This cheap beef stew is spicy, healthy and packed full of delicious Branston beans! It’s a very easy and flavourful meal, costing only about £15 to feed 4 people!
This is particularly cheap because the ingredients include a generous glug of red wine – which is included in the price!
Plus, you get plenty of veggies and protein with this recipe. It’s a great hearty Winter dinner for cold, dark evenings!
What do I need to make this cheap beef stew?
None of the ingredients are expensive or hard to find – unless you set your heart on top quality wine. To be honest, cheap works just as well here!
Of course, it’s important that you don’t hate the wine but there are so many other flavours that combine with it that by the end you’re just left with a perfect blend of all the different ingredients.
- Branston beans – see below.
- Diced beef. This can be displayed as diced steak, but you don’t need to buy a good quality steak or anything – any cut of beef that’s good cooked low and slow is perfect for this recipe.
- Red onions give a lovely savoury flavour that matches well with the red wine and other veggies. I like red onions because they have a more distinct flavour than regular brown onions, but you can use regular brown onions if they’re all you have.
- Carrots are a great seasonal Winter vegetable to include in stews as most root vegetables in general are. They have a delicious, mild flavour and a great texture for soft stews.
- Parsnips, again, are a great vegetable to include in Winter stews as they’re seasonal and so are at their best at the same time of year that’s perfect for warming dishes like stews. They help to provide the carb portion of the stew instead of potatoes in this case.
- Fresh chilli helps to bring the spice to this spicy beef stew. After all, you can’t have spicy without chilli!
- Beef stock cubes – you can use homemade or store-bought beef stock, it doesn’t matter much. I often prefer to choose the low-sodium stock cubes as otherwise they can sometimes make your food a little too salty
- Hot water – just boil the kettle!
- Tinned tomatoes – available all year round and a great way to bulk out your stew while still adding plenty of great nutritional value.
- Salt and pepper. I don’t include measurements here as it’s a matter of personal taste.
- Dried thyme as dried herbs are perfect for slow-cooked dishes as it takes time for them to release those flavourful oils locked inside!
- Worcestershire sauce helps to add depth of flavour to stews and sauces in general – it’s always a good idea to keep some on hand!
- A generous glug of red wine – as cheap as you like, and as generous as you like!
It’s Branston Beans’ 10th birthday, so I got involved in creating recipes using them – specifically this comforting family-friendly dinner! After all, who says that the only way to eat beans is the famous beans on toast? It might be delicious, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy them too!
As these beans don’t need soaking or cooking from dried, they really helped to speed this stew up. Of course, it is still cooked nice and slowly as the beans are only added towards the end. This is still useful for those of you who are willing to spend time cooking but often forget parts that have to be prepared in advance (like soaking the beans).
If you add the beans too early, they will turn mushy as they absorb too much liquid. Be careful not to add them before the stew’s had its first hour and a half in the oven.
The Branston beans added a delicious extra flavour and texture to the finished spicy beef stew, and everybody who tried it had to comment on how much they enjoyed it! I’ve already had to give this recipe to several of my taste-testers. They enjoyed it too much to not make their own version!
As a bonus, the tomato sauce in the beans really helped to thicken up the stew during its last 30 minutes in the oven. The beans were probably a key part in this as they can tend to absorb a lot of liquid. This helps them to become juicy and tender in the process – delicious!
How do I make this spicy beef and bean stew?
The method is pretty simple, and most of it is hands-off time so you don’t need to panic when you see how long it takes! After all, you can spend most of the time with your feet up saying that you’re busy cooking dinner if anyone asks!
- Preheat the oven and chop the veggies.
- Soften the onion in a casserole dish over medium heat with a touch of oil.
- Add the beef and once it’s mostly browned add the wine, carrots, chilli and parsnips.
- Once they start to soften, add the stock cubes and water. When it starts to boil, add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and thyme.
- Cover with the lid and place in the oven for one and a half hours.
- Remove and add the Branston beans and cook for another 30 minutes.
How to Serve this Cheap Beef Stew
I served mine with dumplings, which I just made up according to a packet mix, although you could also serve it with potatoes.
If you’re using dumplings, add them with the beans. If you choose to use potatoes, add them at the end (or simply serve the stew over the top).
You could also try serving this stew with rice or some nice crusty bread to mop up the liquid. Even better if you make the bread yourself! Rice wouldn’t be considered traditional, but then again it is very good at absorbing liquid sauces and flavours – and not being traditional doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s bad!
Cheap & Spicy Beef Stew with Beans
- 1 tbsp oil
- 2 red onions diced
- 500 grams diced beef
- 1 glug red wine optional
- 2 carrots
- 2 parsnips
- 1 fresh red chilli pepper or to taste
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 300 ml hot water
- 2 tins tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 1 glug Worcestershire sauce or to taste
- Preheat the oven to 150° Celsius.
- In a casserole dish over medium heat, add the oil and red onion.
- When the red onion is soft, add the beef and let it brown.
- When the beef is cooked on most sides, add the wine, carrots, potatoes and chilli.
- Once the vegetables start to soften, add the stock cubes and water. When it starts to boil, add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and thyme.
- Cover the dish and place in the oven for 1 ½ hours. Add the Branston beans, re-cover and cook for another 30 minutes.
- Serve hot with potatoes or dumplings.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
This is one very happy delicious bean filled dinner!
Disclaimer; this is a sponsored post.