This wholesome and tasty meal is most definitely the stuff of giants… (just look at influential fellow Nigerians King Sunny Adé, Fela Kuti, Uzoamaka Aduba, Kanu, Chinua Achebe, David Oyelowo, Agbani Darego, Oluchi Onweagba, Jiddena, Dizzee Rascal, Skepta, Tinie Tempah, Wale, Seal, Richard Ayoade, Nnamdi Osomugha, Hugo Weaving (yep, agent Smith in The Matrix…!), Ngozi Adichie, Sophie Okonedu (OBE), Ben Okri (OBE), Sade Adu (OBE), Chiwetel Ejiofor (CBE), Dame Shirley Bassey (DBE) and – of course – ANTHONY JOSHUA – to name just a few)!
Made with prime grass-fed beef, fresh tomatoes, red peppers, onions and real spices, Nigerian beef stew really is proper big people food!
This stew is not only extremely delicious but also totally gluten-free and paleo, courtesy of the natural ingredients all cooked from scratch. That means no Cross & Blackwell, shortcuts or use of a microwave anywhere in sight (or in any of my recipes on this site for that matter)!
You see, that’s what makes this food authentic: the fact that everything is cooked from scratch and made with fresh ingredients, rather than any processed or packaged gunk.
There’s nothing like the real thing when it comes to traditional authentic food.
Traditional food always is (or at least always should be) authentic and any other way would be so wrong, it would be burgeoning on insulting!
In fact, suggesting to any Italian woman – passionate about cooking for her family – that she uses a jar of Dolmio the next time she decides to ‘whip’ up a lasagna is just asking for trouble.
Suggesting that her food actually tastes like she uses Dolmio is – quite frankly – just asking to wake up with a horse’s head on your pillow…
Speaking of which, I do believe certain traditional Italian and Nigerian food (Italian sauce and Nigerian stew, to be precise) to be very similar, in that they are both tomato and onion based, subsequently fried down to produce something rich, thick and utterly delish!
The major difference between Italian sauce (or should that be gravy?) and Naija stew is that we include curry whilst Italians include wine, basil and a lot more tomato pureé. Hence why Nigerian stew is more orange in colour than Italian sauce and hence why, when introducing stew to my friends here in the UK who have previously never partaken of Nigerian food, they always invariably assume it’s a curry…
The basis for jollof rice, the beef in this elixir stew can be substituted for any type of meat (or fish I suppose but, being allergic to seafood, I really couldn’t tell you anything about that!) that you fancy.
Serve with fried plantain and paleo cauliflower rice for the ultimate paleo experience.
- 700g Diced Beef
- 3 Red Onions (diced)
- 5 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 8 Tomatoes (halved and seeds removed)
- 1 Red Pepper (seeds removed)
- 5 tbsp. Oil
- Knob Fresh Ginger
- Pinch Grated Nutmeg
- 3-4 tbsp. Home-Made Stock & 2 Gluten-Free Stock Cubes
- 2 tbsp. Tomato Puree
- 5 tbsp. Gluten-Free All-Purpose Seasoning
- 1 Scotch Bonnet (seeds removed... or left in if you like it hot!)
- 5 tbsp. Curry Powder
- 2 tbsp. Cumin Seeds (optional)
- 1 tbsp. Dried Mixed Herbs
- 1 tbsp. Black Pepper
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Rinse the beef in cold water and place in a small pot.
- Add the stock cubes as well as half of the onions, garlic, ginger, all-purpose, curry, mixed herbs, cumin and black pepper.
- To the pot, add enough boiling water to cover the meat, cover with the lid and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes before reducing and cooking for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the water increases from the meat and then reduces to a lovely, rich and glistening gravy.
- (Ensure that you stir the beef every 10-15 minutes whilst cooking so nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the pot.)
- Remove the pot from the cooker and remove the meat, draining all excess gravy from the meat.
- Set both the gravy and meat aside separately.
- In a blender, place the tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, and scotch bonnet and blend until smooth. (Add a little water to assist with the blending.)
- In another larger pot, add the oil and heat sufficiently before adding the blended ingredients.
- (The pot should be hot enough for the added ingredients to start spitting. If spitting too much, then lower the heat.)
- Add the remaining half of the ingredients mentioned above when cooking the beef, as well as the nutmeg, stock cubes, bay leaves and tomato puree.
- Stir everything and cover.
- On a low to medium heat, allow the stew to fry down to an almost (but thicker) Bolognese sauce consistency. This should take approx. 40 minutes.
- Add the reduced home-made gravy made from the beef, along with the beef and continue to cook the stew until it's a lovely, rich thick consistency before removing the pot from the heat and leaving covered until ready to serve.
- Serve with fried plantain and cauliflower rice.
- If using chicken instead of beef, after seperating from the reduced gravy, fry on a medium to high heat for a few minutes (to further seal in and intensify the flavour) before adding to the stew. Alternatively, you can also fry the beef in the same way before adding to the stew, but it is not necessary.
- This healthy stew can last several days in the fridge.
- The tomato to onion ratio is usually 4:1, so bear this in mind if you wish to increase or decrease the amount next time when making this stew.