First Beef Stew


This delicious slow-cooked beef stew has just 7 ingredients (and olive oil), making it incredibly easy to assemble. It takes a few minutes to prep then put the stew in the oven, to cook away, and you can get on with your day. Just the sort of recipe I like to make on a cold day, when I am busy doing other things.

Iron is really crucial from 6 months onwards for your babies development and red meat provides a great source of iron. There are plenty of other sources too including green leaf vegetables. Ensure that in your weekly meal plans you include an array of foods which are packed with iron, to help support your baby’s growth.  

Always make sure you have tried each ingredient separately with your baby, so there is no reaction to any of the ingredients, before offering this dish. 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 1 tomato, peeled, remove seeds and diced

  • 500ml homemade baby stock (see recipe > soups & stocks section), with no salt, or water

  • 400g braising beef, cut into chunks (you could also substitute this for lamb, which I sometimes do also)


Preheat the oven to 170C fan oven

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed casserole dish over a medium heat: add the chopped onion and carrot and soften for 5-10 mins, without browning. Then add the prepped tomato, sweet potato and stock, or water: bring up to the boil

Meanwhile brown the braising steak in a little olive oil, in batches, searing all sides. I use a frying pan that I can warm to a high temp. Add the beef and the rest of the juices to the veg: after each batch is cooked (2-3 batches). 

Once all the beef has been added and the stew has come up to the boil. Add a tightly fitting lid. Place in the oven for 1 hour 15 mins to cook. You can check halfway and see if any more liquid is needed. Once easy leave to cool and then serve. 

  • for your baby: blend using a hand blender and a little boiled water, until smooth. 

  • for toddlers, children and adults: sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with mashed potato, or rice. You can season at the table. Mustard is also delicious for the grown-ups!

weaningMiriam Cooper