African Beef Stew – a popular mouth-watering stew and a traditional West African Stew that is often prepared in most homes, in a number of different ways. A must-have for Christmas gatherings and in everyday meal.
This is a popular and traditional West African Stew that is often prepared in most homes, in a number of different ways in countries like Cameroon, Nigeria and Ghana – by varying the quantity of tomatoes, onions and spices.
Quite a lot of oil is used to cook the stew – often used to fry the tomatoes for a period of time to reduce the amount of acidity present in tomatoes. You know what? A good West African stew is flavorful and is rarely acidic.
You may remove some of the excess oil at the end before serving.
Rice and stew was once considered the quintessential West African Christmas meal. Of course, no Christmas table would be complete without it and an array of sumptuous dishes. Oh, how times have changed!
This tantalizing beef stew has evolved into an everyday meal, cooked with different cuts of meat and seafood and always present on restaurant menus. But to most people Christmas would never be complete without stew.
Here is my take on this mouth-watering African beef stew. Feel free to add vegetables such as carrots, green beans or green pepper. In Nigeria, it’s most often paired with African yam – fried or boiled. Rice and fried plantains are another good side dish option for this African beef stew.
Watch How to Make It
Tips and Notes:
- You can also let the meat simmer for about 3 hours for a fall-off-the-bones tender texture.
- You may replace canned tomatoes with fresh tomatoes but make sure you fry the sauce until it has completely dried before adding liquid. You might have to add more oil and watch out for burns.
- You can leave out the roma tomaotes; it works fine without.
- If you don’t have beef cubes on hand, you may replace it with bone-in beef meat.
- As suggested by one of the comments below, if you’re cutting back on the fat (oil), you can “cook off the water in the tomatoes by boiling the tomatoes until all the water is gone. Once the water cooks off, add some oil (olive oil works well) to fry the tomatoes.”
- Substitute Maggi powder with chicken bouillon.
Recipe was first published on Feb 2014 and has been updated with new photos, tips and notes and a video.
African Beef Stew
- 1-2 pound stew beef , cut in small pieces
- 1/2 -1 cup oil (Canola, Vegetable or Corn) , adjust as needed
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 4 roma tomatoes , they are less acidic
- 4 peeled garlic cloves
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 3-4 tablespoon celery leaves
- ½ -1 scotch bonnet pepper , optional
- 1-2 basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 canned tomatoes sauce , 14 ounce
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Maggie powder or beef bouillon powder
- 1-2 green onion , sliced
- salt to taste
- Boil beef with salt, pepper and some chopped onions in a medium pot until tender. It will take approximately 30 minutes or more, depending the cut of beef and how you like your beef cooked. I sometimes use the pressure cooker to shorten the process. Reserve the stock for later use.
- Add 1 cup oil to the pot/pan and brown the beef for about 5-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In a blender, blend the onions, tomatoes, garlic, parsley, celery, thyme, basil and scotch bonnet pepper
- Gently pour the blend of puree ingredients, and tomatoes puree in the saucepan, add curry powder, white pepper , smoked paprika and bouillon powder bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Then return browned beef and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir the pot frequently to prevent the sauce from sticking to the pot. -Occasionally adding beef stock or water as needed to prevent burns
- Finally add green onions. Adjust seasonings, sauce consistency with water/stock and salt.
- Serve warm with desired side dish.
Tips & Notes:
- Feel free to add vegetables such as carrots, green beans or green pepper
- You may remove some of the excess oil at the end before serving.