Hearty Beef Stew (Paleo, Whole30)
Cold winter’s nights are for savory chunks of tender beef, sweet carrots, and melt in your mouth potatoes in a rich and savory broth. This recipe is made with gluten-free flour and can easily accommodate Paleo and Whole30 lifestyles with 1 little swap! Increase the nutrients and flavor of this dish by adding gut healthy and delicious homemade beef bone broth!
Minnesota winters are brutal, there, I said it. Growing up in Northern Virginia and having lived most of my adult life in the southern states (SC, FL, GA, TX) it was eyeopening when we moved here. Apparently people “do” winter here! What? Yes, that’s a thing and so now that we have lived here for two winters, I am beginning to understand. Minnesotans love their cold weather, ice rinks on the lakes (they even flood a rink at our neighborhood park), snow sports, festivals, and Holiday lights that go up in October and come down in March. I am learning to “winter” here and am loving all the new adventures our family gets to have and soup we get to eat! And, like they say…when in Rome!
Why Beef is So Good For You!
Let’s first talk about why I prefer grass-fed beef over grass-finished and industrial beef. In their natural habitat, cows eat grass and small amounts of grain when the grass is seeding . This provides the cow all the nutrients it needs to healthy, and we want to eat healthy animals. When cow are fed a lot of grain, like in industrial beef, the food source is not the natural source of food for the cows and it lacks the nutrients the cow needs to stay healthy, thus creating a less nutritious beef.
Additionally, because grass-fed cows are eating what they are supposed to be eating, the beef they produce is the most nutrient dense and has the omega-3’s that are supposed to naturally be in the beef. Due to the lack of nutrients in industrial beef, it does not contain the omega-3’s thus creating a nutrient deficient beef.
Grass-fed beef is not necessarily the same as grass-finished beef, so make sure you ask your butcher or the farm you source your beef from to clarify. Ideally you want beef sourced from an animal that grazed on grass its entire life, however there are farms that grain-feed most of the life and then “finish” on grass, or even grass feed most of the life and “grain-finish” to fatten the animal up in the last few months. As mentioned before, 100% grass-fed beef is the most nutrient dense beef and is my preferred choice when eating ground beef, steak, or using bones for broth.
Grass-fed beef is loaded with nutrients such as protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.
- Protein is an essential nutrient and beef is a complete source of all essential amino acids you need. Amino acids are the building blocks to the proteins in your body, including collagen, and they are necessary in cellular health and repair.
- Over one third of the fat found in beef is oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat that is also found in avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil. Oleic acid supports brain and nervous system function and support healthy blood sugar regulation .
- Vitamins: B3 (niacin: support healthy blood fat levels and blood sugars ), B6 (supports a healthy immune system), B12 (essential vitamin necessary in red blood cell formation.)
- Iron: Heme iron that is easily absorbed and is necessary in the formation of hemoglobin.
- Phosphorus: Supports healthy teeth and bones, muscle recovery after working out, and detoxification.
- Selenium: Supports thyroid health  and supports your immune system.
- Zinc: Essential in digestion, thyroid health, and a healthy immune system.
So grab some 100% grass-fed beef and let’s get cooking!
Hearty Beef Stew Ingredients
2 Tbsp EVOO or Avocado Oil
1.5 lbs Grass-fed Beef Chuck
1/4 cup Gluten-Free flour (Tapioca or Arrowroot for Paleo)
2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Bay Leaf
5-7 Stems of Fresh Thyme
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2-3 Carrots, cut into 1” rounds
1 lb Dutch/Yukon Gold/Red Potatoes, cut into 1” cubes
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
1 cup Good Red Wine*
3 cups Beef Bone Broth
*Omit for Whole30: Instead, add 1 Tbsp ACV and 1 more cup of broth
How to Make Hearty Beef Stew
1. Prep beef by cutting it into 1-1.5” cubes, trimming away any thick hard pieces of fat and the sliver skin, then add it to a large bowl.
2. Toss the beef with flour, salt and pepper while heating the EVOO/avocado oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat.
3. When the oil has heated, brown the beef in two batches, don’t worry about cooking it all the way through, you just want to get some caramelization on the beef.
- If needed, add a little more oil as necessary for the next batch. Remove the beef and set aside.
4. To the pot, add the onion and bay leaf and sauté until the onions have softened, about 5-minutes.
5. Add the ACV and wine to deglaze the pot using a wooden spoon. Be sure to loosen all the browned bits on the bottom as best you can.
6. Add the beef, thyme and beef broth stirring to combine.
7. Cover and simmer for 90-minutes to 2-hours over low heat until the beef is nice and tender.
8. Add the carrots and potatoes, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes more until tender.
- Add more broth if needed to keep the stew from getting too thick., but don’t add too much as this is a hearty stew and not a soup.
9. Remove the thyme stems and bay leaf and serve!
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Q: Why is my beef tough?
A: This cut of beef needs to cook low and slow for enough time to break down the and become tender. Cooking it too fast at a high temperature will render a tough and chewy beef.
Q: Can I use a russet potato for this stew?
A: I recommend using a more dense potato, like a Dutch, red potato or Yukon Gold, these have a delicious creamy texture when cooked and don’t fall apart as easily as a russet.
Q: Can I use chicken bone broth instead?
A: Of course, use any kind of broth you want, I prefer using beef bone broth for beef based soups.
If you like this recipe, check these out!
Easy No Knead Crusty Bread: What is a hearty bowl of beef stew without a thick slice of fresh homemade bread.
Rustic Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup: If you’re looking for the perfect bowl of earthy and umami flavors, this delicious and mouthwatering soup is where it’s at!
Paleo Pho: Rich and decadent bone broth filled with fresh veggies and thin tender slices of beef. Yum!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. – Amy
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I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.
Sharing what I make and eat with all of you…in hopes that you find inspiration here to fuel your body and feel your best with nutrient dense whole foods and clean eating.