Healthy Hearty Beef Stew

Ohh boy are you a lucky duck! Today I’m going to share my marvelous and once super secret beef stew recipe…although I did modify it.

Yesterday I found myself still battling my cold for the umpteenth day so training is out. I’m getting very annoyed with this! PLUS my oven was broken which makes me infinitely sad.

I decided to cheer myself up however with some of my famous (or infamous) beef stew. Now this is usually made in my trusty dusty (no really, it was a little dust I had to clean it first) cast iron dutch oven and then into the oven it goes. Well, having no oven (or having one that doesn’t work) I had to make it on the stove but it did come out superb!

I usually put in mushrooms; forgot them at the store. BUT, have on fear! I came up with a wonderful and even BETTER solution!

I left the Wild Cheff‘s house Saturday with a BOUNTY of glorious goodies. I was giddy. hehe. I wish there was such thing as a smell screen, because if there was you would also be giddy. (I was going to inform Matt we now seriously have “the united nations of spices” in our cabinet but at that moment I happened to open up the Wild Cheff curry blend and was instantly, very seriously distracted.)

My plan is to use at least one blend a week to make a fabulous dish. I started yesterday with the dried roasted garlic. Oooooh my goodness. Now, combine that in the hot water with dried white porcini and woodland mushrooms and you have a healthy maga flavourful broth made in hearty, healthy soup heaven!

It is well known that mushrooms add an amazing depth of flavor to any dish, esp in a vegetarian one but it also plays very well with beef. Now combine that with the amazingly sweet and aromatic flavor of roasted garlic? Wow. This is my new method from here on out. The rest of the soup stayed the same.

Why should you try this recipe?

Well because it’s amazing of course! You know, it really irks me that beef stew has a bad rap as being “unhealthy”. Well sure if you add loads of butter and leave all of the fat on. BUT you make it my way and it’s not so bad! Sure I use a little flour on the beef in the beginning and wine, but the rest of the ingredients are nothing but healthy. PLUS you get to control the sodium. Win,win. This soup will warm you up, fuel you up and keep you going all day.

Healthy Hearty Beef Stew

(NOTE: this recipe takes about 3 hours. It’s not that involved, that’s almost all cook time! So it’s a good thing to make on a weekend when you have the time)


  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat trimmed of fat (I used my grass-fed stuff of course, much less fat and much healthier!)
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • 1/2 cup of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of dried woodland mushrooms
  • 1 tbs. dried roasted garlic
  • 3/4 cup of good red wine (I used Penfolds Thomas Island Shiraz but I also love Gnarly Head Old Vin Zin for this)
  • 1-2 cups of beef stock divided (you may not need it all)
  • 4 small/medium potatoes (cubed, bite-size)
  • 4 small/medium carrots (diced)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. marjoram (optional)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper


Start this party off by heating 1 1/2 cups of water in a Pyrex measuring cup for 2 minutes in the microwave…i.e. boil water.

To this, add your dried mushrooms and dried roasted garlic. stir and set aside (You will notice that this alone is dish worthy. You could easily make a soup out of just this. Honestly. I made Matt smell it and looked at him expectantly…forgetting he doesn’t get nearly as excited about smells or anything for that matter as I do.)

Next rinse potatoes and carrots, peel carrots and then cut and add veggies to a large bowl and set aside, also adding minced garlic.

Rinse your beef and pat dry. sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Heat your dutch oven over medium high heat.

Add about 1 tsp of olive oil to pan and swirl to coat. Working in BATCHES (i.e. you do NOT want your meat touching, you want crust, not steam), roll beef pieces in flour, shake off excess and sear, about 1 minute per side.

Transfer cooked stew meat to a plate as it is finished and add more oil as needed. You want a nice crust on the meat. This is what helps thicken the stew and adds loads of flavour! Don’t worry about flour stuck on the bottom on the pan, that’s what you want!

When you are done add a little more olive oil to the pan add the veggies, sauteing about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, removed mushrooms and garlic from liquid with slotted spoon (or your hands if your like me) AND SAVE SOAKING LIQUID! Don’t be throwing away all of that flavor! Chop up the mixture and return to the soaking liquid..I’ll explain in a minute.

 Return the veggies to their bowl (they are obviously not cooked all of the way! we just want to give them some good flavor), add frozen peas, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Now de-glaze the pan with the red wine and cook down for a minute. Add tomato past and stir to combine. This adds AMAZING depth to the dish without adding a lot of calories. Tomato paste is one of my favorite cheats!

Add mushrooms with soaking liquid and return beef to pot. Add herbs and a small amount of salt and pepper. You can add a small amount of beef broth at this point (maybe 1/2 cup) but you don’t want to drown it!

Return mixture to a boil and then cover and turn heat to low so it’s just at a simmer for 1 hour (this is a good Sunday meal for this reason!). You can also place the entire thing into a 375 degree oven but make sure you have returned it to a boil before placing it in there. It will look like this after an hour:

Remove the veggies from the refrigerator after about 1/2 hour into the cooking of the beef. You don’t want to add cold veggies to the mixture, it will drop the temperature too much. After 1 hour, turn the heat up slightly so that when you add the veggies, it doesn’t stop simmering. Add veggies, stir and add about 1/2 -1 cup of beef broth or just enough so that the veggies and meat are still sticking out like so:

 Return to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low again and simmer for another hour and half to 2 hours, checking after 45 minutes and adding more broth as needed.

NOw go do something fun/constructive; build a model airplane, solve world hunger, take your dog for a walk, or if your like me, pour yourself a glass of the most amazing sweet and mellow South Hampton Red from Jewell Town Vineyards and eat the last of the machengo cheese and hum happily to yourself at how wonderful the combo is….just a thought

When the meat is falling apart and the veggies are tender, serve and enjoy. That’s it. 🙂

So we ate this last night with the last of the herb butter from last weekend and the last of the good bakery bread toasted. It was heavenly. As like all soup, this tastes infinitely better the longer it sits. So today, for lunch when I eat it, it will be even more awesomer!

Tonight, (wait until you hear this) we having Cuban sandwiches! Matt has the pork tenderloin marinating in Mojo sauce as we speak and we are serving it along side some plantains! I finally found some! Exotic fare for a Monday night but all I know is this Italian girl needs a little latin flair in her life sometimes 😉

Training & Food Journal:

TRAINING: none. I’m hoping I feel a little better tomorrow and get at least something in!


  • BREAKFAST #1: Odwalla Superfood Smoothie
  • BREAKFAST #2: homemade blueberry muffin (obvi. not made by me, The Wild Cheff sent me home with one)
  • LUNCH: 1 cup of beef stew, mango and grapes
  • DINNER: Cuban Sandwich (pork tenderloin, ham, pickles, cheese, mustard grill on a sub roll) and plantains with chipotle and honey (mm your jealous right?)

About Lindsey @ trail to train

I'm a (somewhat) normal girl with slightly unusal ideas about everything. I do fitness my way because thats the only way I know how and my extensive mishmashed knowledge of food and cooking to make great, fast, healthy meals.
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