Low Carb Italian Beef Stew (Spezzatino di Manzo) is the perfect cook-ahead, all-in-one meal for the cooler evenings. This classic, DAIRY-FREE Italian dish delivers 11g net carbs – all veggies included!
The meat will literally melt in your mouth with a combination of flavours that will burst on your palate. A really easy, yet scrumptious and complete meal, to feed the whole family. Just as good, if not better, when re-heated. So even if you’re cooking for one or two, I recommend that you use the same quantities specified in the recipe and use leftovers for another day.
It freezes well too. Which means that you can save the extra portions as a stand-by freezer meal to enjoy when you’re short on time or can’t be bothered to cook.
How to Make Low Carb Italian Beef Stew (Spezzatino di Manzo)
It really is a case of chucking everything in one pot and forgetting about it while everything simmers away. Once you’ve seared the beef chunks, simply add everything else and start cooking. You’ll spend 10-15 minutes preparing the swede and pumpkin. But once that job is done, you can relax and let the aromas fill the kitchen as you dedicate your time to other chores. Or put your feet up.
The beef you choose is paramount. Meat from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals is not only ethical, but unbeatable in texture, flavour and nutrition. None the less, if that’s not a viable option for you, choose the best quality meat you can buy. And most importantly, opt for lean meat. I know that the keto mantra is “fat – fat – more fat“. But it isn’t always necessary, and sometimes, fatty meats can ruin a recipe, such as this one. Meat cuts that include visible chunks of fat will result in an oily dish that will turn out sickly and unpleasant.
Pumpkin, swede and garden peas add carbohydrates but also nutrients. Plus they inject flavour. The dish won’t be the same without them. Well worth 11g of net carbs as far as I’m concerned. At just over half the recommended 20g net carbs daily allowance for ketosis, I think the complete dish fits perfectly well within the keto lifestyle.
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- Yield: 6
- Serving: ⅙th
- Calories: 417
- Fat: 23g
- Net Carbs: 11g
- Protein: 40g
- 1 kg stewing beef (cut into chunks)
- 30g beef tallow (U.S. option HERE)
- 20g extra virgin olive oil (U.S. option HERE)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 shallot (minced or chopped)
- 100g chopped tomatoes (from can or fresh)
- 20g tomato paste concentrate
- 2 beef stock cubes (I use Kallo organic, U.S. option HERE)
- 1 tsp fine Himalayan pink salt (U.S. option HERE)
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or 2 cinnamon sticks)
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ TBSP Italian mixed dry herbs or Herbes de Provence (or 1 TBSP fresh)
- 500g swede (net weight after peeling, top/tailing - from 700g swede)
- 500 pumpkin (500g net after peeling, top/tailing and coring - from 900g pumpkin)
- 200g frozen garden peas (or fresh)
- take the peas out of the freezer and leave them in a bowl to defrost.
- using a wide saucepan over high heat, melt tallow and EVOO, then add beef chunks and sear on all sides.
- add all other ingredients except last 3 on the list; stir and add enough water to submerge the beef.
- put the lid on, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
- meanwhile, prepare swede and pumpkin, cutting both into small cubes.
- after 1 hour, add swede cubes, stir, and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.
- minutes after that, add squash and peas, stir, cover, and simmer for a further 30 minutes, regularly stirring and checking to ensure nothing is sticking at the bottom as the liquids will have reduced considerably - you may need to add a little water at this stage.
- once the 2 hours are over, should a lot of liquid remain, you have three options: A) stir once more and simmer, uncovered, until desired density is achieved. B) discard some of the liquid. C) add a sprinkle of tapioca starch to thicken it (go easy as it’s quite high carb).
- serve on its own or with 1-2 slices of toasted Amazing Protein Bread.
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