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All Day Beef & Shallots (with a hint of chilli chocolate) ? Live Updates!

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8.30 a.m preparing some stew and because I am in all day, I am going to report on the progress!

The weather was cold and miserable yesterday and I really wanted something hearty to eat which made me think about beef stew. This stew is cooked slowly all day in a slow cooker or you could make it in a normal lidded casserole pot and cook in the oven on a low heat (about 160c) for 4-5 hours.

Stew is one of those great dishes that you can throw lots of different things in. My mum makes hers with beef, carrots, onions and potatoes or, for a vegetarian option you could combine onions, dried mushroom, pulses, lentils and vegetable stock. For pure indulgence make the sauce even richer by adding a glass of port.

In this version, the chilli chocolate gives it a rich sweetness, but because of the small amount that is in there it will not blow your diet! I have also not added and salt as the Marmite will add enough saltiness while adding a rich flavour. I have used echalion shallots in this recipe but any variety of shallot will be fine.


400g lean cubed beef
3 echalion shallots, peeled and cut lengthways into quarters
1 desert spoon of Marmite
2-3 squares of good quality chilli chocolate
400 ml cold water

Cooking Times

Conventional oven at 160c for 4-5 hours

When cooking a stew in a conventional oven the liquid will absorb much quicker so you need to keep your eye on it, keep giving it a stir and top up with water if it needs it.

Slow cooker on the middle setting for 8-10 hours

The slow cooker cooks at a much lower heat and less of the liquid is absorbed, but still keep your eye on it and give it a stir but don’t be afraid to leave it alone.


Easy peasy method. Throw it all in your slow cooker or casserole pot, give it a quick stir and let it start cooking.

10.10 a.m – lost 1.5 lbs at the slimming club, I might be opting for the celebratory Yorkshire Pudding as the accompaniment tonight.

11.44 a.m Stew is looking good and the smell is driving me mad……thinking about lunch

3.34 p.m Just had a sneaky taste, it is a good job I don’t have any fresh crusty bread handy to dip in!

7.15 p.m ¬†Almost time …..

To Serve

Serve up with some mashed potato and braised red cabbage. Or, for a treat, a fresh Yorkshire pudding.

7.35 p.m all done. My hubby hates Marmite so I asked him if he thought the stew was nice. “Hmm yum it’s great” he sputtered. ” See you do like Marmite”, I said! His face was priceless

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