Friday, October 18, 2013

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo)

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
A tummy-warming beef stew for the adults to eat while kids are eating candy!

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites, and this recipe is one I'd love to make on the weekend so I'd have leftovers to eat for lunch of a quick dinner during the week.  If you're not a slow cooker fan, there are directions at the end for making this on the stove.)

On Halloween night you know the kids aren't going to want to eat anything but candy, so why not make this slow cooker beef stew with lots of adult flavors to keep the grown-ups happy?  You can start this mid morning and by dinner time it will be ready to go.  If you'll be gone all day, just do the advance prep the night before, refrigerate the ingredients in a plastic container, and put the cold ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook all day while you're out.  I'd love this with a dollop of sour cream on top, but no matter how you eat it, this stew is loaded with flavor.  (There are also stove-top instructions if you don't have a slow cooker.)

I realize, (and some people remind me occasionally!) that some of you don't like having to saute the meat or other ingredients before you put them in the slow cooker.  I recommend doing that because I think browning the meat or onions adds flavor to slow cooker dishes, and sauteeing mushrooms removes the extra liquid that doesn't get cooked off in the slow cooker.  But I don't take it personally if you ignore my instructions, and I think this will still be pretty good even if you just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and turn it to low.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
Slice 8 oz. mushrooms and chop up one small onion.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
Heat a small amount of olive oil and saute the mushrooms.  When they're brown and the pan is dry, add them to the slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
While the mushrooms cook trim the chuck steak into bite-sized pieces.  (I trim away all the fat to follow South Beach guidelines of not more than 10% fat, and save all those fatty pieces to make homemade beef stock.)

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
After you remove the mushrooms, add a little more oil and saute the chopped onions; then add them to the slow cooker. 

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
Then add a little more oil, add the pieces of beef and cook until they are well browned on all sides.  Add the browned beef to the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on KalynsKitchen.comDe-glaze pan with one cup of homemade beef stock or beef broth, cook until slightly reduced, then add to the slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
While the beef browns slice the garlic pieces and olives, measure the capers, and chop the rosemary and parsley.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
Add the can of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, olives, garlic slices, chopped rosemary, chopped parsley, and capers.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low (or slightly longer if you prep the night before and started with ingredients that were cold.)  This can also be cooked on high for 3-4 hours, but I prefer longer cooking on low for beef.

Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
Here's how the stew looked when it had cooked all day and was ready to eat.  Season with fresh ground black pepper (and a little salt if desired), and eat!

Original photo for Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
And just to amuse you, here's the original photo from 2007 when I first created this recipe!

Original Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on
Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar
(Makes about 6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)

I originally made this in a 2.5 quart Crock-Pot, but this time I used a Crock-Pot 3-1/2-Quart Slow Cooker.)

1-2 T olive oil (depends on your pan)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
2 lbs. trimmed and diced chuck steak, cut in bite-sized pieces (about 2-3 cups meat, for stove-top cooking I might use a more tender cut of beef) 
1 cup beef stock (use 2 cups for stovetop cooking)
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I like Fini brand)
1 can black olives, cut in half or fourth
1/2 cup garlic cloves, cut in thin slices (optional, but good)
2 T finely chopped fresh rosemary (or use 1 T dried cracked rosemary)
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley (or use 1 T dried parsley)
1 T capers (or more)
fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste

Heat small amount of olive oil in heavy frying pan, add mushrooms and saute several minutes, until starting to brown. Add mushrooms to slow cooker. Add a little more oil, then saute diced onions about 5 minutes, or until starting to brown. Add mushrooms to slow cooker.  Add a little more oil again, then add diced beef and brown well, about 10-15 minutes. Don't rush the browning step. Add beef to the slow cooker.

Add 1 cup beef stock to the pan and simmer a few minutes until slightly reduced, scraping off all browned bits, then add that stock to the slow cooker. Add diced tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, olives, garlic, rosemary, parsley, capers, and a little black pepper. Stir gently to combine, then put lid on Crockpot and cook 6-8 hours on low. (You could cook this 3-4 hours on high, but for a recipe with large pieces of garlic like this I prefer the low setting.) Season to taste with salt and more fresh ground black pepper and serve hot.

If you do all the advance preparation the night before and put the combined ingredient in the refrigerator overnight, this could cook as long as 10 hours in the Crockpot while you're at work. Manufacturers don't recommend putting crockery liner with prepared ingredients in the refrigerator; store in another container so contents stay cold, then put in Crockpot in the morning.

