In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

It’s “thyme” you enjoyed stewed beef with a rich gravy.

What do you make that’s considered “comfort food” by your family? For me growing up it was a nice pig tail soup for Saturday lunch, thick with dumplings, ground provisions and split peas. I think our girls would say “beef with sauce (their way of saying gravy) and mashed potatoes” if I were to ask them the same question. Pretty similar to a North American style stew, but without all the vegetables, is how I could best describe this dish.

The result is a dish packed with tender pieces of beef since it’s cooked for a long time and a rich gravy that helps you appreciate boring mashed potatoes like you never thought possible.

* Disclaimer. This is NOT the traditional “stew beef” you’d find in Trinidad and Tobago or the other diverse islands that make up the Caribbean. I’ll post that recipe soon enough.

You’ll need….

1 lb beef (cubed)

1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes

3 cups beef stock

1 large carrot (diced)

1 medium onion (diced)

3 sprigs thyme (include stems)

3 cloves garlic

salt to taste (normally the beef stock I use adds enough salt to the dish)

pinch of black pepper

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 bay leaf


Let’s prepare the ingredients…

– peel and slice the carrot and onion

– peel and crush the garlic

– if you can’t find already packaged stewing beef in your grocery store, get any cheap piece of beef and cube into 1 inch pieces.

– 1/4 cup of cream (I usually use half and half)

In a deep saucepan add the oil and place over high heat. As soon a the oil heats up add the pieces of beef to brown. Keep moving around so every side gets in contact with the bottom of the pan and browns evenly.



This step can take about 10 minutes, depending on the type of pan you use and how high your heat is set. The next step is to add the sliced onions, garlic, carrots, pepper flakes andΒ  black pepper.



Turn the heat down a little and let cook for a couple minutes. Then add the thyme, bay leaf and beef stock. Try to ensure that you have enough liquid to cover everything in the pot. Now bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let cook for about 1.5 hours or until the beef is tender.


After everything’s been simmering for about 1.5 hours you should have a thickened gravy, now add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes. Then get ready to serve.



Remove the bayleaf and thyme sprigs and serve with mashed potatoes. Enjoy! remember to taste for salt.

Be sure to leave me your comments or questions.

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  1. Mary Floyd
    January 4, 2021 / 1:08 am

    Hey Chris,
    Thank you for this recipe. It came out perfect!.
    Next time I’m gonna try putting potatoes in the stew and make some soft roti to go along with it.

  2. June 18, 2019 / 7:36 am

    Eeverything came out great, I let it simmer for an hour and a half with a can of corn in the stew and it stew still came off rest. Thank you for the idea!!

  3. Ana Palmer
    November 27, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    Very Yummy.

  4. Monica dellihoue
    April 20, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    Can coconut milk be used instead of the half and half? How would that affect the flavor?

    • admin
      April 22, 2017 / 7:43 am

      it will have a lovely ‘sweet’ undertone from the coconut milk

  5. susan
    June 28, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    Oops addenda to last post the brown color I was referring too was created with browning, brown the sugar in oil then add beef. That is the color I didn’t think I could get without browning, like you did, was it just serious pan frying that gave the rich brown color? Thanks again

  6. susan
    June 28, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Hehe Chris you take in front, translation disclaimer, not your mama’s Trini beef stew, good color though and taste πŸ™‚ didn’t think I could get that rich brown stew look like a Trinidadian beef stew.Very tasty, waiting for the pig foot soup with split peas and ground provisions recipe that is comfort food. You hear meh.

  7. Joyce
    October 26, 2015 / 2:13 am

    Thanks for the receipe Chris. My husband only asked me to do a stew for him in the week because of the cold winter nights and he loves his stew. Thanks for this easy receipe.

  8. Dana Hodge
    July 7, 2015 / 6:26 am

    Good morning Mr. Chris I would like to know what kind of cream to use??

    • admin
      July 16, 2015 / 12:14 pm

      I believe it was 1/2 and 1/2 cream. Coconut cream will work great as well, now that I think about it.

