Nigeria beef stew or African beef stew, is one of the ethnic stew recipes that you will very easily find in West African and sometimes carribean cuisine.
This easy Nigerian stew recipe is made with simple ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, some herbs and aromatics and of course boiled, grilled or fried beef. It is often served with rice, yam, or plantains. If you’ve been wondering how to make this popular red stew, read along cos this is for you.
Table of Contents
- 1 African beef stew recipe (Nigerian stew)
- 2 This Nigerian beef stew is
- 3 Ingredients needed for this stew
- 4 Tools
- 5 How to make Nigerian stew
- 6 Difference between this recipe and tomato stew with palm oil.
- 7 How to serve serve Nigerian beef stew
- 8 How to store and reheat
- 9 Tips
- 10 FAQs
- 11 More African stew recipes
- 12 Nigerian beef stew (African beef Stew)
African beef stew recipe (Nigerian stew)
African beef stew (Nigerian beef stew) is a traditional dish that is typically made with beef, tomatoes, Red bell peppers (tatase) onions, and a variety of spices such as ginger, garlic, and chili peppers.
If you come across African tomato sauce or Nigerian tomato stew you may be thinking it’s basically tomatoes in the stew. however, it’s not.
While some people use only tomatoes to make this recipe I actually prefer a combination of tomatoes and bell peppers in the ratio of 3:1 in favor of bell peppers .
Related: Ayamase stew, how to boil white rice, Nigerian rice and stew, Palm oil based pepper stew
This Nigerian beef stew is
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Versatile and can be served with a variety of dishes.
- Perfect for meal prep and can be used as a base for Jollof rice
- Easily adaptable
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Ingredients needed for this stew
- Red bell peppers (Tatase)*
- Scotch bonnet / habanero pepper (Ata rodo)*
- Canola Oil
*My Nigerian stew base can be used instead of the individual ingredients asterisked.
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- My favorite deep fry pans or pots to use are from 360 cookware. You should check them out and use MDK25 to get 25% your entire order.
💡Quick tip The stew base can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the freezer, it would save you a lot of time.
How to make Nigerian stew
Below is a step by step photo guide. Full recipe instructions can be found in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.
Step 1: Season meat, boil and fry
Step 2: Prepare the stew base: wash, cut and blend tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and habaneros. Boil to reduce.
Step 3: Fry chopped onions
Step 4: Finish off the stew
Difference between this recipe and tomato stew with palm oil.
The only difference between this stew and the stew Nigerian tomato stew with palm oil is palm oil. While vegetable oil is used here, palm oil bleached or unbleached is used in the other Nigerian stews with palm oil.
How to serve serve Nigerian beef stew
Though Nigerian stew (African stew) is usually served with steaming hot white rice. Notice the adjective hot 😀. It’s that important. But if you are like me and don’t like steaming hot food, you should definitely wait for your rice to cool down. Some of our favorite dishes that goes well with this stew includes
- Fried plantains
- Boiled or fried yams
- French fries
- Hawaiian sweet rolls or Soft white bread.
- Vegetable rice
- If serving with rice, a side coleslaw, cucumber salad or Cobb salad would work perfectly.
How to store and reheat
Nigerian stew can be made well ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and it can be frozen for up to 4 months. To freeze, let stew cool completely. Distribute into microwave safe bowl and freeze.
You can reheat straight from the freezer or let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Wash your tomatoes onions and peppers, blend them and cook them down to reduce your cooking time. When cooled, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator to use the next day.
- If you are using my stew base recipe, you will need to increase the amount of beef used to about 3 lbs and the oil by half a cup.
- Alternatively instead of boiling, you can roast your bell tomatoes, bell peppers onions and habanero peppers in the oven. See my how to roast peppers guide for tips and tricks.
- Preparing your meats ahead can save you time as well. Wash your beef, season, boil then fry or you grill in the oven or air fryer.
- This recipe can be halved to make a smaller pot off african stew.
Here you’ll find answers to common questions about this recipe. Please leave a comment below if you have a question that wasn’t answered and we will get back to you asap!
Yes African beef stew is keto and low carb friendly
This recipe is adaptable. You can use chicken, fish, mushrooms or whatever meat you prefer.
