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Hearty Beef Stew

There is something extremely comforting about beef stew on a cold night, and after having a not so healthy version while skiing over the holiday, I was inspired to create a healthy version as soon as I got home.  Beef stew is very simple to make even though it looks like lots of ingredients.  Also it could easily be made in the slow cooker as well – just brown up the beef and dump everything in the slow cooker, adding the potatoes, carrots, and parsnips about an hour before it’s done.  For this version, I used carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, and parsnips, but you could use almost any combination of root vegetables – next time I may try adding celery root and maybe some sweet potatoes or butternut squash.

Healthy Beef Stew
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 cup
Nutritional Info: 243.8 calories, 7 g of fat, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 29 g of protein
Weight Watchers® PointsPlus®: 5 *

1.5 lbs lean stewing beef, cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 lb chopped carrots (2-3)
1/2 lb chopped parsnips (2-3)
1 pound chopped red potatoes, with skins
3 chopped celery ribs
1 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups water
3 cloves of  garlic, 2 peeled whole cloves and 1 finely diced clove
2 bay leaves
1.5 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups fat free beef broth (you could eliminate or reduce this depending on how thick you want your beef stew)
Optional – 1 sprig of rosemary and thyme in a cheesecloth

1.  Heat vegetable oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add beef and brown on all sides.

2.  Add in water, onions, garlic, smoked paprika, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, allspice, salt, pepper, sugar, and rosemary and thyme bundle (if using) to the beef.  Cover and simmer for 90 minutes.

3.  Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and celery to pot, as well as any additional beef broth you are using.  Cook for an additional 45-60 minutes or until the beef is fork tender and shreds easily.  The cooking time will vary depending on the cut and size of your beef.

4.  Mix the cornstarch with a small amount of cold water and stir together.  Pour into the stew and bring to a boil.  Immediately turn off the heat and let rest before serving.  The cornstarch will thicken the stew.

Tip: These beef stew tastes even better after it has rested for a day or two, so consider making it a couple of days before you hope to eat it.   It also freezes well and can be stored to eat for lunch or a meal later on in the week or month.

* PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

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I’m Kristen and I couldn’t be happier you are here. You will find a variety of healthy and delicious recipes that will not only taste great, but help you fit in your favorite jeans.

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5 Response to Hearty Beef Stew

  1. mona kehrig on October 7, 2012

    Hi I am making this beef stew today!!….Looks yummy! :)

  2. Diane on March 5, 2013

    I am making this but modified slightly. I salt and peppered the meat and lightly dredged in flour before browning. I then deglazed with about 1/4 c of white wine added the broth and worcestshire sauce and some tomato paste, added the allspice, sugar and paprika and brought to a boil. I let simmer while I chopped veggies. I added the meat mixture to a crock pot then piled the veggies on top. I added some water and adjusted crock pot to low. Smells super!

  3. Amanda on December 10, 2013

    Could this be done in the slow cooker??

    • Kristen on December 10, 2013

      Definitely. I would recommend adding everything to the slow cooker except the cornstarch. Then add the cornstarch in the last 30-45 minutes of cooking. On low it will probably take about 8 hours in the crockpot. It is up to you whether you want to brown the beef beforehand or not, but it isn’t necessary. Hope that helps!

  4. Tony on January 27, 2014

    Sooo, I added Guinness instead of water with the onions and spices and wow. DELICIOUS.

    THANKS for the recipe.


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