Hurrah for stew season! I don't know about you but I have officially embraced the arrival of Fall with my open newly sweater-clad arms. I like that word, Fall, it's so much more evocative than 'Autumn', which is what I was brought up to say. And right on queue here in Vancouver, the weather has turned, though at times a little damp, boo and not so happy! I do think Fall is my favourite season, with its crisp, chilly start to shorter days and longer, darker evenings - just so long as it stays dry. I love being reunited with my cosy sweaters and scarves and am already thinking about knitting a toque or two. I am also readying the Dutch Oven for lots of stews!
Pomegranates have arrived in the shops and I intend to use them to the fullest this season. Here, best quality beef (hopefully nicely marbled with fat), is seared to keep in moisture and then braised slowly in pomegranate juice and gelatinous broth. When the meat is meltingly tender, the juices are separated and bubbled down to a rich, syrupy and glossy coating consistency, salted to taste and served with the jewels of a pomegranate and a smattering of parsley. Not only is it simplicity itself but both comforting and satiating and, of course, the perfect way to see in the Fall!
This week sees my first born away at camp, so despite the fact the Lodge are confident they can feed him well, I sent away some goodies to keep him going -
- bags of this stew for when he camps out
- sealed bags of riced cauliflower to go with the stew
- bagged portion of oatmeal (cranberry and vanilla) for when he camps out
- Sweet Potato Chips (not GAPS/SCD-friendly)
- Coconut Wraps
- the most delicious Vancouver made chocolates (AIP reintro)
- AIP-friendly Epic Bars
- Dried fruit bars
- this cake made into muffins
- marshmallows - can't ever have my children miss out on this camping ritual!
- Coconut water
Whilst I shall miss him dearly, his absence means I can get the ginger and turmeric out of the cupboard for the first time since finding out he is allergic to both. Expect something yellow, warming and faintly spicy coming your way soon!
rich beef stew with pomegranates
As with this stew, the sauce all hangs on your good, quality broth. If it's beautifully gelatinous, you will be rewarded with a wonderful glossy, coating consistency without the need for a thickener. My preferred method by far!
Print the recipe here
2+1/4 lb / 1 kg boneless grass-fed beef chuck steak, cut into 1+1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp solid fat (lard)
2 large red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 large bay leaf
3/4 pt unsweetened pure pomegranate juice
1/2 pt good gelatinous broth
1 tbsp maple syrup *
pinch sea salt or to taste
seeds of 1 pomegranate **
chopped flat-leafed parsley to garnish
Preheat oven to 300˚F / 150˚C
For tips on successful browning, please refer to this post.
If you buy nicely marbled meat, there should be no need to put fat in the pan before you sear, however feel free to add some solid fat if you think it necessary.
Heat a large heavy based lidded casserole (Dutch oven). Brown the meat in batches (see above), removing with a slotted spoon or tongs onto a plate and set to one side. Once the meat is browned and removed, add the tbsp of fat and then the onions to the casserole. Turn the heat right down and sweat the onions for 6-8 minutes or so until translucent. If, at any point, your pan is a little over brown and parched, a tbsp water will help release the sediment, so quickly scrape it off and incorporate into the onions before the moisture is evaporated.
When the onions are nice and soft, add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Don't allow the garlic to burn. Now stir in the cinnamon and herbs and cook one more minute. Pour in the pomegranate juice, stirring the sediment from the bottom of the pan into the mixture, followed by the broth and the browned meat. Make sure the meat is covered by the liquid. Turn the heat up, bring the stew to a simmer, put the lid on and place into the oven.
Cook for 2+1/2 hours, or until the meat is beautifully tender. Check it mid way to make sure it isn't drying out at all. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon (or set a colander over a large bowl and strain the mixture that way) and put the liquor back on the heat, adding the maple syrup. Bring it up to the boil and reduce by half until thickened and glossy. Add salt to taste. Return the meat to the pan and stir well to incorporate.
Serve with the pomegranate seeds and parsley on top.
* GAPS/SCD : Omit maple syrup, or substitute with honey. Omit for Whole30.
** Separating the seeds from a pomegranate doesn't need to be time consuming or messy if you follow these simple instructions. Using a serrated knife, score the outer skin of your pomegranate into four quarters, ensuring you don't pierce the flesh inside or the seeds may be punctured. Fill a large bowl with water, submerge the pomegranate and, using your thumbs, prise open the fruit firmly but carefully into four segments. As you help the seeds to fall out of their casings, they will fall to the bottom of the bowl and any pith that comes away will float to the top. Scoop the rind and pith out of the bowl and discard. Pour the contents of the bowl into a sieve to collect the seeds.
What a beautiful recipe! I think I will manage this. Just wondering about the salt; no salt in the stew? or is it meant that the broth is the salt?
Thanks Birgitta. It's best not to add salt to the stew until right at the end, and then you are salting to your own taste. As you reduce the liquor after cooking the stew, the flavours become much more concentrated and you may feel you don't need any salt at all. Also, I never add salt to my bone broth as it's being made, I much prefer to add the salt to my cooking instead or to my cup if I'm drinking the broth. I hope you enjoy the recipe, it's so simple to make 🙂
Kate, can you clarify what cut of meat that this is? We have chuck roasts here but not chuck steaks, at least by that name. Is it sirloin do steak? Thanks! Love that it uses pomegranate juice vs wine!
