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This recipe is a great example of how you can tweak a traditional stew or casserole to make it healthier for the heart. Typically, red meat is not touted as being heart healthy. So, if you love red meat but are looking to make some dietary changes, the best thing to do is decrease your portion to 100g or less per serve and increase the portions of whole grains and vegetables. This way you still get some protein, iron and B12 from the meat, but increase your intake of fibre and vitamins from the vegetables. Another way we’ve improved the health properties of this stew is by using salt-reduced stock.

The nutritional information provided is per serve.



  1. Step 1

    Heat 1 tsp oil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat. Add the beef in batches and sear until just brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Heat the remaining oil in the same saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until soft. Add the carrots, celery and fennel and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Step 3

    Add the beef back into the saucepan, along with the stock, diced tomatoes and thyme leaves. Stir to combine. Cover the saucepan with a lid and bring to the boil.

  4. Step 4

    Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.

  5. Step 5

    Add the barley and cook for a further 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

  6. Step 6

    Allow to cool slightly and divide into 6 containers. These serves can now be frozen for a later time or refrigerated for quick meals for the week ahead.



About the author

The Healthy Eating Hub

This article was written by an Accredited Practicing Dietitian from The Healthy Eating Hub. The Healthy Eating Hub is a team of university-qualified nutritionists and dietitians who are passionate about helping people develop long term healthy eating habits through offering evidence-based and practical nutrition advice that people can put into practice straight away.


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