Low Food Chemical Beef and Leek Stew

A couple of years ago, we had to follow a strict low food chemical diet – low salicylates, amines and glutamates. We are still cautious as we have food intolerances, so this recipe is a winter staple in our house.

The vegetables and seasonings are all low in natural food chemicals. To keep the meat low in amines, it is important to get the meat as fresh as possible – from the butcher, not the supermarket. It’s also important not to cook the meat for too long, so a slow cooker is not suitable for this dish. To compensate for this I’ve used a better cut of meat, to ensure it is still tender. If you need low amines, freeze any left overs immediately, as the amine levels will increase if left ever night in the fridge.

Despite the limited ingredients, this is a very flavoursome stew, and simple to make. Carrots contain a moderate amount of salicylates, so for a strict low chemical diet, leave them out.

Gluten, dairy, nut, egg and legume free. Low in amines, salicylates and glutamates


1kg of rump steak, cut into 2cm cubes, lightly coated in gluten free plain flour

2 sticks of celery

3 leeks

2 carrots

3 tablespoons of sunflower oil

1/2 tablespoon of brown sugar

Pinch of citric acid

Salt to taste

1 cup of water

finely chopped parsley


Finely dice leeks, celery and carrot.

Saute vegetables in two tablespoons of oil, until tender. Remove from pan.

Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the same pan. On high heat, quickly brown the meat for a couple of minutes, until fully sealed. Turn heat to medium.

Return vegetables to pan, with a cup of water, brown sugar, and a tiny pinch of citric acid (be careful to only add a tiny amount. A little goes a long way). Cook with lid on, for about 10 minutes, until meat is cooked through. Simmer with the lid off for another 2-3 minutes to reduce.

Season with salt to taste. Garnish with small amount of finely chopped parsley if desired.

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