You can make Nigerian stew in a slow cooker. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker except the fried beef, cook on high for 4 hours. Add the fried beef in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
More African stew recipes
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Nigerian beef stew (African beef Stew)
For the beef
- 2.5 lb beef Cut into 3 inch cubes
- ½ medium Onion Chopped
- ½ teaspoon Garlic powder (use 2 cloves of fresh garlic)
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon boiullon powder (adjust to your taste)
- ¼ tsp salt (adjust to your taste)
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
For the Stew base
- 8 large Red bell peppers Washed, and cut up for blending
- 5 medium Tomatoes
- 2 habanero peppers (Adjust upwards or downwards)
- 2 medium onions
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste ( optional)
- 2 cups oil
- 2 medium onions chopped
- 1 teaspoon boiullon powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dry parsley
- ½ Tbsp Pepper flakes
- Add beef to pot, add spices and onions, add enough water to cover the beef. Turn on heat and cook till tender and fully cooked. Depending on the toughness of the beef, it can take anywhere between 20 to 35 mins. ( internal temperature of fully cooked beef should be 145F when measured with a meat thermometer)
- When meat is fully cooked, scoop the beef out with a slotted spoon , reserve the beef stock for the stew, then fry beef in shallow oil for 3-5 mins (see images 3 and 4 in collage above) Set aside to drain on a clean kitchen towel.
The Stew Base
- While beef is cooking Blend all ingredients for stew base together and transfer to another pot and cook till it reduces and thickens.
Making the Stew
- Heat up oil a sauce pan then add the chopped onions reserved for the stew. (see Ingredients list) Fry onions till transluscent.
- Pour meat stock into the thickened stew base, spices and the cooked onion in oil into the stew base. Stir to combine. the oil may look too much at this stage don't worry, the stew base will absorb it.
- Cook on medium heat for 10 mins, stirring occasioinally to prevent burning.
- Lower heat, add fried beef to the stew, stir, taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Cover pot and let stew simmer for another 5 mins so that the meat can warm up and absorb the stew flavors.
- Frying the beef and making the stewbase ahead of time will save you a alot of cooking time.
- Once youd add the oil to the stew base, and it starts cooking, it will begin to bubble and splatter. use a splatter guard or leave the pot closed. when you want to stir, turn the heat low to prevent being hit by the bubbling stew.
- The oil is just enough for this recipe. if you want to use less oil, I would suggest you use the amount stated first. If you still find it too much, scoop out the excess and use for some egusi stew or egg sauce.
- Adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
This recipe was first published in June 2020 and has been updated with more helpful tips and answers to common FAQs. Hope you find it helpful.
Are you meant to add water to the stew base?
Also are you meant to add water to the beef to boil it a bit or just add the meat straight to the pan. I added some water just in case. It felt right but i wanted to check and be sure. Im still cooking so I suppose I will let you know how it goes.
You are right. You should add some water. The instructions sound confusing.I’ve updated it. Thank you.
No you don’t need to add water to the stew base. On the contrary you need the stew base to thicken as water evaporates from it. Hope this helps.
Looking forward to your stew. Let me know how it goes and feel free to reach out if you have more questions.
Thank you for this recipe. I will try it soon. Please why should you dry the fried beef with a cloth? Could you not just set it aside the way it is and then add it to the stew without drying it?
Thanks in advance for your response.
P.s. please anyone with an answer feel free to comment 🙂
You are welcome! Hope you get to try it soon. Looking forward to your feedback! Placing the deep fried meats in a paper towel lined container helps to drain excess oil from the fried meat! Hope that helps.
New wine Platter
Beautiful recipe! Love all ur tips. Google brought me here.
Love the flavor in this stew. I was worried because my stew was looking brown from the beef stock but i added 2 more spoons of tomato paste and it reddened up
Happy you loved it. The beef stock can make it look brown at first. However when it cooks and blends in its red again. Glad you made it work. Thank you fir taking out time to leave me a comment. Stay safe and well.
I love this African beef stew, the color is something else. Pls I want to know the type of pepper that's called habanero.
Habanero pepper is the Mexican equivalent of our Nigerian Ata rodo or the British Scotch bonnet pepper. The Tatase ( Red bell peppers) is responsible for the redness of the stew 😀 thank you for stopping by. Stay safe!