Nigerian Beef Stew is a mouthwatering West African stew made with blended plum tomatoes, red bell peppers, and habanero peppers and spiced to perfection. It is so versatile and is amazing with so many different dishes!
It is by far the most popular side dish made in Nigeria and is traditionally eaten with rice or boiled yams. I make this every week and always have it in my fridge as it makes meal prep a breeze.
I like that I can come back home after being gone all day, and quickly warm up some cauliflower rice and have it with this African stew. It is so easy to make and you can’t go wrong with it!
Ingredients used in making Nigerian Beef Stew
Olive oil: To fry the tomatoes and pepper mixture. Another popular choice is peanut oil or palm oil.
Vegetables: Tomatoes, red bell peppers, habanero pepper, and onions. The traditional Nigerian beef stew is made with scotch bonnet peppers. A good substitute is habanero pepper which is similar in heat and flavor.
For the tomatoes, it is best to use plum (roma) tomatoes. These are best for Nigerians stews because they are denser and have less juice.
Broth/stock: To enhance the flavor.
What is the best cut of beef for Nigerian stew?
For this beef stew, it is better to go for tougher, less expensive cuts of beef.
Tougher cuts have lots of collagen-rich connective tissue which becomes nice and chewy after cooking.
The best cut for this beef stew is the chuck which includes the shoulder, neck, and upper arm muscles of the cow.
How to make Nigerian beef stew
Start by preparing the beef. If not already pre-cut, cut the beef into midsized cubes, wash and drain.
Place in a pot and add enough water to cover it, then add salt and black pepper.
You don’t need to add a lot of spices here. You need just enough to bring out the flavor but remember spices will still be added to the stew.
Let it cook for roughly 20-25 minutes. You can let it cook a bit longer if you want it more tender, or a bit shorter if you want it tougher.
While the beef is cooking, let’s prepare the base for the stew. Blend the tomatoes, bell pepper, habanero pepper, and half of the onion together. Chop the other half onion and set aside.
It helps to blend the tomatoes first because it releases enough moisture which helps to blend the other vegetables. After the tomatoes are well pureed, add the bell peppers, habanero pepper, and onions and blend again.
The stew really tastes more flavorful if the blended mixture does not contain a lot of water. If it turns out watery when you blend it, pour it into a pot and let some of the water evaporate over medium heat.
When the beef is ready, drain it out from the stock, but save the stock. We’ll still need it later to add flavor to the stew.
Add olive oil to a large skillet. When heated, add the onions and stir until it just begins to wilt. Pour in the blended tomato and pepper mixture, add black pepper, and stir.
I don’t add other spices just yet because I will be adding the stock later on, and I don’t want to run the risk of the stew being too salty. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
Add in the beef and some of the stock. I add half a cup of stock first and possibly add a little more if I need to.
Add the thyme, bouillon powder, and curry. Taste for salt before adding any.
Cover and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Your beef stew is ready to eat!
Each serving contains 3 net carbs and serves 8. It can be kept in the fridge for up to a week and still taste really fresh!
What can I eat Nigerian Beef Stew with?
How to make ahead for meal prep
This Nigerian beef stew is perfect for meal prep and can be made ahead in case you’re short on time.
One way to do this is to blend the tomatoes and peppers ahead of time and freeze in sizable portions. Before you freeze, boil the blended mixture for about 10 minutes to reduce the moisture content so it lasts longer.
You can also freeze the completed stew in proportions and take out as needed.
Expert Tips when making Nigerian Beef Stew
This recipe calls for one habanero pepper. If you think it might be too spicy for you, use half a habanero pepper. Do not omit it as the taste will be drastically different if you do.
If it is still too spicy, remove the core and seeds of the habanero pepper before using it.
Alternatively, you can add an extra tomato or two, to tone down the heat of this Nigerian stew.
Enjoy these other low carb stews
Need more African spicy foods? Try these!
Nigerian Beef Stew
To boil the beef
- 1 lb beef
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
To boil the beef
- Wash beef and place in a pot.
- Add water, salt, and black pepper and bring to a boil.
- After it boils, stir together and let cook for 20-25 minutes.
To make the stew
- Blend the tomatoes, bell pepper, habanero pepper, and half an onion together.
- Chop the other half of the onion.
- Pour olive oil in a pan and when heated, add the chopped onions and stir till its wilted.
- Add the blended tomato and pepper mixture and black pepper and stir.
- Add the beef and 1/2 cup of stock and mix together.
- Add a little more broth if needed, till it has enough of a stew-like consistency.
- Add the thyme, bouillon powder, and curry. Taste for salt before adding any.
- Cover and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
- This recipe calls for one habanero pepper. If you think it might be too spicy for you, use half a habanero pepper. Do not omit it as the taste will be drastically different if you do.
- If it is still too spicy, remove the core and seeds of the habanero pepper before using it.
- Alternatively, you can add an extra tomato or two, to tone down the heat of this Nigerian stew.