Beef, Bean & Mushroom Warmer

Trying to balance keeping control of calorie intake and delivering something warming on a miserable night is tricky. But this simple stew does it. It combines lean stewing steak, Borlotti beans, dried mushrooms, tomato, herbs and chilli for some extra heat. I used dried mushrooms I got from a local Chinese supermarket which stay meaty and have an earthy flavour even when cooked for a couple of hours. Season at the end or the beans stay hard. This will serve 4 people at about 400 calories per portion.



  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 400g lean stewing steak, diced in to large pieces
  • 100g dried Borlotti beans, soaked in boiling water for an hour
  • 50g dried mushrooms, soaked in 200ml of boiling water (reserve the strained liquid)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 whole red chilli, stabbed a few times with the point of a knife
  • Spring of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & pepper

What to do 

  1. Heat the oil in a large lidded frying pan and cook the onions and garlic for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the steak and brown.
  3. Drop in the beans, mushrooms, chilli, tomatoes, herbs and mushroom water.
  4. Stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2 hours until the meat and beans are tender.
  5. If the sauce needs thickening gently squash some of the beans with a fork to release some of the starch.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the chilli if you don’t want the final heat.

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