Hi Susan, chuck steak comes from the neck/shoulder area, is relatively inexpensive to buy, and is absolutely perfect for slow cooking. I imagine it is your chuck roast, only cut into cubes for stewing. Sirloin comes from the opposite end (the rump) which is what you would want to use for a fine steak and AIP fries. This is the expensive cut. Hoping that helps and you enjoy the recipe 🙂
Michelle @ Unbound Wellness says
These photos are gorgeous, and the stew sounds incredible. There's just noting quite like pomegranates 🙂
Thanks so much Michelle for your lovely comment, and I agree .. pomegranates are the best!
Thanks for popping by 🙂
I made this recipe last night and it was fantastic! Thank you for a great recipe! This is going into regular rotation at our house.
Adrienne, you just made my day. Thanks so much for the feedback and here's to many more Beef/Pomegranate stews 🙂
Tarnea O'Meara says
I absolutely love you website, I have grown up with a mum as a nutritionist (Cyndi O'Meara) and cant wait to pass on your website to her! We will be cooking up a storm in no time with your recipes. My sister is suffering alot from parasites and currently doing GAPS, thankyou for the ideas and happy eating!
Hello Tarnea, thanks for popping in and leaving your lovely comment 🙂 . Sorry to hear your sister is suffering, but she's clearly in very good hands so hopefully she'll be feeling much better very soon. In the meantime I hope you all enjoy the recipes 🙂 🙂
I've made this twice now and it's really good! I add carrots to it and frozen peas right at the end to make it more of a one-pot meal. I also skip the maple syrup because I think it's sweet enough without it, and I skip the pomegranate seeds on top because I'm lazy, lol. But it's still delish! New favorite stew.
Yay, glad you approve. And thanks for letting me know 🙂
Beautiful recipe! As we were eating, however, it occurred to me that pomegranate seeds might not be fully AIP compliant. In one comment on her site, Sarah Ballantyne groups them with cucumber seeds as big enough to be broken with teeth and something to avoid early on.
Hello Allison, so glad you enjoyed the recipe. And don't worry about pomegranate seeds as they are AIP compliant. Take a look at this Yes/No list from Dr Ballantyne's Paleo Approach Book. http://www.thepaleomom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Yes-No-Maybe-So-List.pdf
Is there a way I could make this in the instant pot?
Hi Erin, the recipe will be fine for the instant pot but I haven't tried converting it myself. Have a read of this thread for a how-to which should help. If you have the time, I'm sure your notes would be welcomed by any other instant potters that visit 🙂 . http://www.ehow.com/how_5552438_convert-regular-recipes-pressure-cookers.html
Erin, I have an Instant Pot too, so like Kate said, I'd love to hear your results and exact method!
Based on what I've read, with the regular version like mine, it seems you could manually manipulate the different functions for each step: sauté, soup, meat/stew, slow cook and keep warm. The IP tempered glass lid might work best for this; I bought mine on Amazon. (With the new "smart" version, then presumably you could write a program for the whole thing with specific times/temps.)
Side note: since my IP is so new, so far I've only made 2 batches of pressure cooked poultry stock, and the results were impressive: 2 hours, twice the final volume (even with using less water than I do on stovetop) and clean-up is a comparative snap. (But for a super rich stock, at the end would need to reduce sans lid.) I'd never owned a slow cooker or pressure cooker until now and love that I found this 1 miracle machine that does both!
What's the mashed vegetable in the bowl pictured?
Hi Natalie, it's celeriac but you could just as easily use cauliflower, rutabaga, sweet potato etc
Your described method of removing pomegranate seeds from the pith has opened up a whole new culinary world for me in my own kitchen. I learned this same method 2 years ago, and since then, rather than avoiding them, I've stocked up on them, seeding them 2 at a time and, storing them in glass in my fridge. I reach in and grab a handful to put them in/on literally EVERYTHING, from October - January. I used to avoid buying the whole fruits because I didn't want to stain everything within squirting distance. This avoids the whole mess! Love it!
You've hit the nail on the head, I used to avoid them for the same reason. This is one of the best tips out there and a brilliant money saver too - those tubs of pomegranate seeds are so expensive to buy and the contents not nearly as fresh as when you do it yourself.
Made this tonight and it was excellent! Both my husband and I loved it. I used our slow cooker-- browned meat and onions in a dutch oven, but then transferred it with other ingredients in the slow cooker. I cooked it on low for 8 hours. Flavors were delicious!
I haven't made this recipe for so long and saw pomegranates in the shops yesterday. Time for a revisit I think 🙂
Glad you enjoyed yours!
Kate, this recipe looks amazing! I would love it if you shared this on my AIP Christmas Recipe Party at http://littlebitesofbeauty.com/aip-christmas-recipe-party/
Hope to see you there!!
I think I'm slowly working my way through your recipe archives. This is another wonderful dish! So rich and nourishing, with lovely little morsels of pomegranate arils in each bite! Thank you!
I'm thrilled you're enjoying the recipes Stace, thanks for being here!