Beef Stew with Spring Vegetables and Wheat Berries

It’s been a while since I’ve made a soup or stew, and just my luck that we’ve had some cooler, rainy evenings lately. I decided to take advantage of the weather and make beef stew for dinner. My fridge was full of all kinds of Spring veggies so instead of the usual potatoes, peas, and carrots in the stew, I decided to use asparagus, peas, and turnips.

Since stew beef is a tougher cut, this recipe takes a bit of time to simmer on the stove to tenderize the beef. You don’t have to sit with it so it’s not an intensive recipe, but it does take some planning ahead instead of just rolling into the kitchen and throwing it together. I left it several times to simmer while I was running around helping with homework and picking up around the house so it’s definitely hands off for the most part.

Making the stew also gave me another way to use my very own dandelion greens. 😉

Beef Stew with Spring Vegetables and Wheat BerriesBeef Stew with Spring Veggies and Wheat Berries

  • 2 sprigs oregano
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 16 oz lean stew beef
  • 1 cup (114g) pearl onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup (100g) uncooked wheat berries
  • 1 1/2 cups (193g) turnips, washed and cut into quarters
  • 1 cup (100g) asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup (93g) frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups (60g) dandelion greens OR kale OR arugula

Tie the oregano, thyme and rosemary sprigs together with kitchen twine. I have baggies for steeping loose leaf tea and I dropped them into one of those instead.

Heat a pot over medium heat and spray with non-stick spray. Add the stew beef and brown the cubes on all sides until cooked. This will take about 10 minutes or so. About halfway through, add the onions and garlic to saute along with the beef. Once the beef is cooked, add the vinegar and wine and cook for about 2 minutes. Scrape the browned bits off the bottom for flavor.

Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Add in the herb bundle and bay leaf. Lower heat and simmer partially covered for about 75 minutes. Stir in the wheat berries and simmer another 15 – 20 minutes to partially cook and soften the berries. Remove the herb bundle and bay leaf. Add the turnips and cook for another 30 minutes until the wheat berries are done and the turnips are tender.

Stir in the asparagus and peas. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until the veggies are crisp tender. Remove from heat and stir in the dandelion greens, just long enough to wilt them. Divide into 4 bowls and serve with pieces of crispy baguette for dipping, if desired.

Makes 4 servings at approximately 375 calories – 31g protein, 38g carbs, and 11g fat.

If you don’t like wheat berries, you can use another grain like farro, barley, quinoa, or something similar. Check the cooking time for your grain on the package because you may have to adjust when you put it in. Quinoa cooks much faster than wheat berries for example, so you’d add that later and simmer for less time or you’d get quinoa mush. LOL.

You could also be daring and use lamb cubes instead of beef for a great lamb stew to celebrate Springtime. Leftovers stored well and I had two extra servings for the next couple days.

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