Valley Fig Growers

Mediterranean Beef Stew with California Figs, Red Wine and Olives

Slow Cooker Recipe

Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 8 1/2 cups).


  • 9 ounces Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun Maid California Figs
  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef round or lean stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 4 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil, divided use 
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup sodium-reduced beef broth 
  • 1 cup full-bodied dry red wine 
  • 1 can (14 1/2-ounce) crushed tomatoes, undrained 
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 3 strips (3/4- x 3-inch) lemon zest* 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup quartered, pitted kalamata olives 
  • Chopped fresh thyme or Italian parsley 


  1. Remove stems from figs and cut in half if large; set aside. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, turning occasionally, to brown all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer beef to slow cooker. Reduce heat to medium and add 2 teaspoons oil to skillet along with onion and garlic. Stir and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes.  Add a tablespoon or two of water if onions brown too quickly. Add wine, undrained tomatoes and beef broth to skillet. Simmer 1 minute, stirring with wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits from bottom of pan. Pour wine mixture over meat in slow cooker. Stir in figs, carrots, bay leaves and lemon zest. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours (or on high for 4 to 5 hours) or until meat is tender. To serve, remove bay leaves and lemon zest.  Stir in olives and sprinkle with thyme or parsley. Serve with buttered noodles, polenta or steamed new potatoes, as desired. 
*Remove strips of lemon zest (yellow part only) with vegetable peeler. Photography David Campbell
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and tag us @valleyfig —we’d love to see what you’re cooking on Instagram and Facebook!

Nutrition Information

amount per serving

Calories 313
% Calories from Fat 27%
Fat 10g
Cholesterol 66mg
Protein 27g
Carbohydrates 31g
Fiber 7g
Iron 4mg
Sodium 603mg
Calcium 106mg