Thursday, 17 September 2015

Autumnal Healthy Beef Stew


It's autumn! Time to make an easy beef stew!

I think the ultimate British comfort food is beef stew. There's nothing as warming and comforting as a hearty stew that's been cooking all day long, but I want a bit of a change from the traditional, British stew - it's just a bit too stodgy. 

I've developed this Autumnal Healthy Beef Stew to be a bit lighter and more nourishing. I used to always thicken my stews by adding flour to the pot before adding the stock (and usually some form of booze - like wine or beer). But I was looking for something less heavy that doesn't require roast potatoes and a giant Yorkshire pudding! This stew is thickened with red and green lentils. I like it quite soup-like too.

I'm sure if you've been following all the most fashionable new cooks - you'll know about bone broth. Sisters, Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley, focus on eating natural, unprocessed foods. They champion bone broth which is full of amino acids, gelatin, glucosamine, fats, vitamins and minerals to help heal damaged gut lining. If you are interested in making your own bone broth, here is Hemsley & Hemsley's recipe.

Recently, I've been suffering with arthritis in my hands. I'm not even 40 yet - but what with having a little toddler hanging from my hand most of the time - it's no surprise really! I'm trying more bone broth to try to improve this condition. The gelatin in the bone broth is a source of protein that helps counter the degeneration of joints. So hopefully this will help and it's super tasty too!

I use a huge piece of bone marrow in this beef stew. Bone marrow is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids - which is essential for brain function. Bone marrow is really cheap. I buy mine from Waitrose in the beef section for under £1.00. You could ask your butcher if you can't find it in the supermarket. I asked in Sainsbury's if they had any bones and they told me that all their meat is butchered and preprepared not in store - so even if they have a butchers section - it's only display.

I serve this stew with mixed quinoa (learn how to make the perfect quinoa every time with How to make perfect quinoa: Tutorial), avocado and sweet potato chips. It is one of my favourite dishes.

Autumnal Healthy Beef Stew




20 mins 3 hours 600 per serving

Serves 5

400g (15 oz) braising steak
1 large piece of bone marrow
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large courgette, grated
3 tbsp red lentils
3 tbsp green lentils
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 litres (3.5 pints) bone broth
1 tsp thyme
salt and pepper

    1. Start by preheating the oven to 140C.

    2. Heat your casserole dish and start melting the bone marrow. Once the marrow starts melting, add the beef. Start to brown the beef.

    3. Once the beef is browning add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and courgette. Cook for 5 minutes.

    4. Add the lentils, tomato paste, thyme and broth.

    5. Cook for at least 3 hours (or 7 hours on low in a low cooker) until the beef is really tender. Check every hour and make sure there is enough liquid. Add more water is necessary.

    6. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

    6. Serve and enjoy!

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