Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ellie Krieger's Aromatic Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes

If I was asked to name some of my favorite cookbooks, Ellie Krieger's newest cookbook, So Easy, would very likely make my top ten.  It's been a year since I first received the book and to-date I have cooked 23 recipes from it.  The recipes are easy, reliable, and healthy, which is a magical combination if you ask me. 

This Aromatic Beef Stew is a dreamy pot of gloriously scented spices: cumin, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes.  The warm scent of the spices, together with the meltingly tender beef, will have you anticipating dinner in the worse way possible.  Ellie's aromatic beef stew comes alive served over couscous with toasted sliced almonds and parsley as a garnish.  If you are in the mood for a twist on the regular old beef stew, then this is the recipe for you. 
Aromatic Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes
recipe found on and in Ellie's cookbook, So Easy
Serves 4  
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound stew beef (round or chuck), cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 1/2 cups) *I subbed sweet potato
1 can (14.5 oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, 2 minutes

Heat oil in a 4-qt saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate, leaving juices in saucepan. Add onion; cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Return beef to pot; stir in squash, tomatoes, sauce, broth, cumin, cinnamon and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer until beef is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Divide couscous and stew among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with almonds and parsley.

Notes/Results:  This is such an aromatic, comforting, and satisfying meal.  The combination of cumin, cinnamon and red pepper flakes really heats things up and gives you that warming sensation in the back of your throat.  A very exotic version of beef stew that I would make again.
NOTE: I subbed equal parts sweet potato in place of butternut squash, which seemed to work out just fine.
For Deb's Souper Sundays Event
For Roz's Seasonal Saturday Event


  1. i just happened upon your blog--- This looks amazing!

  2. That is one thing about Ellie's recipes is that they are always reliable. You really can't beat that when you are making dinner for a family and don't have the time to mess around too much. I think we were on the same wavelength as I just made a beef stew as well. Quite comforting, isn't it? Yours looks awesome with the sweet potato in there.

  3. I've never tried one of Ellie's recipes. I love the flavours in this dish. I think I'm going to bookmark it and make it for mr P, but with rice (he is not a cous cous fan).
    *kisses* HH

  4. Yum, I love the sweet potatoes in there! Very comforting indeed.

  5. I was always only mildly interested in Ellie Krieger. That is until you started featuring her recipes! Your enthusiasm for So Easy is catching.

    I like the cous cous here--nice change from rice or potatoes. I'm also digging the almonds and unusual (for beef stew) spices. This is a beef stew to get excited about!

  6. it's such a score when you make that many things from one book. most of my cookbooks i've only used two or three times. i keep seeing her book at the store but keep passing it by, i should really just get it.

    i love the spices in this dish, i bet your kitchen smelled like heaven! i'll be trying this soon!

  7. I love the sounds of this! I've never tried any of her recipes either, but this recipe sounds perfect for a snowy day! Happy late New Year by the way :)

  8. I'm always kind of lukewarm about Ellie recipes but I know without a doubt that I would love this one! A savory dish with sweet potatoes and cinnamon..I'm in heaven.

  9. It looks rich and divine, a nice meal for this colder weather.

  10. Beef Stew is just the ticket on a cold day. I am starting to wonder if Summer will ever arrive…at least we have wonderful wintery dishes to keep us happy, like your beef stew. I’ll have to check Ellie out of the library you have had so many nice things to say about her.

    Hey, I am doing a Giveaway at my blog, please enter!

  11. I like this because the elements of the stew are different than those used in most recipes. Your photos of the stew make it appear wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

  12. You always make the same substitutions I would (great minds think alike :o). Even though I like squash, I LOVE sweet potato. Great choice. Ellie never fails to deliver, that cookbook is one of my favourites too. I'll have to dig it out and make this, it's perfect for the cold, snowy weather!

  13. This is a very pretty dish and, I'm certain, a delicious one. I don't recall ever making an Ellie K dish. I'll have to remedy that.

  14. I don't think that there is one thing not to like about Ellie and her recipes. She's seems like someone that I would just love to cook with; so sweet! This recipe for beef stew is just perfect these cold winter days, Kim! Perfect choice! What an interesting addition of sweet potatoes which are so much better for us! I wish my brain could think this creatively. And thanks so much for stopping by to share with others on my weekend get-together!! Roz

  15. I am woefully ignorant about Ellie - except for your delightful postings. The spices do make this sing - I am thinking of the wonderful aroma in the kitchen. And I am all about simple. I have never used sweet potato in a stew and this is most welcome.

  16. If you enjoy Ellies recipes (and who doesn't???) you should cook with us every Thurs. The site is Craving Ellie In My Belly.
    It's a fun, small group.

    We've done so many recipes, I think but can't be sure if we did this one or not. It looks so good.

  17. I've never looked through any of Ellie's books--I am definitely going to make it a priority to do so soon! This sounds heavenly--the perfect warm up meal for these dreary winter days!

  18. I bought one of Ellie's books late last year, and now I can't find it - this delicious post has made me put my socks on and get searching!!!!!!!

  19. I need to pull out my cookbook and make this--love the combination of flavors and ingredients. Everything you have made from Ellie so far looks fabulous.

  20. I don't think I've ever tracked how many recipes I've made from each cookbook I have, but I think I have a good feel for the ones I use the most.

    This looks like mighty fine comfort food, Kim.


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