African Beef Stew

African beef stew is a delicious comforting bowl of meat and tomatoes. This bowl is full of flavor, and can easily feed a crowd! Easy family dinner idea for every day or holiday.

It can easily be supplemented with addition of vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, pumpkin or yam. African beef stew and rice is a popular combination for a good meal. It can be served with pasta or beans, too!

The base of this stew is a combination of canned and raw acidic tomatoes with spices. Then you add seared meat and cook together about 40-60 minutes to the desired consistency.

This delicious African tomato beef stew is suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, keto and low-carb diets!

I bet this comfort food will be your next favorite dinner recipe!

African beef stew served in a bowl will become your family favorite dinner idea.

The origins of the African beef stew

African beef stew is commonly served in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and other African countries.

There are different variation of the stew, for example West African Style stew is very spicy. East African Stew is very similar to my recipe, but it can be adjusted with addition of vegetables.

South African stew is usually cooked outdoors, using meat, vegetables, rice and spices. You can find some households that can add fruit such as fried plantains in the stew.

In some parts of Africa, such as Algeria, lamb is commonly used in such stews instead of beef. Spinach is often added in Nigeria.

As you can see, many variants of this stew dish appear in the cuisines and households across the Africa.

If you have African roots, tell us how the beef stew is prepared at your home! We’d love to know!

The consistency of the stew

Simmer the stew until it reaches the consistency that you like. Tomatoes that I used were very watery, so you might skip adding more water.

If you cook it longer and reduce the water, you will have a thicker main that can be served with grains, such as rice, barley or buckwheat.

You can also leave it with more soupy consistency.

If you like a creamy consistency, you can add coconut milk instead of water.

You can prepare this stew in a pot, Dutch oven crock pot or instant pot.

If you ever made beef stew such as Irish beef stew, you know that a slowly cooked meat with vegetables is so good!

African beef stew in a bowl with a spoon, view from top

Spicy African beef stew

To add more flavor, I used dried African spices such as curry powder, paprika, black pepper and thyme.

You can also use freshly chopped garlic, onion and fresh parsley, but I prefer dried herbs. These are so easy to store and makes prepping your meals so much faster, not compromising on flavor!

Ginger, cinnamon and chili are very popular additions in African beef stews, so you can experiment with different flavors.

Add salt and pepper to your taste.

Beef stew meat

Stews are great, because the less expensive parts of the beef can be used in the recipe. The most popular are shoulder parts (chuck) or rear part (round). These are best for braising and boiling.

You can also use bone-in beef cuts to add more flavor to the stew.

How to make simple African beef stew

To make the stew, you will need beef cuts, raw tomatoes, canned tomatoes, olive oil, beef bouillon cube and spices.

Start browning the meat. Heat olive oil in a pot or pan. Brown the beef on high cubes form each side, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the meat and set aside.

Don’t skip the step of browning the meat, as it will add the flavor of the final dish by incorporating caramelization in the pot. By searing the meat, you can reduce the amount of fat.

Ingredients for the beef stew

Heat more oil in a pan, add spices and cook them 1 minute, stirring, until fragrant. You can also use here chopped garlic cloves and onion instead of dried.

Add canned tomatoes in a pot.

Puree raw tomatoes in a blender or food processor and add to the pot. Ideally use Roma tomatoes for this recipe, but you can use any other that are in season or available in your area.

Bring to the boil and simmer tomatoes about 30 minutes.

Return meat to the pot, add beef bouillon cube and water.

Bring to the boil and simmer 30 minutes or longer until you reach the consistency that you like and beef cubes are soft and cooked.

How to store beef stew

Let it cool and store, covered, in the fridge up to 4- 5 days.

You can distribute it into portions and put in small containers . This way you will have an easy dinner ready to be reheated or served with grains.

African beef stew served on a napkin with a spoon

Best side dishes for a beef stew

As I already mentioned, African beef stew can be served with different sides:

  • Vegetables. Add chopped potatoes or carrots to the stew 20 minutes before the end of cooking. You can also serve vegetables or puree on the side. Check out Turnips and potatoes, Baked vegetables, Sweet Potato Fries, Colcannon
  • Grains. Use rice, buckwheat, barley or other grains that you have prepared.
  • Try to serve it with pasta. Tomato and beef will complement macaroni or pasta.
  • Eat it as it is, served with Soda bread or Naan on the side.

Other beef recipes:

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African Beef Stew in a white bowl, sprinkled with microgreens

African Beef Stew

Cooking Journey
5 from 4 votes
Easy dinner idea for large family gathering or week meal prep. Flavorful tomato and beef stew.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 21 mins
Total Time 1 hr 26 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine african
Servings 6
Calories 304 kcal

Equipment

  • large pot
  • spoon
  • tongs or fork




Ingredients 

  • 400 g beef chuck, cut in cube pieces
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes large
  • 1 can tomatoes in juice whole or chopped / 400 g or 14 oz
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp onion flakes or granules
  • 1 tbsp garlic flakes
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground
  • 1 tsp parsley dried
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cube beef bouillon



Instructions
 

  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot or pan.
    1/2 cup olive oil
    Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot or pan.
  • Put beef pieces in a pot or pan, but don't overcrowd it.
    400 g beef
    Put beef pieces in a pot or pan, but don't overcrowd it.
  • Sear beef from each side until browned, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot*
    Sear beef from each side until browned, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot*
  • Blend raw tomatoes in a blender or food processor.
    4 tomatoes
    Blend raw tomatoes in a blender or food processor.
  • Heat leftover oil in the large pot.
    1/2 cup olive oil
    Heat leftover oil in the large pot.
  • Add all spices and stir until fragrant.
    1 tsp onion flakes or granules, 1 tbsp garlic flakes, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp parsley, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt
    Add all spices and stir until fragrant.
  • Add canned tomatoes. Crush with the back of the spoon.
    1 can tomatoes in juice
    Add canned tomatoes. Crush with the back of the spoon.
  • Add blended tomatoes.
    Add blended tomatoes.
  • Simmer on low for 30 minutes, until tomato sauce has thickened.
    Simmer on low for 30 minutes, until tomato sauce has thickened.
  • Add bouillon cube in the pot.
    1 cube beef bouillon
    Add bouillon cube in the pot.
  • Add water and bring to the boil.
    1 cup water
    Add water and bring to the boil.
  • Add beef pieces back in the pot.
    Add beef pieces back in the pot.
  • Simmer for 40 minutes until desired consistency.
    Simmer for 40 minutes until desired consistency.



Notes

*You can use the same pot to cook the stew, or clean it/use another one to remove the beef fat.
You can 1/2 chopped onion and 3 minced garlic cloves instead of dried flakes.
Store stew in containers for 4-5 days in the fridge.
Nutrition Facts
Keyword dairy free, easy, gluten free, keto, low carb, quick

10 thoughts on “African Beef Stew”

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! This stew sounds so tasty and packed with so much flavor! The family is going to just love this. Also, perfect for these colder months coming up!

  2. 5 stars
    I love soup season for recipes just like this one! Can practically smell all those delicious aromas; looking forward to giving this a try! Looks too good to pass up!

  3. 5 stars
    This is so flavorful and delicious! I love discovering recipes like this from different countries. It’s great to expand the taste buds, appreciate other cultures, and enjoy new dishes.

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