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A delectable stewed beef recipe, the Caribbean way.

stew beef recipeIf you’ve been reading this blog for a while you may have come to the conclusion that the majority of dishes we prepare includes the process of “stewing”. Unlike what’s considered a stew in places like Canada and the US, our stews are based on the principle of caramelizing the meats to give it that so-unique brown colour and that marvelous flavour. But that very far from the truth, as our food culture is highly influenced by the many different races that make up the vibrant melting pot the Caribbean is. Today we’ll take a look at one of my dad’s most beloved dishes, stew beef!

Similar in every aspect of the other stewed dishes I’ve posted, except this one will take a bit longer to cook (to ensure that the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender) and we’re using beef, rather than chicken or pork.

You’ll need…

1.5 lbs beef – cubed into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 cloves of garlic – thinly sliced or crushed
1 teaspoon fresh or bottled ginger – crushed. (use 1/2 if it’s ginger powder)
2 tablespoon vegetable oil (one that can withstand high heat)
1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium tomato – chopped
2 tablespoon cilantro (or 2 tbs Trinidad green meat seasoning)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 1/4 cups water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 hot pepper (only if you like your food spicy)
1 green onion or chive – chopped
2 sprigs of fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)
1 lime or lemon or 3 tablespoons of vinegar
1 small shallot

* I’ve seen my dad put mushrooms (white button variety) near the end of cooking and I must admit that though not traditional, it’s does compliment the dish. But I must  admit that I do love mushrooms, so I’ll enjoy it in just about any dish.

Start by cutting the beef into 1 inch cubes, then using the lime (lemon or vinegar) wash (with water –  not the one mentioned in the recipe)  the pieces of meat and drain. With the cubed pieces of beef in  a bowl, start to season. Add all the ingredients mentioned above, except the  oil, water and sugar. We’ll be using those later on in the dish. Allow the seasoned meat to marinate for at least 30 minuets before cooking. For best results, leave to marinate about 2 hrs in the fridge.

how to stew beef recipe

As we’ve practiced in other stewed dishes, it’s time to get the sugar ready. In a heavy pot on high heat pour in the oil and allow to get hot, then place the sugar and move it around so it starts to melt, change color and bubble. Remember to use a long handle spoon to prevent getting burn and have the seasoned meat within reach. This step requires good timing. When you see the sugar fully melted and turns to a rich brown colour (see pic below), start putting in the pieces of meat. Remember to stir everything around, so it’s fully coated.

browning stew beef recipe

recipe stew beef recipe

trinidad stew beef recipe

Leave on high heat for about 3 minutes, then turn down the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Allow to cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure all the pieces of beef gets evenly browned. You’ll notice that dish will release natural juices. Now remove the lid and turn the heat back to high med-high. We want to burn-off all the liquid and give the meat the lasting rich brown colour.

caribbean stew beef recipe

In the same bowl we seasoned the beef, add the water and swoosh it around a bit so every bit of remaining seasoning is mixed in with the water. When all the liquid (see pic above)  is burnt away from the pot, add the water from the bowl.

seasoning stew beef recipe

herbs for stew beef recipe

tobago stew beef recipe

Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a gentle simmer. With the pot covered, allow to cook for about 1 hour or until the beef is really tender. If after the 1 hour of cooking there’s still a lot of water left in the pot, do turn up the heat and allow to burn off. You’re looking for a nice thick gravy.

trini stew beef recipe

stew beef recipe with yam

This dish makes for a great topping for rice or ground provisions. In the pic above I have it resting on a nice bed of steamy boiled yams. But you can also pair it well with any side you usually serve meats with – salads, mashed potatoes … it’s also amazing on macaroni and cheese.

Other stewed dishes:



Curry Stew Chicken.

Please take a moment to share your experience with this recipe or if you have another version of it. Do leave me a comment below.

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75 Responses to “A delectable stewed beef recipe, the Caribbean way.”

  1. Crystal says:

    Can we use browning versus using brown sugar? And if you use brining do you still have to use the oil?

  2. lorrie says:

    Hi Chris, This meal is great another WINNER. The aroma from the kitchen is amazing. We give this meal 5***** Stars

    Thank you,


  3. lorrie says:

    Hi Chris As always a great dinner. The aroma in the house is. As my son said the smell of something GREAT. This is a 5 STAR MEAL *****



  4. lenore m. says:

    I made this dish twice turns out delicious….
    thank you.

