Easy Delicious Homemade Beef Stew — With Lower Carb Options

Beef Stew such as this is as awesome with a glass of warm cup of apple cider as it is with a glass of wine. And taken without potatoes, it can be a great way to up your iron intake while keeping the carbs down.

by Nindo Mom on November 17, 2010

I’ve been in the mood for savory foods more frequently since the weather has been getting colder. A nice lean beef stew is truly delicious–the only problem is that lean beef stew is impossible to come by in stores–in fact, it’s nearly impossible to find it in any form other than canned, which is a space shuttle trip away from delicious, if you don’t mind my saying so.

I’ve made this particular recipe a few times, and it’s come out completely awesome with either Nature’s Promise (Giant Food’s organic brand) of round steak or sirloin, which I sliced into 1-inch chunks. I even got the meat on sale, so I was extra happy.

Here are the ingredients:

4 T cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (I use Colavita brand) [optional]

2 lbs cubed round steak
(can substitute cubed sirloin, if you prefer)

1 large white onion, chopped

1/2 cup raw carrots, cut into coins

2 cups russet potatoes, skinned and diced (optional)

1 cup Merlot wine (I use Sutter Home)

1/2 – 1/3 cup frozen peas

1 can (10 oz) tomato paste

1 T Better Than Bullion Beef base

plenty of spring water

2 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions:

This stew is super-duper easy to make. First, put the oil in the bottom of a non-stick frying pan (at least 2.5 inches deep) and spread it around. This is optional, but I think the olive oil adds a nice flavor, and it will help keep the food from sticking to the bottom of the pan if the water runs low at any point.

Add the beef to the pan, then pour in 1 cup of the wine. Add enough spring water to completely cover the beef. (I try to only use spring water or water from my PUR Water Pitcher because tap water has a nasty chlorine taste that can linger in the meal even after it’s done cooking). Place a lid on the pan–a clear one is best, if you have one, so that you can see what’s going on inside without having to lift the lid and lose any heat. Cook the beef on medium-high (a nice boil) about 1.5 hours, or until fork-tender. You will need to check in on the beef regularly while it’s cooking to make sure the water doesn’t run out.

When the beef is soft, lift the lid and add all the rest of the veggies, then replace the lid. Allow veggies to cook down until they are about halfway to being soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid at this point to make sure the alcohol from the wine has the chance to cook off, cooking about 20 more minutes. When veggies are completely done and nicely soft, gently stir in the Better Than Bullion (which is superior to “standard” bullion in both flavor and nutrition), tomato paste, and pepper. If needed, add more spring water. I usually don’t need to, at this point–the gravy is generally exactly the right thickness for me–and no need to add any flour! The onions will probably have broken down completely into the sauce, helping to thicken it while giving it a sweeter flavor–but if there’s still bits of onion floating around in there, all the better, I say.

For a lower-carb option for this recipe, simply leave out the potatoes. If you wish, you can substitute cubed turnips for the potatoes–they’re a great alternative, nutrition-wise, and have a similar flavor when cooked. The texture ends up slightly more firm in a way that I actually prefer.

Here is the difference in nutrition between a cup of cubed turnip and a cup of cubed potato:

Turnip: 36 calories, 8.4 grams carbs, 2.3 grams fiber

Potato: 58 calories, 13 grams carbs, 1.7 grams fiber

If you don’t use the turnip, either, you can reduce the carbs in this dish even more. The photo in my post is without potato or turnip–and it’s still extremely delicious.

Enjoy!

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