For stovetop cooking:
Follow all the preparation steps as outlined, putting ingredients in heavy dutch oven type pan. Add one cup additional beef stock. Simmer on very low heat about 2 hours.

South Beach Suggestions:
If you trim the meat well so it fits the South Beach Diet guidelines for less than 10% fat, this beef stew with low-glycemic ingredients would be suitable for any phase of the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information? 
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

Original Slow Cooker Mediterranean Beef Stew with Rosemary and Balsamic Vinegar (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo) found on

More Slow Cooker Ideas with Beef:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Crock Pot Beef and Butternut Squash Stew from Eat Live Run
CrockPot Pumpkin Chili with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Kidney Beans from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Peperoncini Beef Sandwiches from A Year of Slow Cooking
Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos with Spicy Slaw and Avocado from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Beef from Elly Says Opa!
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!

This recipe was first posted for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Ulrike of Kuchenlatein.
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Freya said...

Yum! This looks delicious! My husband would love it for the olives alone!
Perfect winter food!

Gattina said...

Your stew is fully packed with flavors! The Mediterranean accent definitely wins my heart, esp in such a cold day!

Pebbles said...

My stomach just growled at me while reading this! The stew looks like a winner!

s'kat said...

Oh, yum! This is everything thats good about the winter.

AF said...

Love your blog, the beautiful design and all the great recipes! Thank you! And I'm glad you have water again. Re: fresh rosemary, I'm located in the very cold northeast and have been keeping a rosemary plant alive in a south facing window for over a year. It's almost all used up as I love it and use it faster than it grows. Having "black thumbs" I killed two previous ones in winters past, but have learned the trick is to water it generously as needed and mist it generously as well. Rosemary plants and 3' bushes are sold here in the farmers' market in the fall. Thanks again.

Kalyn said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. It was really delicious. I do agree that food like this is one good thing about winter, but that's about all about winter I can get excited about.

AF, I wish I had a South facing window. My house faces north, and the windows in the south are all tiny so I don't think I'd ever be able to grow Rosemary inside. Darn!

ostwestwind said...

A fool-proofed recipe for my new crockpot! Thank you.
It's my pleasure to be the host of your WHB this week. Glad to hear that your thinks at home a getting better.

Katie said...

Olives, garlic, Balsamic, rosemary...with all those wonderful ingredients 'stew' hardly seems an adequate name. I'm trying this next week, I love anything cooked with olives.

wheresmymind said...

At first glance I thought those were whole unpitted olives...ick!

Dianne said...

This looks so good! I love food of the Meditteranean anyway, so it is destined for my table


Helene said...

Yummy!!:)) Absolutly must for cold winter days.
Hope your doing well again after this awesome week.

Kristen said...

I'm not a big stew lover, but I think it is because I'm not eating the right stew. That looks incredible!

Anonymous said...

Im new to the SouthBeach diet... my first week is rounding to an end... I want to say thank you! Your site has been a great help to me! I tried this stew, absolutely AMAZING flavor, sooo delicious!

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, thanks for the feedback. I think this is going to be one of my all time favorite stew recipes.

Genie said...

Kalyn, I've been hanging on to this recipe, just waiting for the right day to make it. Today, while the world outside is coating itself with ice, seemed perfect! It's in the crock-pot right now, and Steve's already bugging me about when it's going to be ready. I'm definitely looking forward to dinner!

Anonymous said...

Are there Capers in this? I am thinking this is a typo as I don't see in the directions where to add the olives.

Just in the process of making it, look delicious.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, don't know why we're missing it (I missed it too after you left your comment) but right after parsley it says 1 T capers. I knew there were capers! They're definitely optional though. I'm sure this would taste fine without them.

Pille said...

Kalyn - I love your step-by-step photos!! And the recipe sounds good too. I'm growing some rosemary on my windowsill, and it's big enough for kitchen usage soon. Cannot wait!

Karina said...

This recipe looks mouthwateringly fabulous! Such a rich combination of flavors. I'm making it this weekend.


Timothy said...

Holy WOW. I made this last evening and it was AWESOME. And I'm not an internet caps user. I used kalamata olives, and fewer of them, because they were in the fridge. I also used no sodium added tomato products, so compensated with a little spike seasoning (thank you, kalyn for tipping me off about Spike!). I also had a Costco tub of whole garlic cloves (again, thank you Kalyn), so I threw in about a cup, roughly chopped. PHENOMENAL!!! Yum, yum, yum, yum! And this morning, I weight half a pound less than yesterday--I did trim off the largest of the fat streaks in the chuck. Thank you South Beach, and thank you Kalyn!

