Thursday, February 7, 2013

North African Beef Stew

My coworker Annamarie spent time in Gambia in the Peace Corps.  She always has some good stories to tell about living there, and it made me want to visit Africa. 

Annamarie also likes cooking and sharing new recipes she's tried.  She brought in some of this delicious stew for me and wow, it was fantastic.  I asked her for the recipe and if I could share it, and she graciously said yes.  She made whole wheat couscous to go with it, which I think really made the dish.

North African Beef Stew

You'll need:
3 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cups beef broth
1 15-oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 cup dried apricots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup water (not needed, according to Annamarie)

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper.  Add meat to the skillet a few pieces at a time and brown on all sides.  Transfer the browned meat to the insert of a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker

Add the onion and garlic to the same skillet and saute until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add carrots, paprika, cumin and cinnamon and saute until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Deglaze the skillet with 1 cup of the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Transfer to the contents of the skillet to the slow cooker insert.  Add the remaining 2 cups broth, the beans, apricots, and raisins.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until the meat is tender.

Skim off any fat from the top of the stew. 

If you're using the cornstarch mixture (Annamarie didn't and it was delicious anyway): Add the cornstarch mixture and stir to combine.  Over the slow cooker and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. 

Serves 8.


  1. Sounds yummy. I love crockpot stews. Wondering if my family would like it!

  2. Thank you for these kind words. Really made my morning, Pamela! Hugs, Annamarie

  3. When I get some beef I'm going to make this. It sounds delish.
    Thanks for sharing it.