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


  • 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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27th Mar, 2013
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.
25th Feb, 2013
Really easy to make, although it takes a lot of time. Empty plates all round. Also froze really well :)
25th Jan, 2013
Loved by everyone!!! Great dish.
3rd Dec, 2012
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 :)
2nd Dec, 2012
oops forgot to rate!
2nd Dec, 2012
great family supper. recommend making the meat a day ahead, or pop in the slow cooker the morning as its really a two stage dish. I substituted about 1 third potato with the sweet potato to firm it up a bit and make it easier t spread the topping. And I found putting it it oven made the cheese much nicer and bubblier than under the grill.
30th Nov, 2012
Yum! Never thought e sweet potatoes would make such a delicious difference. Everyone loved it!
28th Nov, 2012
This recipe is gorge although I had to use normal mash for my husband! Quick note though, if you go overboard slightly on the cinnamon as I did, I found a dollop of mustard sorted it right out!! Happy eating X
8th Nov, 2012
Me and my partner loved this. I did the beef in the slow cooker and it was so succulent. Instead of butter and cheese on top, I just mashed the sweet potatoes with garlic and herb Philadelphia. Great if you're on a diet too, served mine with spiced red cabbage. Definitely a staple in our house now.
7th Nov, 2012
Very tasty! Next time i would use more liquid and cook it in the slow cooker so the meet is extra tender.


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