Slow-cooked beef and leek with kidney beans – welcome to winter

Slow-cooked beef and leek with kidney beans

Hello winter! I don’t like your temperatures all that much but I do like the hearty, warming food you let me make. Winter hasn’t really arrived with a bang here in Brisbane. In fact I think it’s the warmest day since I got back. It felt so wintery earlier in the week I decided it was time for the slow cooker to make a comeback and I had just the recipe.

Slow-cooked beef and leek with kidney beans

I first saw it over at Hotly Spiced where Charlie whipped up this tasty-looking stew for her Birthday dinner. It screamed ‘slow cook me’ to me so that’s exactly what I did. It was fabulous. There aren’t that many ingredients involved (I had everything but the meat and leek in my house already) but the flavour is really deep and hearty. I made it for dinner on Monday night with the intention of freezing the left overs for quick dinners. They didn’t last long though. I ate the rest for lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday. If you don’t have a slow cooker, head on over to Hotly Spiced to see how Charlie made it.

The ingredients

Saute the onion

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. I used the pot of my slow cooker because it goes on the stove. That’s why I love it so much! Saute onion until it’s transparent.

Spices, herbs and garlic

Tip in the spices and stir them through with the garlic and herbs. It will begin to smell quite amazing.

Sealing the beef

When it smells amazing, add the beef and cook just until it is sealed.

Spiced up beef

It will take on a lovely yellow tinge from the turmeric.

Time for slow cooking

Tip the contents of the pan into your slow cooker, or move the pot into the slow-cooker base and add the rest of the ingredients except the leek. Cook it all on low for 5 hours or until the beef is very tender. Take the lid off the slow cooker and stir in the leek then turn it up to high and let it cook for another hour or until the sauce gets nice and thick. I also shredded up the beef chunks a little bit.

Slow-cooked beef and leek with kidney beans

I served my stew with couscous but I think it would also go rather nicely with mashed potato. It freezes well too if you have any leftovers.

Slow-cooked beef and leek with kidney beans


What about you do you love winter warming dishes or do you prefer the fresh, light flavours of summer?

Slow-cooked beef and leek with kidney beans


Slow-cooked beef and leek with kidney beans - welcome to winter
Serves: 4
  • 500g (18oz) diced beef
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tin of crushed tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 leek thinly sliced
  • 300g (11oz) kidney beans
  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or your slow cooker if it goes on the stove.
  2. Add the onion and cook until transparent.
  3. Add the garlic, herbs and spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant.
  4. Add the meat and cook until it is just sealed on all sides.
  5. Transfer the pot to the slow cooker (or tip everything into your slow cooker).
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients except the leek and cook on low heat for at least 5 hours or until the meat is tender enough to shred with a fork.
  7. Take the lid off the slow cooker stir through the leek and turn the heat up to high for one hour or until the sauce reduces.
  8. Serve stew with couscous or mashed potato.

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  1. Claire, lovely dish!

    I love all of the seasons… and all that they have to offer in terms of produce and the things I cook with them.

  2. Hi Claire, I’m so glad you tried this recipe. You are right – it is a great wintery meal. You’ve inspired me to put on my list of must-have-kitchen-essentials, a slow-cooker. What a great appliance. Thanks for the shout-out Claire and have a great weekend! xx

    • It was so good Charlie – it will become a regular I think. You have to get one they are fantastic. Get the Breville one that goes on the stove because it makes life soooo much easier.

  3. Thanks Claire, you have inspired me to pull the slow cooker out of whatever cupboard I hide it in at the end of last winter…I do love Brisbane winters, cold enough to justify comfort food (brown food my kids call it) but not really cold at all! YAY Brisbane!

    • You’re very welcome Anna. I seriously don’t know what I did before my slow cooker. I love ‘brown food.’ That really is the perfect description isn’t it. Brisbane is a pretty nice climate when you think about it yes, I dislike the occasional freezing day.

  4. That looks deliciously scrumptious Claire! And that reminds me, I must check the weather in Queensland for this coming week!

    • Lorraine don’t listen to the weather report. Pack for all seasons. It seems Melbourne weather has taken a long vacation up here.

  5. says:

    if I was Oprah i would have YOU as my resident chef and not Curtis Stone … a) much prettier blonde and b) much more kitchen inspiration ….. 🙂

  6. says:

    i tried your barley and chicken stew it was DELICIOUS ! this one looks even nicer. I can’t wait to give it a try 😉

  7. Anna Deakin says:

    Hi Claire, are the kidney beans dried or tinned? Looking forward to trying it in Melbourne, when the weather cools down to normal autumn temperatures!

    • Hi Anna. You can use either but if you choose dried make sure you soak them for at least 12 hours before using them. It’s perfect cold weather dinner!

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