This hearty keto beef stew is perfect for a cold winter night! With no potatoes and limited starchy veggies to cut down on carbs, and the addition of bacon to increase the fat content (and deliciousness), this beef stew is perfect for low-carb dieters.
DOES BEEF STEW HAVE A LOT OF CARBS?
Good question. I will start with the bad news: traditional beef stew has high amount of carbs. This is because it usually include potatoes, peas and a thickening agent like flour that add huge amounts of carbs to the dish. However, most other ingredients included in beef stew (like beef, most vegetables, and broth), are quite low in carbs. So the good news is that it is relatively easy to prepare a keto friendly version of beef stew.
HOW TO MAKE KETO BEEF STEW
Most beef stews contain potatoes, which are a no-go on the keto diet. They’re not only rich in carbohydrates, but they’re also digested quite rapidly, which can increase blood sugar considerably. So for a keto beef stew, you’ll want to skip the potatoes – and also limit some of the other starchy vegetables. We’ve done just that in this recipe!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this stew:
- Beef stew meat
- Black pepper
- Red wine
- Tomato paste
- Beef broth
It looks like a long list of ingredients, but it’s really not much to prep at all.
First, you’ll chop and sauté your bacon. You’re going to do this right in the pot you plan to make the stew in, as you’ll use the bacon grease to cook the rest of the ingredients in a few minutes.
Once you’ve cooked the bacon until crisp, remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Then, season the beef with pepper (no need for salt as the bacon grease will be salty) and add it to the pot with the bacon grease.
Brown the beef on all sides, and then remove it with a slotted spoon.
Now, add your onion, celery, and carrots to the pot. You’ll cook these for a few minutes until they start to get tender.
Then you’ll add the garlic for a minute, and then your red wine. You want to cook down the wine for a few minutes until it’s reduced by about half.
From here, add the tomato paste, broth, and rosemary to the pot – along with the bacon and beef you set aside. You’ll cover it and let it cook for an hour, then uncover it and let it cook another 30 minutes or so – until it reaches the desired consistency.
Remove the sprig of rosemary and enjoy!
NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR THIS STEW
This keto beef stew contains 244 calories per serving, with 13 grams of fat, 4 grams of net carbs, and 23 grams of protein. Compared to a normal beef stew recipe with anywhere from 15 to 25 grams of net carbs, and you’ll see this is a much better choice on a low carb diet!
I know you might be thinking – wait a second, that’s a higher percentage of protein than fat? Is this OK on keto?!
I brought in my wife, a nutritionist, to comment on this:
Even though some experts suggest excessive protein intake may contribute to knocking someone out of ketosis – this is controversial and complicated. Regardless, I wouldn’t consider 32 grams of protein in one meal excessive.
On the contrary, depending on how active you are, moderate protein intake may be anywhere from 0.8 grams per kilogram to 1.8 grams per kilogram – or around 60 to 130 grams of protein a day for a 72-kilogram (160 pound) adult.
A bowl of beef stew with 32 grams of protein could clearly fit into even the lower end of this range.
If you are still worried, you can structure this into a day with higher fat/lower protein options for your other meals to balance out the macros. Or, test your ketone levels to see if a higher protein intake truly affects your body.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR KETO STEW ISN’T THICK ENOUGH?
In a traditional stew, you can obviously put some flour to thicken your stew but that’s not an option in a keto stew. See below a few ideas to thicken your keto stew without using high carb ingredients:
- Start by trying to reduce the liquid, it works well for stews that have a lot of broth.
- You can also try to add a low-carb thickener like xanthan gum, glucomannan, or psyllium husk. be careful to add them sparingly as you risk you stew to become too gummy.
- I have once added a bit of mashed vegetables back to the stew, it worked very well.
- Finally, another option is to use a roux which is a mixture of fat and flour. To make my keto roux I mix butter and and almond flour.
A FEW ADDITIONAL TIPS:
- This keto beef stew is perfect to meal prep ahead of time for the week. Simply make it and portion it out into food storage containers, store in the fridge, and use within 5 days.
- You can also make this in the crockpot. You’ll want to follow the first few steps of the recipe by rendering the bacon and browning the stew meat, but then you can dump everything into the crockpot and let it cook throughout the day. You’ll need to adjust two things though: a) reduce the red wine to only 1-2 tbsp for flavor, since it won’t really cookout, and b) reduce the stock to 3 cups, since less will evaporate out compared to the stovetop.
- Need a little more to round out your meal? Pair this beef stew with some mashed cauliflower (made with heavy cream), sautéed cabbage, or a spinach salad.
Alright – let’s get to cooking a big ‘ol bowl of hearty beef stew! I hope you enjoy this recipe – if you get a chance to try it, be sure to leave a recipe rating or comment.
Keto Beef Stew – Winter Stew Recipe
- 4 Slices thick-cut bacon
- 1 lb beef stew meat
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 cup baby carrots chopped
- 2 gloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
- 1 sprig rosemary
- Chop bacon into 1-inch pieces and add to a large pot. Turn on medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove and set aside for now.
- Season beef with pepper. Add beef to the bacon grease and cook until all sides are browned. Remove beef with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add onion, celery, and carrot to the pot. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the vegetables start to get tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Add red wine and cook for 2-3 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Add in the tomato paste, stock, and rosemary to the pot. Add beef and bacon back as well.
- Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 1 hour, then remove the lid and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until the stew reaches your desired consistency. Enjoy.