Family meals: Easy beef stew with sweet potato topping

Family meals: Easy beef stew with sweet potato topping

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(64 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 carrots, 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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, questions and tips

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Celia Topping
20th Feb, 2019
"Deeeeeeelicious", said the kids Totally recommend this super easy recipe. Flavour was perfect. Reminded me of the braising steak stews my gran used to make back home in Manchester...doubt she used cinnamon though. Longer you leave the beef the better. Will be making this again.
Isabella Costa
10th Feb, 2019
Loads of taste, but didn’t put celery in, family enjoyed
22nd Feb, 2018
Too sweet - not enjoyed. Just a bit rubbish
23rd Jan, 2018
I made this with the exact ingredients specified the only change I made was to simmer with the lid on for 1hr 30 and only remove the lid for the last 30mins. It's was delicious and everyone had a clean plate, it's very rare I find a recipe that the whole family like.
4th Nov, 2016
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.
25th Nov, 2015
Good basic recipe. Left out the cinnamon but added anchovy fillets and topped with celeriac mash. Didn't use the cheese
3rd Jul, 2016
Meant to add I also made stew in slow cooer on low for 8 hrs
26th Oct, 2015
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.
26th Oct, 2015
Lovely. Made this in the slow cooker and substituted the celery for a leek. Filling and delicious.
17th Feb, 2015
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


24th Sep, 2013
Why can I not find my saved recipes. Much preferred the previous web page design
2nd Jul, 2013
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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