This is a savory twist on traditional beef stew based on Stifado (stee-FAH-though), a Greek stew that is typically made with a fair amount of onions, wine, tomatoes, and cinnamon. I've removed the onions and wine since those are huge no-no's for dogs. Also, unlike a typical beef stew, this one doesn’t have potatoes so it's a little more on the soupy side which is ok since dogs really need about 70% moisture in their daily diet.
What this dish lacks in appearance, it makes up for in flavor. Big time. Beef is braised until it’s pull-apart tender while the cinnamon gives it a slightly sweet flavor. It takes a little extra effort but the aromas and taste are well worth it. Actually it's a meal you can share with your pups.
Feel free to add whatever veggies you have on hand as long as they are dog friendly. To make it a little easier, once you have browned the meat and sauted the veggies and tomato paste, place everything in your crock pot. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours adding more water or stock if it appears too dry.
Cinnamon Beef Stew
Nutrition facts: Calories: 197 Calories, 74 Calories from fat Total fat: 8.2g or 13% (4.5g saturated fat, 0.0g trans fat)
- 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste or 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup bone broth (or chicken stock)
- 3 to 5 cups water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground eggshell
- quinoa, brown rice or pasta (optional)
- This goes fast so it's best to have all of your ingredients ready beforehand. Cut the stew meat into 1-inch cubes. Lightly dust the meat with a few tablespoons of coconut flour. Finely chop the vegetables and mince the garlic. Gather all your seasonings in a small bowl.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches and sear on all sides. Remove the browned pieces to a bowl. Repeat until all of the meat is cooked. Do not drain any of the juice from the meat from the pot.
- Add the carrots, kale, and garlic to the juice in the pot and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste or diced tomatoes and stir for another minute.
- Add the broth and scrape any brown bits that may be stuck on the bottom. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken. If you don't have any homemade or dog safe beef broth then use chicken stock.
- Add 3 cups water and the seasonings.
- Bring to a boil and add the cooked meat and drippings back in. Then reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook 2 to 3 hours until the beef is very tender.
- Once it's done remove and discard the bay leaves.
I like to add 3 cups of quinoa (not a grain) which requires another 2 cups of beef broth during the last hour and let it cook with the stew but this is totally optional. You could also add pasta or brown rice. Whichever you choose, be sure it is cooked beyond al dente for easy digestion.
You can also cook the quinoa or pasta separately. To serve, place some pasta or quinoa on a plate and then ladle the amount of stew you want. I would recommend this option especially if you plan to share. I much prefer the pasta with a little parmesan on top while Kirby doesn't seem to have a preference.