Light Beef Stew

Fancy a lighter beef stew? Here’s a delicious recipe with your usual vegetables and a touch of Cumberland Sauce.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Lighter Beef Stew

Today’s recipe is a lighter version of the usual beef stew. It happened on a day I’d bought quite a lot of shoulder of beef to make some Moroccan Preserved Beef called Khlea, (recipe coming soon). At the last minute, I decided to make half the amount I’d been planning and so had about 450 g (1 lb) of meat to be used up.

As chuck steak needs a longer cooking time, stir fries were out of the question and given that the temperatures had just dropped those last couple of days, a stew seemed like the obvious way to go.

So for the most part, the ingredients are that of your usual stew, the aromatics and the carrots, celery and leek. I’m not a fan of swede and parsnip in stews as they just overpower everything else, so I left those out. I decided to add some ginger to the mix, and as I was putting away the vegetables, noticed the huge amount of cider I had left to be used up! So, half a cup of dry cider got added as well, as I wasn’t planning on using any wine. You could just do away with the cider for an equally delicious alcohol free version. Then as the stew was cooking away, I remembered the Cumberland Sauce I’d just made, and well, why not, I thought.

The result? A light, very flavoursome beef stew with a touch of sweet from the ginger and the Cumberland Sauce. Perfect with bread, but just as good with mash, rice or just with some cooked pasta thrown in just before serving.

The Beef

Any stewing type beef will work here. If you have some bones, add that too, for added depth.

Beef Stock

If you fancy making your own, here’s my recipe. Otherwise, either a good quality, shop bought one or a good stockpot dissolved in water, following the instructions on the packet. Make it up to the amount we need for the recipe.

Cumberland Sauce

Is a very British sauce and is so easily made at home, in just 20 minutes, provided you have some redcurrant jelly handy, homemade or shop bought. You could substitute this with any mild, tangy chutney or savoury type jelly. You’ll find my recipe for Cumberland Sauce here.

What’s your favourite cold weather stew?

So, shall we get our aprons on?

If you like the recipe and article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you!

And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

A Lighter than Usual Beef Stew

Fancy a lighter beef stew? Here's a delicious recipe with your usual vegetables and a touch of Cumberland Sauce.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: International
Keyword: beef, stew
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 450 g stewing beef diced in 5 cm (2") cubes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 5 cm ginger julienned
  • 2 large carrots sliced in thick rounds
  • 1 large leek sliced in thick rounds, white and green part
  • 3 celery sticks sliced thickly
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 125 ml dry cider (optional)
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp Cumberland Sauce
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • small handful of fresh parsley chopped


  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on high heat and brown the beef all over for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, leek, celery, peppercorns and bay leaf and stir well for about a minute, to coat the vegetables and aromatics in the beef fat.
  • Add the flour and mustard and stir it in well, about 30 seconds.
  • Add the cider and once again, stir to mix it all in. Let the cider come to boil and cook on high heat for a minute.
  • Add the beef stock and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 and a half hours or so, until the meat is cooked and tender.
  • Stir in the Cumberland Sauce and check seasoning, add some salt, if needed.
  • Finish off with a flourish of freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately, garnished with the parsley.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 598mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5486IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
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30 thoughts on “Light Beef Stew”

  1. I love for beef stew! It is beyond perfecto for the fall and winter! I love it on a cold rainy day. l really like your version a lot. Thanks for sharing !

  2. Pete Radzzon

    I love the fact that this is a lighter stew and can’t wait to make it. Thank you for your recipe, Lin.

  3. This sounds light and yet hearty enough to be satisfying. I really like this.
    I have heard of the sauce, but I had no idea it was called ‘Cumberland sauce.’ Thank you so much for the enlightened name!

  4. Your recipe is very great! I will definitely try to cook this because beef stew is my favorite.

  5. I absolutely love beef stew. It smells amazing while it’s in the slow cooker, and tastes even better once it’s done and we can eat it!

  6. Christina Aliperti

    OMG this looks amazing! I could eat beef stew every day, so I live that this is lighter than usual.

  7. Elizabeth O.

    I haven’t had beef stew in a while since I don’t eat meat! I think this is a lovely recipe for the winter though. It’s definitely going to help warm you up!

  8. Heather Gallagher

    YES!!!! This is what I’ve been looking for. I love comfort food but not all the calories. I am putting this on my menu list!

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