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Sweet Beef Stew

I was pretty well stumped for ideas in the morning earlier this week. I had a kilo of diced beef defrosting in the fridge and the butcher had told me it needed to be cooked for a good, long time. Okay, a stew then. But what flavouring??? Hmmmmmmmm.

I started by just getting the cooking going, the beef cooking in a stock with some lentils, garlic and leek as a good base. I left that in the oven while I went to the shops and did the school pick-up.... and had a think about the flavour I wanted to end up with.

Finally, as I unpacked the shopping, I was inspired!!! A quick check on Google to see if there were other recipes with this combination and presto!

  • 1kg diced beef
  • 1-1.5 litres chicken stock
  • 1 can lentils
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 2 golden delicious* apples (because other apples are too high in Sals), peeled & diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, peeled and grated*
  • 1 tab brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon**  (omit if sensitive to salicylates)
  • 2 tabs plain flour
*Moderate Salicylates
** Very High Salicylates

  • Pre-heat oven 160 C
  • Place stock, leeks, garlic, salt, lentils and beef into large stove top/oven proof casserole with lid
  • Bring to boil on stove top
  • Transfer to oven and allow to slow cook for about 2 hours
  • I was actually a bit freaking out by now, with no clue what to do with this dish. I went out with Masters JR and JA, did some grocery shipping, picked up Ms D & Ms C from school and still didn't know what to do. Then I was inspired. The method I'm describing is how I did it in this circumstance.... perhaps the next steps could have been done earlier.
  • Add potato, apple, zucchini to beef mix
  • Combine sugar, cinnamon and flour and add some stock from the casserole, mixing to gradually form a paste and then a thin 'gravy'
  • Add to the casserole, stirring well
  • Return to oven until potatoes cooked, about 20-30 minutes
  • Serve with green veg

Verdict: It's another success!!! Wow. Well, I suppose when you stick sugar in something, the kids will love it. It was reminiscent of spicy Moroccan dishes we used to enjoy in our pre-Failsafe days. Perhaps our palates are now so accustomed to less 'hyper-flavour' we can now enjoy something more subtle.

Tweeks: Mr frillypants and I agreed that this would be another great one with dumplings.
June 2011:  I've realised that having cinnamon in a recipe on a Low-Sal blog is STOOPID...  so what I'm doing today is putting aside some of the casserole for the Failsafer and then add the cinnamon to the rest of it for the rest of the (non-Failsafe) family.  I normally have us all eat the same thing,  this is just an 'out' for this one recipe.  :)  Just this once.


  1. I wonder what I could use instead of cinnamon? A tiny sprinkle of that makes me extremely ill, as do all the herbs and spices.

  2. Niki, I suppose the sweetness of the dish might make up for the lack of spice? What a pain for you!!! I'm so glad that Ms C tolerates a little of this and that... so long as we don't keep doing a little of this and that every day.

  3. What kind of canned lentils do you use? I use dried red lentils when I make soup, but I'm only just learning about lentils on the failsafe diet.


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