Nigerian Beef Stew: A classic rich aromatic tomato Nigerian stew. It is delicious, nutritious, and easy to make. All you need is a big pot and about an hour of your time.
NIGERIAN TOMATO STEW
Beef stew is one of the most popular and recognizable Nigerian stew.
It is loaded with beef, tripe, and beef liver. The whole stew comes together in one pot. Since this stew is tomato-based, it is sometimes also referred to as tomato stew.
MY TO-GO STEW
This stew is my to-go stew because it goes with almost anything from rice to yam, pasta, beans, bread, potatoes, and much more. It also stores well in the freezer, so I always make a big batch and store it in my freezer. Then, I reheat as I need it.
I’ve made quite a few stews on the blog – Chicken Peanut Stew, Chicken Stew, Turkey stew, and Fish stew, just to name a few. However, this one just hits home differently!
EASY TO MAKE
Don’t be intimated by the list of ingredients, it’s really an easy stew to put together. All you have to do is boil the beef, you can fry or grill if you wish. Then, make the stew by simmering the blended peppers, add the seasoning and beef. That’s it!
TYPES OF MEAT TO USE
You can use any meat cut for making the Nigerian stew. In fact, different families have their favorite meat cut choices – tough meat cuts, lean beef, or stewing beef. So it’s totally up to you!
You can use only beef or a variety of meat parts like tripe, ponmo (skin), beef liver, or beef kidney.
Personally, I like to use beef stew meat, but when I don’t find it in the grocery store, I use any meat cut on sale.
I love tripe especially because it acts as a sponge absorbing all the intense flavor of the stew.
THE SECRET TO MAKING A PERFECT NIGERIAN TOMATO STEW
In my opinion, the secret to achieving a deep, delicious Nigerian stew is a good stock coupled with the time given to the stew to simmer.
The stock enhances the overall flavor of the stew, while the simmering time is just as important because it gives the meat enough time to soak up the stew’s flavor.
ADJUSTING SPICINESS TO TASTE
I find this stew to be relatively mild. Despite its angry red color. That said, feel free to adjust the heat of the stew according to your spice tolerance.
Sometimes, I choose to roast my peppers when making this stew. Trust me; it hits home differently. You can check out my chicken stew recipe to learn how I roast my bell peppers.
WHAT IS NIGERIAN STEW?
First, let’s talk about what the Nigerian stew is. It’s a delicious, rich, and slightly spicy stew. It is made with well-cooked beef (or other meat types) together with bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, seasoning, and spices.
The result is a delicious pot of red stew. It’s okay to drool at this point! It happens.
STORING THE NIGERIAN BEEF STEW
Refrigerator: This recipe keeps well in the fridge. Be sure to cool the stew to room temperature before refrigerating in a resealable container. Simply reheat in a pot over medium-low heat or microwave in a microwave-safe bowl when ready to serve.
Freezer: This stew also freezes well! Be sure to put the leftover in airtight containers, and leave about 1/2″ to 1″ air above the stew to allow it to expand while freezing. This beef stew can last up to 3 months in the freezer.
NOTE: In this recipe, I used a mixture of palm oil and vegetable oil. using both is not compulsory, it’s just a personal preference. You can use either of the two or use the mixture as I did. It’s delicious either way!
Note: This recipe was first published in June 2015. It was one of the few first recipes I published on the blog! I have since re-tested it, so here is the new and improved version, with new photos, clearer instructions, and metric measurements.
Made this? Let me know how it went in the comment section below!
Nigerian Tomato Stew
BOILING THE BEEF
- 2 lbs Beef
- 1 onion medium size [diced]
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon rosemary or thyme
- 2 teaspoons beef bouillon or chicken bouillon powder or 2 cubes
- salt to taste
- 1 cup water or as needed
- 2 Bell peppers large
- 1-3 Scotch bonnet peppers
- 4 Plum tomatoes medium size
- 1 large onion
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 1/4 cup Palm oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 to 1½ cups beef stock I used the liquid from cooking the beef
- 1 teaspoon Curry powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon or beef bouillon
- Salt to taste If needed
- Trim off any excess fat from the meat. Rinse a couple of times till the water runs clear.
- Place the beef in a large pot. Add the diced onion, bay leaf, curry powder, rosemary, bouillon powder, and salt. Mix well, cover, and leave to cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the water stir and continue to cook on medium heat for another 20 minutes or until the meat becomes tender. (Tougher meat cut will require a longer cooking time)
- When the meat is fully cooked use a sieve to separate the meat from the stock. Reserve the stock.
- Blend the tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, tomato paste, and ginger, and set aside.
- In a large pot add the cooking oil on medium heat. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the diced onions and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the blended pepper-tomato mixture stir, cover, and leave to cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning.
- Stir in the beef stock, thyme, curry powder, and bouillon, and continue to cook for another 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Add the cooked beef, taste for salt, and adjust as needed. Cover and leave to simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes or until the stew is thickened to your preference.
- Serve with white rice and fried plantains. Garnish with parsley if desired. Enjoy!
If you make this Nigerian Beef Stew Recipe, I’d love to see pictures of your creations on Instagram or Facebook. #cheflolaskitchen
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Sunday 28th of May 2023
This is the best stew ever..even though I'm Ibo I've always loved the way the Yoruba people fix their food. I was also raised in Abeokuta Ogun State. This just took me back to my high school days with Mama put 😂 Thank you very much for sharing this recipe and I made and it's very delicious 😋
Chef Lola's Kitchen
Wednesday 31st of May 2023
Thank you for your kind words. You are welcome. 👍👍
Sunday 1st of May 2022
I really love your recipe, one of the problem I an having is sometimes your ingredients do not show up on the instructions or there are extra ingredients not showing up on the ingredients list. I have seen that across all of your recipes, this is my 6th one.
This is one of my favorite recipes for sure though!
Chef Lola's Kitchen
Monday 25th of July 2022
Thank you, Madina. Please always refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the recipes. They have complete information on ingredients, instructions, and tips. I hope this helps.
Wednesday 20th of April 2022
Wow nice recipe . Good job!!👍👍
Wednesday 26th of January 2022
At what point should I add tripe when I’m cooking the stew?
Chef Lola's Kitchen
Friday 6th of May 2022
You must have boiled the tripe like you boiled the beef. You can add the boiled tripe and beef at the same time.
Tuesday 18th of January 2022
I made this stew. I didn't have any tomatoes, so I substituted a can of Ragu Tomato sauce. I did also try your roasting technique and blended mines a little rough. It was so yummy. My fiance is a Yoruba Nigerian and this is one of the first dishes he taught me (Black American) as you may know he loves stew with EVERYTHING. LOL. But he says this was my best batch ever. I been making it for 2 yrs now. Thank you for sharing your recipes.
Saturday 22nd of January 2022
Thanks so much for your good feedback Vee. Sounds like you absolutely nailed it 👏👏👏👏