Paleo Beef Stew…I hope you’re already drooling! Today’s post is from my guest blogger Jaime, the powerhouse behind Gutsy By Nature. I was really excited to have Jaime on the blog because not only does she make some amazing Paleo food, she’s living proof of the power of food to heal. She’s been on a journey to heal herself from Crohn’s disease—which she was diagnosed with in 1995, and she’s passionate about helping others reclaim gut health. Jaime’s recipe is suitable for folks eating an autoimmune Paleo protocol (read more about that below). Besides curating her blog, Jaime is a wife and mom to two dogs, works in literacy education and teaches yoga. Take it away, Jaime!
The Paleo diet has tremendous healing properties for people with autoimmune diseases, especially with modifications to further eliminate foods like nuts, eggs and nightshades (because they can provoke immune responses) and with the addition of nutrient-dense foods. This dish combines both aspects because it’s made without nightshades and packs a nutrient-dense punch with the inclusion of coconut oil, bone broth (click here for her bone broth recipe), grass-fed beef and a bunch of vegetables.
Nightshades are a diverse group of plants including some we wouldn’t dream of eating, like tobacco and morning glories, and others that produce fruits and vegetables that are common parts of healthy diets. Specifically, the nightshade family includes tomatoes, white potatoes, both sweet and hot peppers, and eggplants. I’ve personally been able to add some of these foods back into my diet, but I wanted this dish to work even for people who are still in the elimination phase of an autoimmune protocol (AIP), so I decided to use turnips instead of white potatoes and used another source of acidity and flavor than the tomato paste I might normally add.
I also really wanted this stew to have a thick consistency and not just be a chunky soup. In my pre-Paleo days, I would’ve tossed the stew meat in some flour prior to cooking to thicken the resulting sauce. I’ve experimented with alternative thickeners like arrowroot powder and coconut flour, but haven’t been impressed with the result. Instead, I adapted a technique I used to make gluten-free turkey gravy (click for the recipe) and pureed the aromatics prior to cooking. Success! The final result was a thick stew with amazing rich flavor.
(Note: While alcohol is generally eliminated on AIP, most people are fine with it in well-cooked dishes because the alcohol cooks off. If you choose to omit the wine, make sure you add another 2 Tablespoons of vinegar because the acidity helps to tenderize the meat as well as impart flavor. In recipes that contain tomatoes, the acid of the tomato helps this to happen naturally.)
- 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) coconut oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 1 pound (500 grams) beef stew meat (preferably grass-fed), cut into chunks
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 celery stalk
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry red wine
- 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups (1000 ml) beef broth (preferably homemade)
- 8-10 baby turnips, peeled
- 1 cup of leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, or turnip greens, ribs removed and chopped
- In a large heavy pot, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add meat, toss to coat in oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Cook meat until browned on all sides (about 7-10 minutes total).
- While meat is cooking, puree onions, carrots, and celery in a food processor.
- Remove meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl to catch any drippings.
- Add pureed vegetables to the pot you just cooked the meat in and cook until soft, slightly browned and very fragrant (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and herbs and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
- Return meat to the pot. Carefully pour the wine into the pot to deglaze, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until wine has nearly all evaporated.
- Add balsamic vinegar and broth. Bring to a boil, then lower temperature to lowest setting. Cover pot and cook for 2 hours.
- Add turnips and cook for 15 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a knife but are not falling apart. Add greens and cook for 2 minutes, or until they are wilted and softened.
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