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Cinnamon Beef Stew

Saturday, 26 December 2015 00:00  by Yolanda F.

Paleo Beef Stew blog

Did you know that cinnamon is regarded as the second most popular spice, next to the number one black pepper, in the U.S. and Europe? You probably could have guessed, but you may not be aware that there are various kinds of cinnamon. Ceylon is the more expensive kind, while Cassia, the cheaper kind (also known as dried Cassia bark), is more commonly used.

The spice has been used since medieval times to treat coughs, sore throats and arthritis. In Ancient Egypt it was almost considered a panacea. But modern research says more research should be done before we can safely make further claims about it.

Whether or not it can be used to treat muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, infections, the common cold, and loss of appetite, like the U.S. National Library of Medicine says it can, the aroma of cinnamon is both nurturing and festive, likely to interrupt depression and sour moods with a single dish like this. It’s also likely to make your palate think it’s at a Greek party.


  • 2-3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely-chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3-5 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 1 sprig fresh sage (or ½ teaspoon dried)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish (optional)

Orange Gremolata:

  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Zest from 1 orange (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • ½ teaspoon rose water (optional)


    1. Sprinkle the beef generously with salt and pepper. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat, then add the meat in batches and sear on all sides. It’s important that you don’t crowd the pan. The meat needs air around it to achieve a crisp brown crust. With tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the browned pieces to a bowl to catch their juice. Repeat with the remaining cubes.
    2. In the same pot, sauté the chopped carrot, onion, celery, and garlic for about 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and stir for about 1 minute.
    3. Deglaze the pan. Which is just a cook’s way to say: Add the broth and vinegar, then stir with passion, scraping up all the wonderful brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken.
    4. Put the meat and its drippings back into the pot. Add 3 cups water, 2 teaspoons of salt, a healthy dose of pepper, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, sage and cinnamon sticks.
    5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer with the pot only partially covered for about 90 minutes. This is not a soupy stew, but if the stew starts to dry out, add more water, about a ½ cup at a time. Simmer until the meat is fall-apart tender and the liquid in the pan has been reduced to gravy-like status.
    6. During the last 15 minutes of stew cooking time, make the gremolata. In a small bowl, mix the parsley, orange zest, thyme, garlic, and rose water.
    7. Remove the cinnamon sticks and herb stems from the stew pot. Ladle the stew into deep bowls and top with a few pinches of orange gremolata. Bonus points if you also add a light drizzle of olive oil. Serves 6 to 10.

Source: Well-fed Paleo Recipes

Last modified on Sunday, 27 December 2015 00:42

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