This stew or hotpot has a much more interesting flavor than traditional beef stew. It has more umami (savoury, rich, yum) due to the mix of layers of flavor provided by the squash, shiitake mushrooms and parsnips.

And next week I will give you the vegan version – which is also very good – so if you’re vegan or vegetarian, hang on, it’s coming!

Shopping List

  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 3 small carrots
  • 1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
  • Your choice of 8 ounces of organic or pasture-raised:
    – New York steak
    – Sirloin (my preference)
    – Rump (but needs longer cooking time)
  • 1 cup of chopped green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • Better Than Bouillon Organic Roasted Beef Base. Or whichever beef bouillon you prefer.
  • Organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • Onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried cilantro or parsley, sea or Himalayan salt, 3 bay leaves


1. Peel and dice:

Half an acorn squash
1 large parsnip
1 large onion
3 small carrots
2 celery sticks
1 cup Chopped shiitake mushrooms

*Note: The secret to a good stew is to chop everything to roughly the same size. I dice mine small – about 1/4″ square. This is also good for digestion as most people don’t chew enough before swallowing 😉

2. Pan fry all these together in large, deep pan with about 1/4 cup organic extra-virgin olive oil until onions are soft. Squash and parsnips will not be cooked, that’s okay. Just pan fry until onions are soft.

3. Now dice the 8 ounces of organic or pasture-raised raw beef. And then add the raw diced beef to your frying pan of veggies, and sprinkle these seasonings on the beef:

Onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried cilantro or parsley, sea or Himalayan salt*

*Listen to your body intuition and add as much or as little of these herbs as your body wants. If you’re not sure, you can always add more later, it’s all good! Trust your body, start sprinkling and stop when you feel, “enough”.

4. Mix together well and sear the beef until it’s brown. Then transfer the entire mixture to an extra large sauce pan (about 10 liters – needs to fit about 11 cups of stew) or stock pot and add 3 bay leaves (if you don’t have any Bay leaf it’s okay, it still tastes awesome without it).

5. Then add 6 cups filtered or spring water and 1/4-1/3 cup (add more or less according to your taste) of Better Than Bouillon organic roasted beef base. Or whichever beef bouillon you prefer: Use 2-3 squares of pressed bouillon, or 1/4-1/3 cup of paste, or 2-3 tbsp of powdered bouillon*

*Note: your beef bouillon plays a huge role in how good your stew will be. I have tried many brands and this one is hands down the best. Also, bouillon involves roasting/boiling down animals (or vegetables) so you’re going to get a concentration of any toxins present. So be sure and use certified organic bouillon only – or one from a local, pasture-raised farm.

6. Bring stew to a boil in the large sauce pan and simmer for at least one hour. I usually let it simmer for 2 hours (more flavour and more tenderized beef). Keep adding more water as the liquid boils off and reduces. Depending on how long you simmer, and how thick/thin you like your gravy, you will need add 2-5 cups more water, so keep an eye on it.

7. Add 1 cup of chopped green beans (fresh or frozen) half an hour before you plan to eat the stew.

Feel free to add more veggies to this recipe, as you like. You can sub the acorn squash for butternut, if you prefer.

You can also add: Peas, black beans, or pinto beans, corn, swiss chard, cauliflower, broccoli, snow peas, bok choy, savoy cabbage, potatoes, sweet potatoes. The variations are endless! In fact, you could make this same stew every week, just changing the veggies and have it taste different (but yummy) every time.

Stay tuned for the Vegan version next week…