This African Beef Stew is inspired by the flavors and warming spices found in West African cuisine. Tender beef, vegetables and a blend of African herbs and spices simmered together to make a hearty and comforting paleo beef stew.
I absolutely love trying foods from different regions of the world. Living in Hawaii, I had easy access to a plethora of cuisines form various Asian countries but when I moved South my options became limited.
That said, I had no other choice but to make my own dishes inspired by traditional cooking methods and ingredients from around the world.
Speaking of ingredients, curry is a common ingredient found in many cuisines. Thai, Indian and Japanese cuisines have many curry dishes, but today, we’re making a dish from another region of the world that uses curry – West Africa.
After culinary school, I took a trip a to NYC and fell in love with African food. African cuisine features made-from-scratch dishes comprised of hearty meats, root vegetables, tomatoes, aromatic herbs and plenty of heat.
I’d love to find a restaurant showcasing all of the delicious dishes from West Africa, but until then this African beef stew recipe is curing my African food cravings!
💗 Why You’ll Love This Recipe
INCREDIBLE flavor. Fork-tender morsels of stew beef simmered in a blend of mouthwatering flavors.
Two Cooking Options – you can make this stew on the stove top or in the Instant Pot.
It’s diet-friendly! African beef stew is gluten-free, paleo AND Whole30.
🥘 Ingredients You’ll Need
- Beef Stew Meat – is pretty tough but when simmered, the connective tissues break down and the meat becomes tender.
- Yellow Onion (diced) – enhances the flavor and adds texture.
- Green Bell Pepper (diced) – Many African Beef stew recipes call for scotch bonnet peppers. This version uses bell peppers and isn’t as spicy.
- Green Cabbage (chopped) – adds a layer of texture.
- Sweet Potato (diced) – thickens the stew and makes it hearty and satisfying.
- Fresh Ginger (grated) – adds spice.
- Garlic (minced) – enhances flavor.
- Crushed Tomatoes (can) – You’ll need one 28 ounce can. Be sure to check the label for Whole30 purposes.
- Coconut Milk – gives this stew a creamy, velvet-y consistency.
- Beef Broth or Stock – loosens up the stew and enhances flavor.
- Avocado Oil – is used to coat the pan to prevent sticking.
- Seasonings/Spices – I used curry powder, paprika, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne pepper and salt.
📖 How to Make African Beef Stew
1️⃣ In a large pot, heat avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add in onion, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, beef and spices. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes or until the meat is browned but not cooked through and the vegetables begin to soften.
2️⃣ Add sweet potatoes and cabbage to the pot and stir. Then, add crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and beef broth. Stir well and bring to a boil.
3️⃣ Boil for 5 minutes and then lower heat to simmer for 30 to 40 more minutes or until sweet potatoes and beef are cooked through.
4️⃣ Adjust seasonings to taste, stir and serve hot.
🍲 Instant Pot African Beef Stew
You can also prepare this stew in an Instant Pot pressure cooker by following these instructions:
1️⃣ Set the Instant Pot to SAUTE. Add oil and heat until hot but not smoking. Add in onion, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, beef, salt and spices. Saute for about 5-7 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
2️⃣ To the pot, add sweet potato, cabbage, crushed tomatoes, beef broth and coconut milk. Stir well to combine.
3️⃣ Secure lid, set valve to sealing and program to pressure cook on HIGH pressure for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, manually release the pressure.
4️⃣ Adjust seasonings to taste, stir and serve hot.
👩🏻🍳 Chef’s Tips
There’s no need to use a more expensive cut of beef. Tough cuts have a lot of connective tissue that become soft and tender when cooked.
Craving a bit more heat? Saute a sliced habanero pepper along with the rest of the veggies.
Use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes for even more flavor.
This stew is great served with crusty bread or naan for dipping or over a plate of fluffy rice. You could also serve this stew with cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles for a low carb entree.
🔁 Storing & Freezing
Storing – If stored in an airtight container, homemade stew will last in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freezing – Let stew cool to room temperature and then pour into a sturdy airtight container leaving room at the top for expanding. Freeze stew for up to 3 months.
Herbs and spices! Dried spices are best added to stews in the beginning of the cooking process and fresh herbs are best stirred in towards the end.
As long as you give the beef enough time to simmer and tenderize, tough cuts like chunk roast will become very tender in beef stew.
If you prefer the stew thicker, you can stir in a corn starch slurry or a spoonful of peanut butter (or almond butter for Whole30).
More Soup & Stew Recipes
African Beef Stew
- 2 pounds Beef Stew Meat
- 1 large Yellow Onion diced
- 1 Green Bell Pepper diced
- 2 cups Green Cabbage chopped
- 2 cups Sweet Potato diced
- 2 tbsp Fresh Ginger grated
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 cup Coconut Milk
- 1 cups Beef Broth or Stock
- 2 tsp Avocado Oil
Spices & Seasonings
- 2 tbsp Curry Powder
- ½ tbsp Paprika
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Coriander
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 2 tbsp Salt
- In large pot, heat up 2 tsp of Avocado oil over medium high heat.
- Add in onion, garlic, ginger, bell pepper, beef and spices and saute for 5-7 minutes or until the meat becomes opaque and vegetables begin to soften.
- Stir in sweet potatoes and cabbage.
- To the pot, add in crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and beef broth and stir to combine.
- Bring stew to a boil for 5 minutes and turn back down to a simmer for 30-40 minutes or until sweet potatoes and beef are cooked through.
- Adjust seasonings as necessary and serve hot.