Kalyn said...

Timothy, so glad you liked it! Good job on the South Beach success.

Linda said...

This stew looks great. I was curious about what size can of tomatoes was called for...Looked through the comments, but didn't see it.

Kalyn said...

Linda, very sorry about that. It's just a regular 15 oz. size can. Will edit the recipe right now to clarify that.

Linda said...

Ahh, now I've made it, and it's just as good as I hoped. Your web site has been an amazing resource for us as we try to eat food that's more healthy.

Kalyn said...

Linda, thanks! I really appreciate you letting me know you liked it and that you like the blog.

Anonymous said...

this was GREAT. and your pictures were so helpful. i made it for a christmas party, doubling the recipe. i even added some heavy cabernet during the mushroom sauteeing phase. it was awesome. one of my guests is a chef and she loved it, too. big success. i will definitely make this again.

Kalyn said...

Anonymous, so glad you liked it!

Melissa said...

This was lick the bowl delicious. And yet, there was only a fleeting thought of having seconds. That is a HUGE South Beach success. I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow though!!!!

Kalyn said...

Melissa, that's great! You'll be amazed at how your appetite disappears in phase one.

laura said...

I just made this for the first time and LOVE it! I added a green pepper that I had in the fridge and needed to use. Also added some sage and thyme, za'tar spice (a middle eastern blenc) and a dash of worchestershire sauce. I wasn't sure what kind of olives you used so I used pitted kalamatas from trader joes. I'm on phase 2 so I ate it with some whole wheat couscous.

Kalyn said...

Laura, so glad you liked it. I like the sound of your variations on the recipe.

Sissy said...

This was very good, as all the recipes I've tried on your website. Made this last nite, with no substitutions. I could've doubled this and it would've been just enough!

Kalyn said...

Sissy, so glad you enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Just checked the cut of grass fed beef in my freezer and it's chuck! I'm thrilled because your recipe sounds incredible, and the super healthy meat deserves a great recipe ...will make this tomorrow. Thank you so much!

Alicia Davin said...

I will SO be making this one this weekend, Kayln! Yay for soup in the crockpot!

Barbara Bakes said...

Looks delicious. Bet this would make a great pressure cooker recipe too.

Christine said...

This is definitely a keeper and will go into the crock pot on Friday morning. I wish I'd seen your post yesterday because then it would be in the crock pot right now! :-))

Kalyn Denny said...

Alicia and Christine, hope you enjoy!

Barbara, I think this would be great in the pressure cooker! Hope you will try it.

Carrian Cheney said...

The ingredients alone sold me, I can't wait to try this stew!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

What a great slow cooker dish! I love olives and garlic (no, not optional for me!) with beef.

Unknown said...

so glad that you revived this recipe from your archives ~ although I've made many, many of your recipes, somehow I overlooked this one. The house smelled so good while this was crockpotting away. Although I was tempted to cut back on the garlic, I decided to follow the recipe to a t and was glad I did. It was a fantastic meal! Teresa in Texas

Kalyn Denny said...

So glad you enjoyed it!

Taste and Tell said...

I love Mediterranean flavors, and I love how they are incorporated in this stew!

Brenda said...

I haven't been around to your blog in a while but I can't wait to try this recipe!

Aimee ~ See Aimee Cook said...

Made this recipe recently and loved it! Loads of great flavor! Thanks for reposting it!

Teresa Neathery said...

This was so good EXCEPT a half cup of raw garlic basically ruined it. It is not necessary to put that much in. 1 or 2 cloves and saute it before you add it in. Other than that I can imagine it would be awesome. I will make it one more time without so much garlic and I am sure my professional chef husband will love it!

Kalyn Denny said...

Teresa, obviously your choice on how much garlic to use but after 6-8 hours in the slow cooker the garlic should be very sweet and mild.

Nadine said...

This was seriously wonderful! Left out the capers. New favorite of my husbands. Will never miss traditional beef stew again.

Auvniet said...

This looks amazing! I love your blog and recipes. Making this tonight and will report!

Sarah Morris said...

Hi Kalyn,

This looks so delicious, healthy, and hearty! What type of tomato sauce did you used in the recipe?

Kalyn Denny said...

Sarah, just plain canned tomato sauce, nothing special.

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