Beef and Prune Stew


Beef and Prune Stew by Ashley of

No you guys. I am NOT a grandma. I just like prunes, okay?

I realize that the word “prune” is basically the ugliest word in existence, which is really unfortunate because that’s the name that was given to what is actually a pretty tasty fruit. Why not just call it what it is: a dried plum.

Who came up with the name “prune” anyway? I bet it was the raisin industry. I bet that dried plums were encroaching on dried grape profits… and the dried grape guys had to come up with a way to keep people from eating the dried plums.

What am I even talking about? I think I’ve had too many fermented grapes. You know, in the form of wine.

But back to prunes. I mean, dried plums.

This stew is sweet and savory. I’m calling it a beef and prune stew but if you’re making this dish for company, call it a beef and dried plum stew instead. It sounds better, trust me.

You should know that this stew isn’t even really a stew. It’s more like a thick curry… and by that I mean that there isn’t much liquid to the dish. The plums break down into a thick and sweet and fruity syrup that envelopes the little pieces of beef. You won’t need a bowl to serve this – you can use a plate. And maybe serve a side of bread or naan to help you scoop up the thick stew.

Beef and Prune Stew by Ashley of

I’m normally not one to enjoy sweet curries, but this prune stew is something else. It’s a fun and festive dish that’s warm and comforting and tastes like the holidays.

After cooking this, there might be one or two prunes that don’t completely break down in the sauce and that’s okay. In fact, that’s great. But if all your prunes do break down in the sauce, then make sure to top your stew with a few extra prunes prior to serving.

Beef and Prune Stew by Ashley of

Beef and Prune Stew

Beef and Prune Stew by Ashley of

Beef and Prune Stew

5 from 6 reviews
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Servings 4
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 3 strips uncooked bacon diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper adjust to taste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock or water
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup organic prunes
  • Cilantro or Parsley for garnish optional


  • Heat the oil in a dutch oven over high heat.
  • Add the beef and sear on all sides for about 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, add the bacon, onions, garlic, serrano pepper and saute for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices, stir for a minute, then add the red wine to deglaze the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low then add the chicken stock, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar and prunes.
  • Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf, put lid back on and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender.
  • Garnish with cilantro or parsley if desired.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Jenn says

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I have so many prunes sitting in my pantry that I needed to get rid of. I let it simmer on the stove for probably an extra 30 mins bc mine was really watery and it came out perfect. Love the warm flavor, the cinnamon and prunes (dried plums lol) are perfect! Will def make this again to get rid of the rest of the prunes 🙂

  2. Claudia says

    Looks Fab! I live in Northern Calif., where most of the ‘prunes’ are produced. The growers/processors have a big campaign going to call them Dried Plums….so you are perfectly correct!

    Can’t wait to try this!

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