Beef Stew with Cranberries

Based on an old-fashioned recipe for Swedish Kalops, this is such a quick and easy winter stew recipe, just chunks of beef slow-cooked with onions and cranberry, creating melt-in-your-mouth tender bites of meat. Perfect for cold winter nights. Simple enough for a weeknight supper but special enough for company too.

Beef Stew with Cranberries (Swedish Kalops)

As the holiday season winds down, turn to simple foods that can be prepared in a few minutes and then forgotten until serving time. Whether cooked ahead for a weeknight supper or simmered stovetop for Sunday dinner, Swedish Kalops fit the bill for easy, filling winter fare.

Swedish cookbooks offer dozens of traditional recipes for Kalops, sometimes anglicized to Callops. Centuries ago, the meat and gravy mixture was served on sailing ships so most recipes call for a generous quantity of allspice or cloves to mask the taste of spoiled meat on long voyages.

This delicious variation creates morsels of tender meat in a fruit-sweetened gravy that to my taste is decidedly addictive.

For a traditional meal, serve Swedish Kalops with boiled potatoes (either plain or tossed with a little butter and fresh dill), pickled beets and a green salad.

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Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 6 cups
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 16 ounces canned whole-cranberry sauce
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water, depending on how much gravy is wanted

Heat the oil in a four-quart kettle. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat pieces and dredge with the flour mixture until lightly coated. Add the meat to the hot oil and cook the meat until it is brown on all sides. Top with remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for at least 90 minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Cup: 429 Calories; 14g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 98mg Cholesterol; 490mg Sodium; 39g Carb; 2g Fiber; 31g Sugar; 33g Protein; Weight Watchers 8 points

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I love beef stew recipes. To shift it to gluten free is easy with using a gluten free flour. I don't have a can of cranberries but fresh ones. I wonder if I put them into the blender and added it to the mix, if that would work. I might need a little agave. What do you think?
Diane ~ Fresh cranberries, for sure, but I'd be inclined to cook the cranberries with sugar or, as you say, agave, and a splash of water until the berries popped. Glad you like the recipe, it's just so simple, my favorite!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna