Pull up for this gluten free beef stew (using organic beef) if you want the kind of flavor that will warm you up through the cool weather months without letting you down. Warning: This beef stew recipe is not for those that favor bland tasting food. It has a little kick too.
When I was thinking about what I should name this stew, island beef stew was a strong contender. You see, in the Caribbean islands we like things a little hot and spicy. There’s typically a myriad of flavors happening all at the same time.
And while most of my recipes tend to lean on more simple flavors, this is definitely not one of those recipes. It’s hearty, filling, flavorful and oh so good.
Of course, it could also be called healthy beef stew or organic beef stew also because it’s chocked to the brim of good-for-you ingredients like carrots, celery, garlic, herbs and delicious spices and that tender organic beef.
Be that as it may, this is a delicious beef stew that also happens to be gluten free. So that’s what I went with.
The star of the show is the organic beef. It’s grass fed and grass finished beef. Specifically the beef is labeled “beef for stew”, or you can use chuck steak. This beef may seem tough at first, but it gets really tender once you cook it low and slow, the right way.
You’re entitled to your preferences but for me, there’s nothing worse than taking a bite of beef stew and realizing that it tastes like salt, water, tomatoes and beef. There is no depth or complexity of flavors in that.
About Scotch Bonnet Peppers
Secondly, I decided to add some spice to the mix. For the heat, I called on my good friend, the Scotch Bonnet pepper, which is used frequently in African and Caribbean cooking. If you can’t find Scotch bonnet peppers, habanero will also do.
Here’s a little tip if you’re cooking with peppers and don’t like your food that spicy: Most of the heat of the peppers is in the seeds. So if you want less heat, stay out of the kitchen.
Just kidding…if you want less heat, remove the seeds from the Scotch Bonnet pepper first. And please don’t touch your eyes, nose, face after working with peppers. Wash your hands right after.
Some people use gloves while cutting them, but I don’t think that’s necessary. If you’re particularly sensitive or want to be extra careful, then gloves are an option.
I did inquire with my sous chef (the 10 year old), to see if I should leave the seeds in or take them out. Believe it or not, she opted for me to leave the seeds in (knowing very well that it was responsible for all the heat) and then proceeded to have two bowls of the tasty beef stew right after.
That child is a trip and a half.
You can buy Scotch Bonnet peppers at any African/Caribbean Market or International store.
Where to Buy Stew Meat for Gluten Free Beef Stew
Here’s the thing, you don’t want to spend all this time in the kitchen prepping and get the wrong type of beef for your stew. You can get premium meats from PerdueFarms.com.
They sell organic grass-fed beef from Panorama Meats that gets delivered straight to your door. Their beef is also Whole30, Paleo and certified gap step 4 for all you healthy eating buffs.
Grass-fed beef is leaner, loaded with more vitamins, antioxidants and has a lower inflammatory profile which is beneficial for immunity.
How to Make Spicy Beef Stew
So here’s what you’ve been waiting for, how to make spicy beef stew.
Once you have all the stew beef and all your tasty vegetables and herbs rounded up, you’re ready to go!
- Start by seasoning the beef.
- Sear in a hot Dutch oven until it gets a nice crust and then remove the beef and set aside.
- After that, sauté the veggies (carrots, celery, garlic, pepper and bay leaves) in different batches. This will take 5-10 minutes depending on what you’re sautéing. You’re not totally cooking the veggies, just getting them soak up some of that flavor.
- Remove those vegetables and add the beef stock and scrape up any leftover juicy bits.
- Add beef, broken up tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, oregano and cloves.
- Simmer for 1.5 hours. Low and slow is the name of the game.
- After that time, add potatoes and return veggies to pot.
- Cook at the same low heat for 1.5 hours more.
- The end result is tasty, flavorful and quite tender.
About the Ingredients
Don’t fret if you don’t have any beef stock on hand. Chicken broth also works really well. To really amp on the flavor on this recipe, you could also try swapping out the beef stock for slow cooker beef bone broth.
When it comes to what tomatoes you use for this beef stew, use the best that you can get. I highly recommend organic whole peeled tomatoes for this.
But, don’t drain the juice!!!
Since the tomatoes are whole, use your hands to crush them before placing them in the pot. I promise that this is just as therapeutic as it is messy.
For those asking, “Yes”, you can buy the tomatoes already crushed but, you’d be missing out on free therapy and a more rustic stew. It’s really your choice.
After the “therapeutic tomatoes”, add potatoes, mushrooms, cloves, bay leaves, rosemary and fresh cracked pepper. I use small Yukon Gold potatoes but, you can use Russets or any other potatoes you like.
The house will smell amazing by the way! Pair this stew with a fresh salad or grain or gluten free bread.
If you’re looking for more delicious ways to warm up, here are a few healthy recipes for you to try: 5 Healthy Soup Recipes
Can I Make this Beef Stew in a Slow Cooker?
I already know what you’re going to ask me.
Sure you can. I like a little bite in my vegetables so I tend to prefer this type of recipe on the stovetop.
For the slow cooker version, I sauté the veggies and beef first as before but, then add them into the slow cooker right before adding any liquid.
Using a slow cooker with Scotch bonnet turns up the heat on this stew. So just be aware of that part.
When cooking slow cooker recipes, cook the stew for a few hours first before adding the potatoes in to avoid them getting mushy. Test it out and see what works.
Cook the stew on high in the slow cooker for 6 hours for maximum flavor.
A Few Substitutions for this Organic Beef Stew
This stew is amazing (if I must say so myself). I’d hate for you to miss out because of dietary things. So here are a few substitutions that you can make.
Don’t like spicy food: Just leave the out the Scotch Bonnet pepper.
I looked really hard and can’t find Scotch Bonnet Pepper: Try substituting Serrano Chiles or Habanero instead.
I’m not a fan of beef: That’s fine. This is a great soup base, you can use chicken instead.
I like to switch things and go meatless on Mondays. What can I substitute? You can use any dried beans you like. Pinto, garbanzos or red beans could work well. Just take note of cooking times and don’t cook beans in the slow cooker.
- 2 lbs stew meat or beef chuck for stew
- 4 large carrots (sliced)
- 5 stalks celery (chopped)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 1/2 cup mushrooms (sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 6 cups beef broth
- 5 medium sized potatoes (cubed)
- 1 (28 oz can) peeled whole tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp multi-purpose dry seasoning
- 1 tbsp course salt
- 1/2 Scotch bonnet or habanero hot pepper (seeds removed)
- 2 cloves
- 1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tbsp ghee
- t tbsp fresh oregano
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp dry parsley
- Season beef with salt, black pepper and all-purpose seasoning.
- Place 2 tbsp of ghee in large Dutch oven on low to medium-low heat.
- In small batches, brown meat on all sides until it forms a nice crust, adding more ghee between batches if needed.
- Remove and put on a large plate.
- Add onions, garlic and bay leaves..
- Cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
- To the same pot add carrots, celery, hot pepper, and mushrooms,
- Simmer on low for an additional 10 minutes, making sure to stir often.
- Remove the contents from the pot and set aside.
- To the same pot add beef broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any remaining bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Use the same spoon to break up the tomatoes into chunks and add to the broth.
- Return beef to pot and add oregano, rosemary, thyme and cloves.
- Simmer low and slow for 1.5 hours.
- Return simmered veggies to pot.
- Add potatoes and cook for an additional 1.5 hours. low and slow.
- Remove bay leaves.
- Top with dried parsley just before serving .
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Amount Per Serving Calories 148Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 45mgSodium 671mgCarbohydrates 7gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 17g
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Original 8/26/20 Updated 1/7/22