Iron rich slow cooker beef and sweet potato stew for pregnancy and post birth

fertilityfoods iron recipe Nov 23, 2022

This is a delicious dish you can cook/eat/stash/freeze for yourself or drop on someone's doorstep after the arrival of their baby.

It's simple, wholesome, and rich in nutrition including:

  • IRON : from beef to support production of haemoglobin, oxygenation of the body, energy and immunity, with increasing demands for iron in pregnancy to support baby's growth and post birth to replenish mother's lost iron / blood during birth.
  • PREBIOTIC FIBRE : from leeks and garlic to fuel gut microbes > efficient digestion and absorption of nutrients, production of hormones, metabolism
  • PROTEIN: from beef for growth of baby's brain, tissues, organs and maintenance of mum's during pregnancy and post birth
  • ZINC: from beef for production of hormones, to reduce risk of foetal malformations / loss, healthy birth weight, reduce risk of prolonged labour / preterm birth
  • CARBOHYDRATES: to support health and thickness of uterine lining in preconception / pregnancy and for sustaining energy and milk production during lactation
  • VITAMIN B12: to support nervous system development of baby, and maintenance of mum's, reduce risk of miscarriage


Serves 6

1kg chuck steak / gravy beef cut into 3cm cubes 

3 tbsp spelt flour 

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, white part only finely sliced

4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced  

750g sweet potato, cut into chunks

1 small handful thyme (can leave on the stalk and pick out after cooking)

2 bay leaves 

1 tbsp sweet paprika 

2 tbsp tomato paste

750ml vegetable or beef stock or broth

1/2 cup chopped parsley, leaves and stalks 

Iodised sea salt and black pepper 


Heat oven to 160C. Toss cubed meat with flour and season with salt and pepper to coat. Shake off excess flour. Heat a large cast iron french oven / crock pot on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pot, and brown the cubes of beef for a few minutes in batches to ensure there isn't too much beef essence stewing the meat this stage instead of browning it. Once browned transfer to a plate and set aside. Add remaining olive oil to the pan, followed by the leeks and saute for approximately 6-8 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook a further 2 minutes. Return the beef to the pan, add sweet potato, bay leaves, thyme, sweet paprika, tomato paste and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat. Cover with lid and place in oven to slow cook for 4 hours. Once cooked top with fresh parsley and serve with a big bowl of steamed green vegetables or a fresh crunchy side salad. 


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