A sumptuous and reliable stew recipe is a much needed tool in every African person’s arsenal. This recipe, will easily give you a wonderful fragrant stew every single time – with depth of flavour, texture that clings so adoringly to rice, and that mesmerising red colour that makes your feast look rich. I’ve used oxtail here for extra decadence, because the bones and marrow give your stock extra flavour and nutrition. But if for any reason oxtail is not feasible for you, choose any other good quality cut you can find.
2kg (4lb) oxtail, seasoned and boiled (or beef shank cut into cubes)
1L (2 pints) homemade stock from boiling the beef (plus a bit extra in case you need it)
2 red onions, chopped
10 whole paprika peppers (or use red bell peppers)
4 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers
4 tablespoons tomato puree
5 cloves garlic
1 thumb length ginger
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ cup sunflower or olive oil
- In a blender or food processor, blitz the paprika and scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes, garlic and ginger.
- Heat the oil in a pot and add the chopped onion to soften and caramelize. Add half the fresh thyme and all the rosemary.
- Then add the blended pepper and tomato mixture to the pot and allow this to fry together vigorously for a few minutes. Season with salt.
- Add half the stock and then turn down the heat and cover. Allow to cook until the stew tastes less raw than before but is still not quite cooked (about 25 – 30 minutes).
- At this point, add the tomato puree, the boiled meat, the remaining thyme and the remaining stock and stir well.
- Cover and allow to simmer until the meat is lovely and tender. If at any point the stew gets too thick before it is done, add more stock. The stew is ready when the oil floats to the top. Adjust seasoning if you need to along the way.
This recipe is from Season 1 Episode 5 of Minjiba Entertains, commissioned by The Africa Channel and showing on RealTime DSTV Channel 155, Emirates in-Flight Entertainment, Amazon Prime, and Demand Africa.