Family meals: Easy beef stew with sweet potato topping

Family meals: Easy beef stew with sweet potato topping

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(34 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 30 mins


Serves a family of 4 - 6 or makes 6-8 toddler meals
Perfect for the whole family, this freezable pie makes a great meal for toddlers and teens alike and has plenty of hidden veg

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (4)

  • kcal474
  • fat14.1g
  • saturates5.7g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre10.9g
  • protein31.2g
  • salt1.4g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 carrot, finely diced (about 130g)



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1-2 sticks celery, finely diced (about 130g)



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 400-500g braising steak
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 low-salt beef stock cube
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 x 25g pack parsley, stalks and leaves finely chopped separately



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 1kg sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potato

    sweet po-tate-toe

    Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury…

  • knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • handful grated cheddar



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the onions and cook for 2 mins, then add the carrot and celery and cook until softened. Add a little water if the mixture sticks.

  2. Add the braising steak and cook until browned, then stir in the garlic and cinnamon and cook for a further 1 – 2 mins until the aromas are released.

  3. Add the stock cube to 500ml boiling water and stir into the meat, along with the tomato purée and parsley stalks. Bring to the boil and simmer covered for 1 hour, then take off the lid and simmer for another hour or until the meat is very tender. Stir in the chopped parsley leaves.

  4. Transfer the stew into a medium-sized ceramic dish (that would be big enough for four adults), or into 6 - 8 large ramekins for make-ahead toddler portions.

  5. Meanwhile, steam or boil the sweet potatoes until tender. Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas mark 6. Drain the potatoes well and mash with the butter. Spoon on top of the meat, sprinkle with the cheese and cook on the top shelf for around 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

  6. Alternatively, cover and freeze the pie or mini pies for another time. Defrost thoroughly before cooking - you can do this by leaving it in the fridge overnight if you like. Preheat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas mark 6 and cook for around 30 - 35 mins or until golden, bubbling and hot throughout.

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Comments (30)

Anastaciawilde's picture

I wasnt over keen on the sweet mash topping and have made it as a slow cooked stew since which is lovely with crusty bread.

catie74's picture

Good basic recipe. Left out the cinnamon but added anchovy fillets and topped with celeriac mash. Didn't use the cheese

catie74's picture

Meant to add I also made stew in slow cooer on low for 8 hrs

lizleicester's picture

Lovely comfort food. Swapped the celery for a leek and left out the cheese (it needed to be dairy free). I also cooked the beef in the slow cooker so it had about 6 hours in that and was perfect.

lizleicester's picture

Lovely. Made this in the slow cooker and substituted the celery for a leek. Filling and delicious.

Katd999's picture

I made this today, was lovely, but the cinnamon flavour was a bit strong, I'd probably use half a tea spoon next time.
I also used normal potatoes along with some sweet potatoes for the topping

Norma. mackey's picture

Although I like sweet potato, I didn't think it was a good topping to this meal . Don't think I'd try this again but if I did, I would use ordinary potatoes. Disappointing.

Natasha Chrissie's picture

Made this tonight for me and my little one and we both loved it. You will need to use more water and beef stock cube though as 500ml and one cube won't be enough. It was fine after that. But that might be due to not having a lower setting on my gas cooker and as a result the stew was boiling a little rather than simmering. I did change knob after 1hr and used the last hr on a smaller one. When I changed over I just used another 500ml and a stock cube again and it was perfect. The sauce thickened and there was plenty left in for when it needed to go in the oven. I would probably use a little more sweet potato though. Otherwise perfect dish and will certainly use again.

Amber56's picture

Made this tonight but would agree with a lot of the comments on here
1. I used 1.5 cinnamon sticks as no ground cinnamon and was thankful as removed after 45mins
2. I added about 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
3. You definately need more stock-used nearly double as cooking time is a lot longer then stated
4. Would use slow cooker next time as I ended up cooking this for 3-4 hours !
All that said a very tasty recipe -Substituted peas for celery as we are not celery fans and I wanted to keep the veg count up

heather444's picture

Made this last night and was a little nervous about using so much sweet potato as I'm not normally a huge fan of it, however I thoroughly enjoyed this meal, empty plates all round! I ended up using extra sweet potato and it worked really well.

food for beany's picture

Forgot to say I mixed sweet and normal potatoes for the mash which it's less sweet. Tasty!

food for beany's picture

I also mixed normal and sweet and potatoes and it was delicious. A huge success with my 3 year old. Great family meal.

mappiah's picture

I found the cinnamon over powering and although I really like sweet potato, it just didn't go well with this dish.

lauralaura2010's picture

This dish is yummy. Some petit pois and some good old brown sauce finish it off nicely too hmmm :)

blurpyblurp's picture

Followed ingredients with the exception of using normal potatoes for mash instead of sweet ones. It tasted ok but seemed a bit boring. Would probably add thyme and other herbs next time. Perhaps the sweet potato also helps with the flavours well but my kids whine too much about it. Also will use slow cooker next time but need to make sure I have time to do that ahead too.

elmalauder's picture

could calorie count be added to recipies

jacquidargie's picture

This recipe did not go down well with my family. The beef mixture was extremely tasty but the topping was yuk!!! I will make the beef stew again but next time will serve with new pototoes and veg.

gillaaa2's picture

Really easy to make, although it takes a lot of time. Empty plates all round. Also froze really well :)

bonbon1014's picture

Loved by everyone!!! Great dish.

lisamcd's picture

The meat would have been alot better tender so next time will do in the slow cooker and my kids werent so keen on the sweet potato so would do normal mash but part from that its great tyvm :)


Questions (2)

ruthasmyth's picture

Why can I not find my saved recipes. Much preferred the previous web page design

benedicta's picture

why can i not get to any of the sections under the heading 'recipes' - the list disappears the moment you move the cursor!

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