea flour into the pot to eliminate any lumps. Put the pot on high heat and bring the contents to a boil, whisking constantly. Then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  2. Add in the thyme, bay leaf, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
  3. Prepare the beef as described in Browning Meat for Stews. Add beef cubes and any juices to the pot.
  4. Cover the pot and gently simmer for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Crack the lid for the last half hour of simmering if you prefer a thicker stew.
  5. In a non-stick fry pan heat 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) of butter and brown the pearl onions. Add to stew and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Heat the remaining 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) of butter and lightly brown the mushrooms. Add to stew and continue to simmer for 15 more minutes.
  7. Remove the bay leaf.
  8. Sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional) and serve.
The onions and mushrooms can be prepared in advance and set aside until it is time to add each to the stew.

Vitamin A : 1% Vitamin C : 5% Calcium : 2% Iron : 34%

Very low in sugar.
High in niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and Zinc.
Very high in selenium.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 342 g Calories: 379 Fat: 9.2 g Saturated fat: 3.3 g Trans fat: 0.0 g Carbohydrates: 4.4 g Sugar: 0.6 g Sodium: 448 mg Fiber: 0.5 g Protein: 64.4 g Cholesterol: 115 mg


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