Beef Stew to Warm up with

It is the middle of May and therefore smack in the middle of spring as I write this, but it feels much more like winter with a howling gale and sheeting rain. So I’m in the mood for warming food. Both the cooking method and the ingredients I’ve chosen will help me feel warmer, as the slow cooking will fill the house with enticing smells, and the warmth of the spices will warm me from the inside when I have my dinner, without overheating my mouth. The vegetables in this recipe are not particularly specific to any one season, but are available pretty much year round, and the limited range means that it won’t break the bank to gather them together. I purchase stewing meat in bulk deals on a regular basis (from the farmers’ market) and freeze it for days just like this.

Picture of a package of raw stewing meat

Defrosted steak and kidney in compostable packaging

This is an easy meal to prepare, with less than half an hour of active preparation, followed by 4-5 hours anticipation while it gently cooks unattended.

Serves 4


1 teaspoon Vegetable oil
1 Medium to large carrot
2 Average mushrooms
1 inch Fresh chilli pepper (optional, but nicely warming)
1 pound Stewing meat, diced
 2 teaspoons  Vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Cumin seed
1 tablespoon Flour
1/4 cup Tahini (you can substitute smooth peanut butter)
1 to 1 1/2 cups Beef stock


  1. Preheat slow cooker.
  2. Chop carrot and mushrooms roughly. Mince the chilli pepper, seeds and all.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in non-stick frying pan (to aid colouring the vegetables). Lightly saute veg, just until a little coloured.
  4. Transfer to slow cooker.
  5. Brown meat in same pan. (Always brown low fat or tough cuts of meat on gentle heat.)
  6. Transfer to slow cooker.
  7. Bruise cumin seed in mortar & pestle.
  8. Add 2 tsp oil and the cumin seed to frying pan. Fry until it sizzles.
  9. Add flour, stir to incorporate.
  10. Add tahini; stir in.
  11. When well combined, gradually add stock.
  12. When nice and bubbly, add to slow cooker. Stir through if desired
  13. Cook on low  for 4-5 hours, until meat is fork tender.
  14. Serve with rice or potatoes and a green vegetable on the side.

I'm an American living in the UK, combining rural Mid-west ideas about food with a suburban coastal British reality. It's fun!

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Posted in Kitchen Economy, Recipes
3 comments on “Beef Stew to Warm up with
  1. Gale Wright says:

    This sounds wonderful!


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What’s Creative Economy in the Kitchen about?
Sharing a lifetime of experience of kitchen challenges. Respecting food and making the most of what's available. Read more on my About page.
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March 2015
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