When I was a kid, I wasn’t into chips or chocolate or hot dogs, like a normal child. I adored, loved, craved, and dreamed about one meal: beef stew.
My mom would prep the ingredients first thing in the morning while my siblings and I swirled around her, getting our breakfasts and bag lunches ready for the day ahead. She’d throw it all in the slow cooker and by the time we got home from school the whole house was scented with slowly roasting onions, vegetables, and beef.
Though my Mom’s beef stew was delicious, there was one stew that was even better. It came from a little family restaurant in Banff where we always ate after Dad had trekked us to the top of some mountain or other.
I always ordered the same thing. Beef & Beer Stew. Sigh.
Having later come to realize that eating cows is not cool, it’s been more than 20 years since I’ve had a stew with real beef in it.
But I don’t miss it. Because this one is better.
Gardein Beefless Tips
Note: I rarely recommend a specific packaged product, but Gardein Beefless Tips are seriously tasty (and pretty healthy as best I can tell). If you can’t get them, you can use other veggie beef substitutes, seitan, or tempeh.
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bottle beer (stout or IPA is best)
3 cups veggie stock (or water)
½ can tomatoes (fire roasted)
1 tbsp steak sauce
½ tbsp horseradish
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp salt
1 bay leaf
a sprig of thyme
4 medium carrots, sliced
4 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup green beans, sliced in 1-2 inch pieces
1 head broccoli, chopped
2 tbsp corn starch
¼ cup cold water
parsley, minced (to sprinkle on top)
In a large saucepan* on medium-high heat, sauté the beefless tips in a tablespoon of olive oil until lightly browned. Set aside.
Add a little more olive oil into the pan.
Sauté onions until they start turning translucent.
Add the garlic and continue sautéing for 2 more minutes.
Add the beer, water, and tomatoes.
Add the spices (paprika, salt, bay leaf, thyme), the steak sauce, and the horseradish.
Stir well and bring the stew to a boil.
Add the potatoes and carrots and bring back to a boil.
Turn down the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the green beans and broccoli.
Simmer for 10 more minutes.
Stir in the cooked beef.
Scoop out about ¼ cup of the hot broth into a small bowl.
Add ¼ cup of cold water to the bowl and stir in the corn starch.
Mix with a fork or whisk until all the corn starch lumps are gone.
Add the mixture back into the stew and stir gently.
Bring the stew back to a boil. The broth should be thickening by then, but if not, simmer a few more minutes until it is.
Serve (in a big bowl) on its own or over cooked quinoa or brown rice for a protein punch and added deliciousness.
Sprinkle with a healthy dose of minced parsley.
* This can totally be made in a crockpot.
What were your favorite foods as a kid? How have you modified them to suit your adult self? Share in the comments below.