Sneaky Parent Recipes: Savory Sweet Beef and Bacon Stew



Welcome to our Sneaky Parent Series. This series of recipes provides sneaky and delicious ways to force encourage your children to eat liver. The word “liver” used to make us feel nauseous, but now it makes us all salivate. If you or your kids have similar aversions this healthful organ meat, these recipes will quickly bring them to the other side of the fence. Bon appetit!

Our children love beef, and they love bacon (it must be an inherited trait). Therefore, the name of this stew appeals to them. Of course, this title leaves out the two secret ingredients that might send some children running: squash (two kinds of it, in fact) and liver.

Our children actually love squash, so we didn’t have to be too sneaky on that end. If you wanted to camouflage the squash you could cook it and then puree, but I left it in big chunks. The acorn squash mashes up easily and acts as a natural thickener. It also gives a delicious sweetness to the soup.

This recipe was a bit improvised. Originally I had intended to make stuffed acorn squash, but I decided halfway through that I would rather eat soup. Then I realized I also had a bunch of vegetables and liver that needed to be used. It turned out to be quite delicious, and technically, it’s also paleo. Enjoy!

Savory Sweet Beef and Bacon Stew

Serves 4 – 6


2 lbs ground beef
4 slices bacon

1/4 lb liver

1 T diced garlic
1 acorn squash, roasted or cooked in the microwave
1 small red onion
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
Half of a red bell pepper
1 yellow zucchini
1 T tomato paste
¼ cup tomato sauce
5 cups venison stock (or beef stock)
2 T coconut aminos
1 tsp. oregano
1 1/2  tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cumin
¼ tsp coriander


1. Brown the beef, liver (I puree mine first and then mix it with the beef), and bacon. Add the garlic, red onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and zucchini, chopped to whatever consistency you like. Let it all cook until the mushrooms release their juices.


2. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stock, coconut aminos, and spices. Mix it all together. You can also pre-mix the spices and add them all at once. Look out for pink crayons.


3. While the soup flavors mix, scoop out the inside of the acorn squash. Add the squash to the soup.


4. Let the soup cook for 30 minutes or longer. Add salt and pepper before serving if you like.


5. Serve with a fresh salad or other greens. Watch your children or guests devour the soup and listen to their ranting and raving about how delicious it is. Once the bowls are empty, nonchalantly mention the liver content.


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