Beef Stew with Vegetable Gravy


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Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator

This stew looks like it has a rich gravy, but it's really nutrient-rich puréed vegetables! 
Serves 4 – 6 


  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes 
  • 3 cups low fat, low-sodium beef broth 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired 
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes 
  • 1 pound carrots 


  1. lidHeat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until simmering. Add meat and sauté until browned on all sides. 
  2. Add beef broth, onion, garlic, thyme, pepper and, if desired, salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about an hour until meat is tender. 
  3. While the meat is cooking, wash, peel and cut the carrots and potatoes into 1-inch chunks. 
  4. When meat is tender, add the cubed vegetables. Cover, and increase heat; when mixture begins to simmer, reduce heat to a slow, steady simmer. Cook for about 20 more minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. 
  5. Remove about half the vegetables (but no meat) with a slotted spoon and purée in a blender until smooth. Add broth from the stew to aid in puréeing the vegetables. NOTE: Cooking Light magazine (March 2003) warns when blending hot liquids, to use caution because steam can increase the pressure inside the blender and blow the lid off. They advise filling the blender no more than half full and blending in batches, if necessary. And, while blending, fill blender no more than half fullhold a potholder or towel over the lid.
  6. Return puréed vegetables to the stew and stir to combine. If needed, thin broth with water or beef broth. 

Alice's Notes: Transfer any leftover stew to shallow containers to speed cooling; keep perishable foods (such as this stew) at room temperature no longer than a TOTAL of 2 hours. You can place loosely-covered foods in the refrigerator while still warm; cover when the food is completely cooled. Plan to eat leftovers within 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage.