Protein and nutrient rich lean beef is one of the foods the bariatric community is divided over. One camp says to eat beef in small portions, another group says beef is on the "Don't" list and yet another common belief is to experiment and eat what can be tolerated. The concern with beef is that after a malabsorptive and restrictive procedure there is no longer enough stomach acid to properly digest the meat. In addition, overly fat cuts of beef or ground beef may not sit well with some patients, causing nausea or digestive distress.
Patients who include beef as part of their healthy diet report that moist cooking methods (stewing or braising) result in a tender meat that is well tolerated and satisfying. Consider any of our stew recipes or the slow braised Osso Buco alla Milanese as shown here.
One 3-ounce serving of lean beef, such as beef round, has 184 calories, 30g protein, 6g fat. It is rich in Vitamin B12, Zinc, Iron, Niacin, Riboflavin and Vitamin B6. Additionally, beef supplies two kinds of iron (heme and non-heme iron). Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient-deficiency problem in the United States. This nutritional shortfall can result in fatigue, irritability and lowered immunity. It is believed that eating iron rich foods such as beef will improve iron absorption in women who have undergone gastric surgery.
LivingAfterWLS Beef Recipes
Osso Buco alla Milanese
All-purpose flour for dredging (about 1/2 cup)
4 meaty veal or beef shanks (about 3 - 3 1/2 pounds)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 strips orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine or dry white vermouth
1/2 cup veal or chicken stock
1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes with juice
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Season the shanks with salt and pepper on all sides and then dredge in flour, shaking away excess. Heat the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven. When oil is hot brown the shanks (see photo at right), turning with tongs until both sides are well caramelized, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer shanks to a large platter and set aside.
Discard the fat from the pan and wipe with paper towles. Return to low heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables become soft. Stir in garlic, orange zest, marjoram and bay leaf. Continue cooking for two minutes.
Add the wine and increase the heat to high, bring to a boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, to reduce the wine by about half, 5 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes, with their juice, and boil again to reduce the liquid to about 1 cup total.
Return the shanks to the pot and pour any juices that accumlated as the sat back in the pot. Cover pot with lid and place in preheated oven. Without disturbing the meat check occasional to make sure the liquid is simmering slowly, not boiling. Occassionaly spoon some of the pan juices over the shanks. Continue cooking on low simmer until meat is completely tender and pulling from the bone.
Remove shanks from cooking liquid and place on platter. Tent loosely with foil. Return the pot to the stove and simmer, reducing volume slightly. Taste for flavor and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve shanks with reduced braising liquid.