Saturday, 23 May 2015

Low calorie Beef and Ale stew

You really wouldn't know it's a low fat stew, which is exactly what I'm looking for

After a good walk, there's nothing nicer than having some hearty meal, especially if it's not full of fat or calories but still full in taste. This recipe comes courtesy of the Hairy Bikers, or should I say 'Hairy Dieters' and is in their book 'How to love food and lose weight' - They've now got 3 healthy cookbooks out and whilst I have all 3, I certainly think I use the first one (the white one) the most.

As per usual, we didn't totally stick to the recipe as we didn't use parsnips, we used 'Kohlrabi' which is a German turnip! I had one of these in my vegetable box yesterday so thought we could put it to good use in the casserole.

We also chucked it in the slow cooker for 4.5 hours, rather than put it in the oven - Did it matter? not at all.... Slow cookers are great for anything and it worked really well! 

Beef & Ale casserole (serves 6) Less than 400 calories per portion (more if you're eating with mash or potatoes):


1 tbsp sunflower oil 
2 medium onions, chopped 
4 tbsp plain flour 
1 tspflaked sea salt 
2 tsp dried mixed herbs 
1 kg lean braising beef 
1 bay leaf 
500 ml dark ale or stout 
250 ml beef stock, made with 1 beef stock cube 
2 tbsp tomato puree 
2 tsp caster sugar 
5 medium carrots (about 275 g), peeled & thickly sliced 
2 parsnips (about 300 g), peeled, halved lengthways and sliced 
freshly ground black pepper. 

Preheat the oven to 180 C / Fan 160 c/ Gas 4. 

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the onions and fry them over a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until lightly browned, stirring regularly. Remove the pan from the heat. 

Put the flour, salt & dried herbs in a large bowl and season with lots of freshly ground black pepper. Trim the beef of any hard fat and sinew, then cut the meat into rough 3 cm cubes. Toss the meat in the flour until evenly coated, then tip it into the casserole dish with the onions. 

Add the bay leaf, ale, stock, tomato puree and sugar. Stir well and bring to the boil, then cover with a lid. Carefully transfer the casserole to the oven and cook for 1.5 hours. At the end of this time, take the casserole out of the oven and stir in the carrots and parsnips. Put the lid back on the return the dish to the oven for a further 45 minutes or until the beef and vegetables are tender. 

Stuff in face :-)

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