Beef Stew with Cinnamon and Yams

Last week we had a few of those quintessential fall days. You know the ones – sunny with crisp cool air during the day and chilly nights that are perfect for snuggling up with an extra blanket on your bed.

Fall days always make me want a hearty, warming dinner. My solution?  Beef stew.

This is not your usual beef stew, though. I couldn’t get the idea of beef stew with cinnamon and allspice out of my head, so I decided to just go for it (with some encouragement from a few of my favorite friends on Twitter and this recipe suggestion from Taste As You Go).

This was one time where I was really glad that I followed my instincts (and a few good second opinions). The yams in the recipe paired well with the spices, giving the dish a hint of sweet without overpowering the beef.  I ended up taking this dish over to my parents’ house for dinner, and it was a hit.  It just tasted like fall, and it was the hearty, warming dish that I had been hoping for!

Beef Stew with Cinnamon and Yams

  • 2 pounds beef, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cans beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 large yams, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • Kosher salt

Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and

1/4 teaspoon of allspice in a mixing bowl. Dredge the cubes of beef in the flour, shaking off any excess.  Once the oil is hot, sear the beef in the dutch oven in small batches. Transfer the seared beef to a bowl.

After all of the beef is seared, saute the onions and remaining teaspoon of cinnamon in the dutch oven, adding more olive oil if necessary. Once the onions are soft, add the beef stock and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the dutch oven.

Dissolve the corn starch in the water.  Stir into the onion and beef stock mixture.  Add the yams and carrots and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, return the seared beef to the pot, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

28 Responses to Beef Stew with Cinnamon and Yams

  1. Jennifer says:

    How seasonal and yummy!

  2. Eliana says:

    This looks amazing Jen – the perfect Fall one pot meal.

  3. jenn says:

    Interesting touch with the cinnamon. It adds flavor to an already delicious stew. I’ll have mine with over some rice. Yum!!

  4. megan says:

    I was just thinking that I should try a new beef stew recipe. This one looks perfect for fall. I love fall-themed recipes :) Do you think you could do it in a crockpot? Otherwise it will have to be a weekend meal. but worth the wait I’m sure :)

    • Megan – yes, this would work in the crock pot. You would want to sear the beef and saute the onions in a heavy bottomed skillet. Be sure to add some of the broth to the skillet to deglaze the pan and get all of the flavor from the beef drippings and onions. Then, add the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low. I’m not exactly sure of the time, but my guess is 3-4 hours in the slow cooker would do the trick.

  5. Mags says:

    I’m just loving that the cooler weather has everyone making soups and stews again. Yours looks awesome!

  6. Michelle says:

    So many people I know made Beef Stew this week! But I know what you mean about hearty meals during the fall. I call them “tummy warming” meals.

  7. That looks great! A wonderful autumn dish!

  8. Divina says:

    That’s yummy-licious. It’s great meal to keep you warm. Very comforting.

  9. Candy says:

    I love cinnamon and beef, it’s the perfect flavor combination. I can’t imagine how great your stew probably smelled too. Beautiful pictures as well :)

  10. Teanna says:

    I love cinnamon and it is my go-to spice on any protein that I am cooking (besides fish) without a recipe. This stew is amazing and I am printing out the recipe right now! I’d love this for dinner!

  11. How wonderful that you added cinnamon to the beef stew, it sounds really good especially with yams also!

  12. Erica says:

    I love the addition of cinnamon! I have to try that next time. I usually add cumin to mine and is delicious:)

  13. Reeni says:

    The warm spices in here are such a nice change from the usual beef stew. Really nice flavors to go with the yams. Such a comforting stew!

  14. I love adding sweet spices to my beef. Unfortunately not everybody is a fan. I’d eat it up with you any day. Plus yams are to die for. I am the only one in my house who loves them though.

  15. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Wow I bet this is delicious! I can imagine cinnamon going very well with beef and yams….yum!

  16. Looks delicious, I love the unexpected ingredients!

  17. Jen says:

    Yum! I bet this would also work well with butternut squash!

  18. Amazing!! I love the use of cinnamon and yams. Next time give bison a try. The gamyness with the earthy taste of cinnamon and yams is incredible! A nice healthy alternative to beef to lighten up this dish!

  19. Robin Mayer says:

    This sounds very much like a recipe I made years ago, and lost my recipe. In that one, red wine was used in place of the beef stock and apples rather than carrots (the apples were added about 15 min. before serving). Hopefully, this one will be as delicious.

  20. gaga says:

    What a great idea. I love yams! Te

  21. Cristy says:

    that’s a mighty comforting looking dish -love the combination! those are sweet potatoes though, not yams. yams are white, everyone gets them confused ; ) take my sweet potato vs yam quiz so you can see the difference, i think you’ll be really surprised!

    http://sweetbytesblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/pop-quiz-sweet-potato-or-yam.html

    • Cristy – Thank you so much for commenting! I’ve actually been questioning whether or not they were sweet potatoes or yams… The store where I bought them had them labeled “Louisiana Yams” so I took their word for it. I will definitely check out your quiz :)

  22. Lauren says:

    This looks so good! I’m having friends over for dinner on Sunday and plan to make this. Any ideas on how many servings it made? BTW – I found your site through foodgawker…my new obsession!

  23. I’m so pleased your beef stew with yams/sweet potatoes worked out so well! Love the idea of using allspice and cinnamon, too. Thanks for the shout-out!

    PS. Sorry it’s taken me so long to comment… I’m embarrassingly behind with Google Reader. ;-)

  24. [...] Beef Stew with Cinnamon and Yams: The yams in the recipe paired well with the spices, giving the dish a hint of sweet without overpowering the beef. I ended up taking this dish over to my parents’ house for dinner, and it was a hit. It just tasted like fall, and it was the hearty, warming dish that I had been hoping for! Recipe from My Kitchen Addiction. [...]

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