Dietician's Tip: All parts of the fennel bulb are edible. Chop and sprinkle the featherlike leaves over the stew for added flavor.
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
- 1 pound boneless lean beef stew meat, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- 1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced vertically
- 3 large shallots, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups no-salt-added vegetable stock or broth
- 1/2 cup red wine, optional (not included in analysis)
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 large red-skinned or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 18 small boiling onions, about 10 ounces total weight, halved crosswise
- 3 portobello mushrooms, brushed clean and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
Place the flour on a plate. Dredge the beef cubes in the flour. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the beef and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the fennel and shallots to the pan over medium heat and saute until softened and lightly golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon pepper, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Saute for 1 minute.
Return the beef to the pan and add the vegetable stock and the wine, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently until the meat is tender, 40 to 45 minutes.
Add the carrots, potatoes, onions and mushrooms. The liquid will not cover the vegetables completely, but more liquid will accumulate as the mushrooms soften. Simmer gently until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes longer.
Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Ladle into warmed individual bowls and serve immediately.
Nutritional analysis per serving
Serving size: About 1 cup
- Calories 244
- Cholesterol 48 mg
- Monounsaturated fat 5 g
- Saturated fat 2 g
- Sodium 185 mg
- Total carbohydrate 22 g
- Dietary fiber 4.5 g
- Protein 21 g
- Serving size About 1 cup
- Total fat 8 g