Tender Slow Cooked Beef Asado

Asado, in simple terms, is a stew and there are many different versions depending on the country or region. This one is not a million miles away from a Filipino asado. The richness of flavour in this recipe comes from slow cooking the beef until it becomes really tender in a tomato sauce infused with star anise, ginger and bay leaves. This is extraordinarily simple to make but does require some time as it will take about 1 and ½ to 2 hours to complete. I’ve added potatoes to the dish but you could certainly leave them out and serve it over brown rice or with salad instead. It keeps well and serves 6 which makes it a perfect meal prep recipe if you’re prepping for the week. It is suitable to do in a slow cooker if desired but I find it more flavoursome if you prep it in a large pot over the hob instead, I don’t know why it’s just one of those things! This serves 6 people and the Macros per serving are 344Cals P33.7 C30.5 F9.5 or Smartpoints 7 and free on No Count Here’s the skinny: Continue reading

Heartwarming & Comforting Irish Beef Stew

The nights are getting darker earlier, the trees are putting on a spectacular autumnal display of fabulous golden and rusett colours and there is a definitely a cooler nip in the air. What is better to come home to than a beautiful, flavoursome, warm bowl of stew, it’s practically a hug in a bowl! If you’re Irish like me this might transport you back to memories of your school days when you would come home to the smell of gorgeous stew wafting through the house bubbling away ready to warm the cockles of your heart. This comes in at 9 propoints and serves 6 (it’s free on filling and healthy). Here’s the skinny:  
800g lean steak pieces

1kg bag baby potatoes halved

2 onions finely diced

4 carrots peeled and chopped

2 stalks of celery peeled and chopped

2 parsnips peeled and chopped

1 pint of beef stock

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon tomato purée 

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

Chopped fresh rosemary

Chopped fresh thyme 

Chopped fresh parsley 

Salt and black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 tin plum tomatoes

30g cornflour  

Pre-heat the oven to 160 Celsius. Heat a large pot and spray with spray oil. Gently fry the onions, carrots, celery and parsnips for approximately five minutes until they are softening, add in the crushed garlic for the last 30 seconds. Tip the meat halved baby potatoes and softened veg into a large Pyrex dish or casserole dish. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes (just slice through them whilst still in the tin with a sharp knife if they are whole plum tomatoes). Add all the herbs and season with salt and pepper add the tomato purée and pour over the beef stock. Fold everything gently together with a wooden spoon. Gently fold the bay leaves in half and tuck them into the top where they can be easily removed but are touching the stock to infuse their flavour. Cover with a lid. Some people cook stew for just an hour and a half but I find this needs nearer 2 hours. Check it regularly you will know when the potatoes and veg are cooked & soft it is done. To thicken the stew mix 30g cornflour with a tiny amount of water to make a smooth paste in a mug pour into the stew and gently stir it through return to the oven for the last 15 to 20 minutes and this should thicken your stew nicely, you might find leaving the lid off will help this process, keep a close eye so it doesn’t dry out. You can remove the bay leaves at that stage. If you find that the stew doesn’t need thickening reduce the points to 8 propoints per serving. I recommend you use this fresh over a few days as cooked potatoes do not freeze well. This will last 3 to 4 days covered in a refrigerator. I hope you enjoy!  

Delicious Moroccan Spiced Beef Stew Jewelled with Plump Apricots & Sweet Butternut Squash Served with Fluffy Lemon & Saffron Cous cous


Warming Comfort Food for a Rainy Dreary Night. Extremely Filling & Just what’s needed on a night with weather more suited to Winter. A Hug in a Bowl! This is 5pp on the Filling & Healthy plan & 13pp if Propointing.

  • 500g lean steak pieces
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small 225g can chickpeas 
  • 1 tin plum tomatoes chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 96g dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cous cous
  • 2 Vegetable stock cubes
  • Pinch saffron
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest


Mix together the spices; ras el hanout, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, allspice, paprika, salt & pepper. Toss the beef in the spicemix, cover & refrigerate until needed. Lightly fry the red onion & diced peeled butternut squash in sprayoil for about 5 mins until starting to brown, remove & place in a bowl. Fry the beef pieces for about 5 mins until sealed. Add back in the red onion & squash & add the tomatoes, chickpeas and 400ml of veg stock made with 1 of the stock cubes. Bring to the boil & reduce the heat to a simmer & continue to cook for 1 & 1/2 hours with a lid on. Add the halved apricots 1/2 hour before serving, check the consistency at this point if it’s too dry leave the lid off for the last 1/2 hour. Prepare enough Couscous for 4 x 200g cooked servings according to packet instructions using veg stock made with the 2nd stock cube & a pinch of saffron instead of water. Fluff up your cous cous with a fork & season with salt & pepper & the juice & zest of the lemon. Serve the stew with the cous cous & enjoy!