Warming winter stew: The Fast Diet

Beef stew

Beef stew - Credit: Romas Foord

One man’s health scare led to the creation of a new diet, which is fast becoming a worldwide health movement

Calorie count: 385

Fast Day food needn’t be all about leaves and lemongrass.

Here, I’ve taken a great British classic and modified it to bump up the veg and shout down the calories.

On a non-Fast Day, you might have it with mash.

But, really, it’s a meal in itself without.


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Serves four:

1 tsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

handful of fresh sage leaves

400g good stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into chunks, fat removed

salt and pepper

2 tsps plain flour

2 parsnips, peeled and quartered

4 carrots, peeled and halved

½ small butternut squash, deseeded and roughly chopped (no need to peel)

3 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved

2 tbsps tomato purée

1 bay leaf

250ml red wine

285ml vegetable stock

zest of a lemon, finely grated

rosemary leaves


1 Preheat oven to 170°C/325°F.

2 Put oil in a casserole pan, add onion and sage leaves and fry for three minutes.

3 Dust meat with seasoned flour and add to pan with the vegetables, tomato purée, bay leaf, wine and stock.

4 Stir gently and season.

5 Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, and cook in oven until the meat is tender and falls apart easily – about 3 hours.

6 Garnish with lemon zest and a scatter of rosemary leaves.