I grew up with grandma’s steaming bowl of stew that would make my fingers sticky and smell like garlic. My husband grew up with the same stew on another side of the continent, 9,000 kms away. It tells me beef stew was an Eastern European traditional dish that fills your house and clothes with a stew smell.
The same sweet smell of onions crawls from a neighbours’ house into my garage every morning I open it to take kids to school. I know exactly when grandma is cooking dinner. I find many immigrants cooking dinner first thing in the morning and some of them having it for breakfast. I remember my relatives eating borscht for breakfast, accompanied by a slice of rye bread, a clove of garlic and a shot of vodka. And then probably went to work. True stories…Who needs therapy?!:)
I had all intentions to make a traditional beef stew with potatoes, just to find out I was out of potatoes. Quinoa stew it is and it was amazing! My kids are not huge fans of quinoa, depends on the sauce. This kind of quinoa they ate no problem. 4 year old squeezed some organic ketchup on top. OMG, even a layer is fine, just eat it!
Note, I love adding a bit of garlic at the end. It adds a depth of flavour, different from cooked garlic. But you don’t have to if you prefer very mild garlic taste. I’m Ukrainian, so garlic all the way.
Enjoy this healthy quinoa stew!
Beef Quinoa Stew
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 3 large carrots sliced
- 1.5-2 pounds beef stew meat cut into 1″ cubes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- 3 cups beef broth or chicken broth low sodium
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 1/4 cups quinoa uncooked, rinsed & drained
- 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup dill or parsley finely chopped
- Preheat Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium heat and swirl 1 tablespoon of oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and carrots, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
- Return pot to the stove and add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add beef and sprinkle it with cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
- Add broth and deglaze the pot by bringing mixture to a boil and cooking for a few minutes, scraping the bottom. Then add previously cooked veggies, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bay leaves. Stir, cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add quinoa, stir, cover and cook stew for another 15 minutes. Turn off heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
- Add peas and dill, gently stir and serve stew hot.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop with a splash of water covered on low.