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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Add in the thyme, bay leaf, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
- Prepare the beef as described in Browning Meat for Stews. Add beef cubes and any juices to the pot.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove the bay leaf.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional) and serve.
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.