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5 mistakes that affect how your beef stew turns out [Recipe]

Among the most common mistakes Kenyans make when preparing beef stew at home is not allowing the meat to brown enough in the initial stages which leads to a lack of depth in the stew's flavor.

Beef stew garnished with cilantro [Image Credit: Valeria Boltneva]

This Kenyan beef stew recipe incorporates a harmonious blend of spices and vegetables, giving it a rich and comforting flavor profile. It's a dish that is both hearty and nutritious, perfect for impressing guests.

By following the steps outlined below and taking note of the common mistakes, you can create a delicious stew that captures the essence of Kenyan cuisine.

  1. 500g beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  2. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  3. 1 large onion, chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  6. 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  7. 1 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  11. 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  12. 1 bell pepper, color of your choice, chopped
  13. 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
  14. A handful of cilantro, chopped
  15. 4 cups beef broth or water
  16. 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional for richer taste)
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  1. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper. In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside. This step is crucial; a common mistake is not browning the meat enough, which can lead to a lack of depth in the stew's flavor.
  2. Sauté the aromatics: In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, sautéing until the onion is translucent. Avoid overcooking or burning the garlic, as it can introduce a bitter taste.
  3. Spices and tomatoes: Add the paprika and turmeric, stirring for about a minute until the spices are fragrant. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste if using, cooking until the tomatoes break down and form a thick sauce. Not allowing the tomatoes to cook down properly is a common mistake that can result in a watery stew.
  4. Simmering the stew: Return the browned beef to the pot. Add the beef broth or water, ensuring the beef is well-covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until the beef is tender. Skimming off any fat that rises to the surface during simmering will result in a cleaner, healthier dish.
  5. Vegetables: Add the carrots, potatoes, and bell pepper to the pot. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Cover and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. A common mistake is adding the vegetables too early, which can lead to them becoming mushy and overcooked.
  6. Final touches: Stir in the green peas and cilantro, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. The peas should be bright and slightly crisp, adding a fresh contrast to the stew. Another common mistake is not adjusting seasoning. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving to ensure a robust flavor profile.
  7. Serving: Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve the stew hot with rice, chapati, or ugali for an authentic Kenyan experience.

This content was generated by an AI model and verified by the author.

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