  9. Christine
    June 12, 2015 / 2:40 am

    Very tasty! This also works well if a slow cooker but use less liquid.

  10. Lecho
    May 20, 2015 / 1:36 am

    Me love this & the taste is (HUM) dushi. Just NICE !!
    Dushi means in papiamentu ( finger liking GOOD) !!!

  11. nakia
    March 26, 2015 / 4:51 pm

    Hi Chris this recipe was on the money,Thank u so much for sharing this with me and my family..

  12. March 22, 2015 / 10:52 pm

    Thanks Chris.
    This is better than Guolash,I served Guolash in a Hungarian restaurant a while back in Toronto .But this recipe of yours is so much better,especially with the thyme.You deserve 100% of my vote,Keep up the good job.God Bless.

  13. Dave
    January 31, 2015 / 8:51 am

    Hi, Chris. I cooked your oven jerked chicken recipe earlier this week. Awesome flavour. My wife who is from the Bahamas said it was even better than the jerk chicken we order at Calabash, our favourite Caribbean restaurant in Mississauga. Have you eaten there? Thanks for this website – I’ve let it be known to lots of friends. Even the lady at Longo’s Loft in Oakville. Told Amanda she should get you to do a Caribbean cooking eveningthere.

  14. Sterling S Mohammed
    January 12, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    Hi Chris your recipes make cooking so easy.This recipe is simply delicious-never thought of adding Cream.I know now this enhances the flavour.Thanks man.

  15. November 19, 2014 / 9:13 am

    Hi Chris my name Petrina Do u have any recipes for weight loss about 15 Ibs.please if u forward to my email..

  16. November 19, 2014 / 9:07 am

    Hi Chris j was watching video on how to make bread and it was great,can u send me for black cake and bake ham please

  17. Arlayne Shepherd
    September 12, 2014 / 11:28 pm

    Hello Chris, I make stew beef in my slow cooker without the cream just beef stock it takes about 4 hours on high. I brown the meat first before adding the ingredients. I thicken the stew with a little cornstarch & water,I have a plant of Spanish Tyme & one leaf is all that is needed. It is so good instead of serving it with mashed potatoes I put cut up potato right in with ingredients in slow cooker.

  18. August 15, 2014 / 11:02 am

    Hi Chris

    The Beef looks fab!
    Keep up the good work…..good


  19. Sharon Samaroo
    August 10, 2014 / 11:33 am

    Hi Chris,
    As a trini ,who left home over 40 yrs.ago some of your recipes are new to me.I have tried lots of them and they are great,thank you .
    Chris I am looking for a brown down oxtail recipe if you have one please can you foward.Thank You

  20. August 2, 2014 / 6:53 am

    hi,chris can i put some mustard leave in the stew.

  21. January 30, 2014 / 8:45 am

    Love this recipe can i use it with potatoes in jackets.

  22. monica
    January 28, 2014 / 10:14 pm

    cani cook it without cream?

  23. January 28, 2014 / 10:06 pm

    can i cook it without cream?

  24. yolande quimpert
    December 31, 2013 / 10:49 pm

    chris, you are the best

  25. December 11, 2013 / 8:01 pm

    Beef stew was the bomb i did it just as you send it and i put spinnage in my mash potatoes it was real good thanks Chris.

  26. November 25, 2013 / 9:19 am

    Thank u Chris u your recipes have given me so much option and they are fantastic l like the fact that no msg is used and the use of very minimum oil where l come from u use lots of oil and msg. I like every single one of them. Good job!

  27. Linda
    November 9, 2013 / 8:41 pm

    In Trinidad we caramelize sugar to give a beautiful brown color and great taste.

  28. Alicia
    November 5, 2013 / 7:50 pm

    I love your recipes,it’s out of this world.
    Enjoyed cooking everyone of
    your recipes.

