Swedish Egg

Swedish Egg

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Slow Cooker Braised Beef

I’m in love with my new old Crock Pot. I bought it at a neighbor’s Memorial Day yard sale for $3 (recipe book included!) and we are having so much fun getting acquainted.

I’m a total newbie to slow cooking since: a) even though I grew up in the 1970’s, my family didn’t own a Crock Pot, and b) my former vegetarian, frequently raw food diet didn’t have much use for such a tool! But dealing with a mid-life case of SIBO now, all I can say is WOW: what a perfect kitchen appliance for folks who must base their diets around meat and vegetables! Especially those of us who work outside the home, since the slow cooker makes it possible to leave the house for hours and come home to dinner. Genius.

According to the official Rival companion recipe book that came with my bargain find, there are multitudes of dishes—even desserts—that can be made in a slow cooker. But so far, I like it best for stews and braises.

Braising is the process of simmering vegetables or meat in a small amount of stock or seasoned broth. It’s one of my favorite cooking methods, even in a regular pan. Using a Crock Pot makes the whole thing totally fuss-free.

This very simple recipe contains only the safest of SIBO-specific foods: low-FODMAP green vegetables and naturally-raised beef. These ingredients provide, essentially, zero fermentation potential, meaning NO BLOAT. Yay!

Suitable for those on ketogenic diets, Slow Cooker Braised Beef is also GAPS-friendly, SCD-legal and Paleo in spirit. (Cavemen did not cook in Crock Pots, so I can't say it's Paleo in practice, lol.) 

Best of all—besides being fuss-free and bloat-free—it makes a delightfully satisfying meal.

Slow Cooker Braised Beef
with Parsley & Green Vegetables

Cooking Time: 4 hours
Number of Servings: 2

2 cups chopped green vegetables 
        (I used: 1 sm. zucchini, 2 heads baby bok choy and a fistful of fresh parsley. Other options: green beans and/or swiss chard.)
3/4 to 1 LB grassfed stew beef, cut in cubes
1.5 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper, dried oregano & thyme
additional parsley for garnish

Chop green veggies and add to the bottom of your slow cooker, like this:

Place cubed beef over the vegetables and pour stock on top. Sprinkle the beef with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Crush dried oregano and thyme between your fingers to release their aromatic oils as you sprinkle these on top of the beef, too. Nestle bay leaf in the center. 

Cover crock pot and set to 4 Hours (High). When done, stir well to moisten meat and marry flavors. If desired, shred the beef before transferring to serving bowl. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and an additional pinch of dried thyme. Bon appetit!

NOTES: I chose to cut my vegetables small so they would virtually melt into the stock, creating a flavorful, savory, mineral-rich sauce to serve over the cooked beef. If you prefer to have bigger chunks of vegetables in your bowl, simply chop zucchini, etc. in larger pieces.

Using only low-FODMAP green vegetables makes this dish 100% SIBO-safe at any stage of healing, and an ideal recipe for flare recovery. If you are further along in your progress and can tolerate higher carbohydrate vegetables, consider adding half a cup of thinly sliced yellow or orange veggies such as delicata squash, butternut squash or carrots for added texture and color.


  1. Hi Diana: what brand of broth is safe to use? Many have Onion and garlic in the ingredients.

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    2. Hi Emily,

      None of the boxed brands are totally safe. I prefer a powdered broth called Seitenbacher Vegetable Broth and Seasoning. Although onion and leek powder are listed on the label, Seitenbacher's contains 0 carbohydrate per serving, so the fermentation potential is very low. (Carbohydrates are the food of microbes, as I am sure you know!)

      You can also use beef stock in this recipe, in which case there are some other options. First, if you live within access to a food co-op or Whole Foods-type store, check their freezer for frozen bone broth made with only salt added. That's the best option next to homemade. Boxed or canned broth is bound to be lower quality.

      The really best option is making your own, which is far easier than you could imagine! Especially if you have a slow cooker, I really encourage you to try.

      Start with fresh or frozen beef marrow or knuckle bones (available at Whole Foods or ask your local butcher). Put bones in the slow cooker, cover with water and a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar and simmer for 8-12 hours on low with a bay leaf, salt to taste, some whole peppercorns and a few low-FODMAP veggies for added minerals and flavor. I used a handful of parsley, chopped stems from a bunch of Swiss chard and a peeled carrot in my most recent batch. I had 2 pounds of bones and used 2-1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water. Came out great!

      Note: I base my recipe on the one in The Heal Your Gut Cookbook by Boynton and Brackett. I love that beautiful book, which is GAPS-diet friendly, so you do need to adapt recipes for low-FODMAP. xo