It was cold and raining yesterday in my part of the country, but I still had the stamina to go to the gym and run a little (yay me!). I go to the gym not only to stay healthy, but then I can indulge once in while with no guilt. Yesterday called for a glass of wine and I had cooked this wonderful classic beef stew early during the week, so the meal was perfect.
This stew takes a while to cook because I take almost all the fat from the beef I choose (usually a grass-fed chuck roast), so if you can do it during the weekend you’ll be better off. You can also use a pressure cooker if you have one, although I prefer my slow dutch oven to make it.
It also has a load of vegetables, so you could call it a healthier version. I had enough leftovers for both my husband and I for today’s lunch too!
Classic beef stew (healthier version) = $26.33 for 6 portions (It is affordable if you think it’s a mere $4.39/person)
- 3 lbs of grass-fed chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces = $17.99 (be sure to clean the beef of all fat chunks you see within the muscle. It takes time, but reduces the amount of fat and calories drastically).
- 3 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces = $0.50
- 4 stalks of celery, cut into bite-size pieces = $0.65
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces = $1.25
- 2 cups of mushrooms, cut in half = $0.99
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste = $0.15
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced $0.10
- 1 large onion, cut into bite-size pieces = $0.67
- 1 cup of red wine = $1.99
- 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil = $0.40
- 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour = $0.35
- 1 quart of beef or vegetable stock = $1.29
- 2 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
1- Start with the beef, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Season the beef well with salt and pepper and brown it in batches under high heat. It takes about 3 minutes each side.
2- Take the beef off of the pan and put the onions in. Lower the heat to medium and cook the onions until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3- Put the flour in and stir well for just it to absorb the oil and start to cook. Poiur the wine and deglaze the pan (with a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits from the pan. Put the beef back and add the thyme, cumin, pepper and tomato paste. Mix well. Put about 2 cups of the stock in, lower the heat, cover the pan and let the beef simmer in the liquid for about 1 hour.
4- After about 1 hour, you’ll have a little liquid in the pan, but not much and the beef will be half-way cooked. It’s time to put in the potatoes, celery, carrots and mushrooms, and the rest of the stock. Mix well, adjust the seasoning (it will probably need a little more salt), bring it to a boil, lower the heat again, and let everything simmer for another hour.
5- When the second hour goes by, your beef and vegetables should be fork tender and you should have a somewhat thick brown stock in the pan. I like to water my “gravy” a little so I can eat it with a crusty bread. Garnish with fresh parsley and enjoy!
Ps: if you think your beef is not tender enough after the second hour, just let it cook more. I find that sometimes eating this stew the next day makes it even more delicious and the beef more tender.
Nutritional information per portion (about 2 medium scoops of stew)
- Calories = 599
- Carbs = 25g
- Protein = 64g
- Fat = 23g
- Fiber = 4.1g