  5. Isabelle says:

    I’m marrying a Trini and…well my mother always said love your man through his stomach. By golly gee, she’s right. I am learning every time I turn to your site. Thank you!

  6. Robert Brady says:

    First recipe I used from you and had a problem with. I followed recipe to a T and the stew meat came out very dry and tasteless.I had to use cornstarch to thicken the gravy.The best part if any was the adding of the mushrooms.Sorry Chris.
    How bout doing curried goat?
    Still a follower
    Bob Brady
    South Florida

    • Tony Godkin says:

      Robert Brady –

      Different cuts of beef stew up differently, maybe there was not enough fat in the beef cut you used. As to the need for cornstarch, maybe the flame was too small or the pot was too great?
      I know a cut up London Broil will dry up like the Sahara, and a chuck roast will weather the storm nicely. I am using a 5 pound sirloin tip, hoping it works well.

  7. elise says:

    Hi Chris,

    This is Roast Pork Calypso recipe, which I recently made into a stew using your caramelizing method. I think I like it more than roasting, although I would use a little less lime next time.

    6lb pork – ( I used port neck for the stew)
    1/2 pint chicken stock – washing the spices container
    Using a mortar and Pestal or rocket blender blend together the folowing and marinate meat for 30 mins to 2 hours.
    7 oz pieces of sugar (palm sugar)
    1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
    1 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
    1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    1 medium sized bay leaf
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

    cook using your method of caramelizing and then adding the chicken stock.

    Finish with 3 tablespoons of light rum, thicken with 1 1/2 teaspoons of cornflower or arrowroot, and then add 2 1/2 ( or less) tablespoons lime juice.

  8. KC says:

    I have made this twice and i love it. I never enough of the tasty sauce is there any way to get more sauce without sacrifining taste?
    Also…I’m going to try a few other recipes from your site. I’m hyped!!!!

  9. Everything came out perfect, my son loved it :)

  10. Sonia says:

    Love this recipe! You have helped me recreate my childhood. I always add canned pigeon peas to this mmm mmm yum! best dish ever.

  11. Sophia says:

    Amazing recipe and great directives! My husband is trini and lives with me in Canada – he adores when I make this for him! Please keep up the great work and continue to post your wonderful recipes! Thanks so much!

  12. Missgoldie says:

    Just made this using a pot roast cut into chunks and the smell in my house is amazing! The taste… heaven!!

    I have tried a handful of recipes on this site so far and all have been keepers!

    Keep it up! Look forward to buying a cookbook!

  13. Lynn says:

    Can you tell me why you wash the meats to be stewed in lime/water? I lived in Trinidad for 2 years & my maid always did that, I never asked, but now I’m curious.

    • sanaliscious says:

      to remove freshness or renkness from the meat and it also washes away any blood that is left on the meat. no one cooks meat that is not washed in lime or lemon, if none we use vinegar, and when yuh bussing a cook and the aforementioned are forgotten use the flour to make the dumplings!!!

    • Delia Sookhoo says:

      Tts used to cut the fresh taste of the blood in meat, curry though can overwhelm that fresh taste so its not necessary. If you can get hold of the “grafted lemon” not the traditional rough skin one this one looks like an orange washing you meat add a nice taste.

  14. Hylton Fernandes says:

    Hi Chris, I have a recipe for a Guyanese Style Beef Stew which I have always made through out the years.
    1.5 lbs of beef
    4 Medium Sized Tomatoes
    4 Garlic Bulbs
    1 mediun sized Onion
    i Tablespoon of Demerara Brown Sugar
    3 sprigs of thyme
    1 teaspoon dried chilli peppers (optional)
    5 medium sized Potatoes, cut up in Chunks
    1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste.
    Sauteed beef with 3 table spoons of Casreep, black pepper,Chilli and salt and keep in fridge over night.
    Heat oil in Pot and sauteed onions and garlic for approx. five minutes,add beef and cook covered for twenty minutes, add tomatoes, thyme, and brown sugar and cook on medium heat for forty minutes. Add one and a half cups water or broth, add potatoes,and cook on a medium heat for 35 minutes. You may add a little more salt at this point.Add 2 Scotch Bonnet to steam on top of the beef stew if you are a lover of heat! Enjoy


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