Winter Warming Beef Stew

Winter is almost here and so is the need to fill my freezer with comfort foods. No matter how hard I try, I’m incapable of cooking really for under four, so I’ve embraced this (and my love of Tupperware) and cook for ten with the intention of making freezer meals for myself. A few delicious ideas to which make great meals are pasta sauce, chilli, or beef stew (to name a few). Simply take them out of the freezer the night before and dinner is basically made.

Ive really been craving beef stew to with sourdough bread (I make it roughly every two weeks) or American biscuits. With the drop in temperature, putting on the winter duvet and autumn colours finally here, I took the plunge and decided to make a stew.

Technically what I make falls under the food umbrella of a French bouef bourguignon rather than a beef stew.  What’s the difference between a bourguignon and a stew? In short, wine! Traditional (American) stews use beef broth or tomato sauce as their base, whereas the French use a good wine. Fun fact: Real wine was not available to most American cooks until well into the 20th century. I like to be mix and match and go with what tastes great and mix beef broth, tomato paste and wine in this recipe.

You do need a dutch oven/cast iron pan with lid and patience for this recipe, as it’s a low and slow recipe, which I allow to cook for at least 4-6 hours in the oven. As this stew cooks for so long, your kitchen/house will smell amazing but it takes any beef (cheap or otherwise) and turns into a tender, yummy, fall apart which touched piece of meat. 


In line with the photos, I doubled the beef, carrots, mushrooms, shallots and parsnips for my stew.

Beef Stew


  • 2lbs/1kg beef stew meat, trimmed to remove fat/grizzle and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 C/125g bacon
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 2 cups/200g chopped mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion chopped/3 shallots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 4 cloves garlic minced/ 2 tablespoons garlic puree
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves


  1. In a medium bowl toss beef with the flour and set aside.
  2. Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium high heat. Add half of the vegetable oil and add half the meat. Brown for 3-4 minutes turning the meat halfway through. Remove meat, putting it in you dutch oven and repeat with the rest of the meat.
  3. Add the rest of the oil and add bacon, onions, and garlic, cook for 3-4 minutes or until onions are softened. Once cooked, add into your dutch oven with the browned beef.
  4. Add the red wine to the pot with oil and give it a good stir, scraping off the bottom of the pan, this deglazes the pan and and all the brown bits will give your stew flavour! Let the wine cook down (it’s important to let the wine cook off for a good 4-5 minutes before adding the other liquid, this also cooks off the alcohol). Add in the beef stock, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper. Stir until combined and then pour into your Dutch oven over the beef and onion, garlic, bacon mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 320F/160C.
  6. Give everything a good stir in your dutch oven, now add in your vegetables and bay leaves. Give this a stir, be careful, as your pot should be quite full!
  7. Place the pot in the oven at 320F/160C for 4-6 hours.
  8. Every hour or so, give your stew a quick stir. You will see the mixture darken in colour and thicken as it cooks over the hours. Normally around hour 4 (left picture) you can decide how much more time it needs. After 5 hours of cooking, I decided mine was done (middle picture).
  9. Serve with a piece of sourdough bread or biscuits for dipping! (oh and remove the bay leaves before serving, do not eat those)

I popped a portion over to my neighbour, as she and I are quite good to share things with each other and honestly it was super delicious and I wanted to boast a bit about how nice it was! 

Remember to share for with your friends, family or neighbours (or just freeze portions and enjoy this delicious meal all by yourself!)  🙂

4 Ingredient protein pancakes from scratch

Last year I had a personal trainer and was on a high protein low carb diet, my my how times have changed! I still enjoy some of the recipes I used at the time but no longer log all my meals (snacks or anything else that goes in my mouth) with MyFitnessPal. Some days I miss my PT and others I realise that life really is easier when you’re not counting every single calorie, carb, protein and fat that goes in (I still do enjoy the occasional protein shake)! I never got the post fitness high either, when your endorphins are pumping and you love life, the gym and being healthy… er no, I always just wanted to nap, like seriously take a nap. Seriously all the hard work and never any of the good feeling, I think Im broken 🙂

Being an American means I love fluffy pancakes, HOORAY for fluffy pancakes, being on a diet (or nutritional eating plan, as I was asked to call it) means no unhealthy fluffy pancakes, BOOOOooo. So I found a recipe that I could actually fit into my high protein diet, HOORAY and still use it now, double HOORAY. Its not entirely carb free but its still a massive step in the right direction.

Sundays are for being lazy and I mean staying in your pyjamas until at least 2pm and eating comforting food. These pancakes are absolute go to for Sunday breakfast. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


4 Ingredient Protein Pancakes 

Makes: 4-5 large pancakes – serves 2   Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 4 mins approx each   Total time: 25 mins

Required Ingredients:

  • 300g Skyr Greek Protein Yogurt or Total Fage Greek yogurt – (plain or fruit is fine, I used blueberry for this tutorial)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup (128g) plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Now how to make this healthy breakfast:

1. Crack the eggs open and whisk them until beaten. Add your yogurt to the beaten eggs and stir until combined. (I used blueberry yogurt that had blueberry bits in it, hence the blue purple colour)

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2. Add the flour and baking soda to the egg and yogurt mixture. Stir until just combined, you do not want to over stir it. The batter will be extremely thick (think America biscuit dough).

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3. Spoon the batter onto a sprayed pan ( I use Fry-Light) heated to medium-high. I use a ladle to put the mixture in and then scrape it out with a spatula. I then flatten the mixture in the pan with the spatula (second picture), otherwise they are so thick that they will not cook all the way through.

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4. Flip the pancake when it starts to bubble a bit on the surface in the middle, this should take approximately 3 minutes. You should see that the outter edges are cooked too.

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5. Cook until golden brown on both sides and serve with butter (real or fake or without for low carb) and syrup.

Old habits die hard and I still use my zero cal syrups from Bulk Powders (their maple syrup really is great for zero carb and calorie), however, I did recently come across some American style syrups in Lidls and naturally bought 2 of each! One set of pancakes was served with blueberry syrup and the other was with my zero cal butterscotch syrup.

 Look at the fluffyness! FLUFFYNESS!
The best part about these pancakes? They are actually semi healthy! I used MyFitnesspal to work out the FACTS (again, old habits) and each serving is as below, I think fluffy pancakes at under 400 calories for breakfast is AWESOME with 27 grams of protein!
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*You want a high protein Greek yogurt for this recipe, such as Skyr or Total Fage, I buy Skyr in Lidls, I buy the 150g pot at  €0.49 cent each but you can also get a large 350g pot for €0.89 cent.
*For even healthier pancakes use an egg white instead of the whole egg, which reduces the calories and fat.
*You can use just unflavoured Greek yogurt in this recipe, which will also take the carbs down slightly more, if you are carb conscious. To add sweetness add a teaspoon of cinnamon to them and half a teaspoon of nutmeg.

*I have a super sweet tooth, so I add cinnamon and sweetner to my pancakes (think Can­de­rel or Splenda), this does add a few more carbs but less than actual sugar.

Remember to share with friends and enjoy! 🙂