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!
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!
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.
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.
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:
- 20 Minute Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Easy American Chop Suey
- Entrecote à la Bordelaise – Red Wine Sauce Steak
- Easy Shepherd’s Pie
- Greek Moussaka recipe
- Beef and potatoes
- Rigatoni Pasta Bake with minced beef
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African Beef Stew
- large pot
- tongs or fork
- 400 g beef chuck, cut in cube pieces
- ½ cup olive oil
- 4 tomatoes large
- 400 g tomatoes in juice whole or chopped / 1 can
- 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 powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cube beef bouillon
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot or pan.½ cup olive oil
- Put beef pieces in a pot or pan, but don't overcrowd it.400 g beef
- 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
- Heat leftover oil in the large pot.½ cup olive oil
- 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 powder, 1 tsp curry powder, ½ tsp salt
- Add canned tomatoes. Crush with the back of the spoon.400 g tomatoes in juice
- Add blended tomatoes.
- Simmer on low for 30 minutes, until tomato sauce has thickened.
- Add bouillon cube in the pot.1 cube beef bouillon
- Add water and bring to the boil.1 cup water
- Add beef pieces back in the pot.
- Simmer for 40 minutes until desired consistency.
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.
I can totally agree with you, Denay! This African beef stew is absolutely must-have recipe for almost every household around the world.
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!
I’m sure you will love this beef and tomato stew! The taste is simple, but delicious.
Such a flavorful and easy dinner recipe, thank you so much!
Thanks for the feedback, Megan!
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!
Absolutely! This is such a good comfy food, packed with flavor.
This stew looks absolutely delicious, and so simple too! Can’t wait to try it!
Hi Cate, you definitely need to try it!