West African Beef and Tomato Stew

West African beef and tomato stew, also called red stew, is a staple stew in many part of West Africa. Tomato serves as the base for the stew, but the beef can be replaced with chicken (which is actually the most popular version), fish, eggs, you name it. The popularity of red stew is well earned as it’s simply delicious. It only requires basic ingredients that you probably already have at home, but has an amazing depth of flavour. I just simply love this stew. It’s been one of my favourites since childhood.

How to Make West African Beef and Tomato Stew

To make this stew, you’ll need to start by marinading the beef either overnight or a few hours ahead of time. For the marinade, you’ll need the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon of paprika, ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, 3 stalks of green onions (chopped), 1 teaspoon of minced ginger, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

For the actual stew, you’ll need the following ingredients: 1-1.5 lbs beef (chopped into 1.5 inch cubes), 2 large tomatoes (I used beefsteak tomatoes; roughly chopped), 1 large red bell pepper (roughly chopped), 2 teaspoons of ginger (minced), 1 large onion (chopped), 2 cloves of garlic (minced), ½ scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (seeded and chopped), 2 sprigs of thyme (de-stemmed), 2 bay leaves, 1 beef bullion cube, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, 15 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, ¼ cup of canola or palm oil, and ¼ cup of water + 2 tablespoons of water.

Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a small bowl. Place the beef in a large mixing bowl (I always wash the beef beforehand, but do what you’re comfortable with) and add the marinade to the beef. Use a spoon to coat the beef with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to let the beef marinade overnight or a few hours before you make the stew.

Heat a deep saute pan with ½ of the oil on the stove over medium heat. Take the beef out of the fridge, and brown the beef on each side in the saute pan; you might need to do this in batches. Be sure to shake off the green onions from the beef before placing the beef in the saute pan. Preserve the green onions for the stew. Remove the beef from the pan, once browned and set aside on a clean plate. Scrap the bottom of the pan, to remove the browned bits and set the browned bits aside for the stew.

Put the chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, ginger, ½ of the chopped onions, scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour the rest of the oil into the saute pan. Add the remaining onions and the minced garlic to the pan and saute until the onions are translucent (about 1 minute). Pour the tomato mixture into the pan. Add the preserved green onions, thyme, bay leaves, nutmeg, whole cloves, beef bullion cube (crushed), black pepper, and ¼ cup of water to the tomato mixture. Mix everything together and cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the beef and the browned bits to the stew, cover the lid and bring the stew to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and let the stew simmer for 1 hour or until the beef is tender and the stew is reduced to your liking. If the stew gets too thick for your liking before it’s been 1 hours, add a bit of hot water to the stew, and cover the lid and continue to cook on low heat. This stew is usually served with cooked white rice, but it can also be served with boiled yams or plantains, garri, or couscous. Enjoy! Let me know how it goes! 

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West African Beef and Tomato Stew

West African beef and tomato stew, also called red stew, is a widely eaten stew in many part of West Africa. This stew is very easy to make and has an amazing depth of flavour.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African
Keyword: beef stew, red stew, tomato and beef stew
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 481kcal
Author: Mavis K.

Ingredients

For the marinade

  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 3 stalks green onions (chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp salt

For the stew

  • 1-1.5 lbs beef (chopped into 1.5-inch cubes)
  • 2 large tomatoes (I used beefsteak tomatoes; roughly chopped)
  • 1 large red bell pepper (roughly chopped)
  • 2 tsp ginger (minced)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (seeded and chopped)
  • 2 sprigs thyme (de-stemmed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup water + 2 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup canola or palm oil

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a small bowl. Place the beef in a large mixing bowl and add the marinade to the beef.
  • Use a spoon to coat the beef with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to let the beef marinade overnight or a few hours before you make the stew.
  • Heat a deep sauté pan with ½ of the oil on the stove over medium heat. Take the beef out of the fridge, and brown the beef on each side in the sauté pan; you might need to do this in batches. Be sure to shake off the green onions from the beef before placing the beef in the sauté pan. Preserve the green onions for the stew.
  • Once the beef is browned, remove the beef from the pan and set aside on a clean plate. Scrap the bottom of the pan to remove the browned bits and set the bits aside for the stew.
  • Put the chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, ginger, ½ of the chopped onions, scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, and 2 tablespoons of water in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  • Pour the rest of the oil into the sauté pan. Add the remaining onions and the minced garlic to the pan and sauté until the onions are translucent (about 1 minute).
  • Pour the tomato mixture into the pan. Add the preserved green onions, thyme, bay leaves, nutmeg, whole cloves, beef bullion cube (crushed), black pepper, and ¼ cup of water to the tomato mixture. Mix everything together and cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the beef and the browned bits to the stew, cover the lid and bring the stew to a boil. Turn the heat to low, and let the stew simmer for 1 hour or until the beef is tender and the stew is reduced to your liking.
  • If the stew gets too thick for your liking before it's been 1 hours, add a bit of hot water to the stew, and cover the lid and continue to cook on low heat. This stew is usually served with cooked white rice, but it can also be served with boiled yams or plantains, garri, or couscous.

Nutrition

Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 338mg | Potassium: 797mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3115IU | Vitamin C: 73mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 4mg

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