  29. alex Hurter
    September 17, 2013 / 10:29 am

    chris Great recipe I added a little bit of south African red wine before adding the cream it knocked my family out

  30. September 2, 2013 / 2:06 pm

    This was so delightful thanks for sharing.

  31. Ros
    June 16, 2013 / 1:44 pm

    Love your recipes and comments Chris! Thanks for everything you do!
    This beef stew is great on what we from Barbados call cou cou (polenta here in the USA)
    would you try it some time??

    April 25, 2013 / 7:58 am


  33. Saphir
    March 9, 2013 / 11:14 pm

    I tried making this dish but it turned into a disaster. After the beef was simmering, I added the cream as instructed, but the cream started to separate and seem to curdle and did not blend in well like in your photos. What could have gone wrong? Maybe the temperature was too high?

  34. Tricia
    February 28, 2013 / 10:24 am

    That is my kind of dish love stewed beef especially with mashed potatoes….mmmm

  35. trinigal
    December 14, 2012 / 2:45 pm

    My kids and grands love it with dumplins. Sometimes I just make it with everything in it…carrots, potatoes and dumplins. Served with white rice

  36. Asha
    August 7, 2012 / 10:25 am

    One of my Texan friends makes this beef stew – she "flour" the beef cubes before browning, and also adds a can of chopped/cubed tomatoes.

    • Petra
      October 25, 2012 / 8:44 am

      Just adding a comment from The Netherlands ("Holland") here. I too 'flour' the meat {put it all in a plastic bag and give it a good shake}. I partly replace the stock with a glass or red wine or a bottle of Belgian double or triple beer. After simmering for 10 mins the alcohol has evaporated so kids can safely eat this. And as I love mushrooms they get added too πŸ™‚ And 'boring mashed potatoes'?? Spice them up a bit with some Italian or Provencal spices when mashing them. Goes well with the beef.
      No matter the European influence here I do love (most of) your recipes Chris :))

  37. Mikey
    June 9, 2012 / 11:40 am

    Hey Chris,
    What is the cream you are talking about.. did not see it in the ingredients list

  38. May 20, 2012 / 9:03 pm

    I tried this stewed beef recipe tonight. It was good. Thanks Chris

  39. brenda
    February 27, 2012 / 11:28 pm

    great receipes really like the photos

  40. judy ali
    January 22, 2012 / 8:30 pm

    hi christ thanks for recipe a must try never had it with mashed potato had mostly with rice

  41. loraine burke
    December 26, 2011 / 5:04 pm

    Can I use water instead. Of beef stock and can I used any other milk

  42. Carol Wiley
    November 30, 2011 / 3:43 pm

    Made this recipe last night, minus the pepper flakes (food allergy), and it was great! Mine did not thicken up and am thinking I will add a thickener next time. Using leftovers tonight to add rice noodles to for soup. Thanks for sharing your cooking skills with the rest of us.

  43. joyce collins
    November 15, 2011 / 12:40 pm

    I added a can of diced tomatoes this and it really was good. Them gravy was nice and thick and good with the potatoes.

  44. November 3, 2011 / 5:51 am

    hey Chris, i learned to make stew beef by browning some sugar first (not the beef) in oil, then adding in the beef when the sugar turns dark brown (not burnt) and letting the caramelized sugar coat the beef for colour. then add celery, onions, peppers, garlic, herbs, etc. brown for a bit, then turn down the stove, cover the pot to let the beef simmer and make its own gravy. Sometimes i add kidney beans, sometimes not. You can also buy "browning" in bottles at Caribbean stores – i'm guessing it works the same as browning the sugar so you can skip that step? this method adds a pretty distinct flavour and colour that i associate with "stew beef" (Caribbean-style) vs "beef stew" which is more what i know your recipe as, lol. i make stew chicken the same way (minus the beans).

    Keep up the good work! i hate cooking but really enjoy your posts. πŸ™‚

  45. Claire
    September 28, 2011 / 6:19 pm

    I'll be looking to cook some good warming dishes such as this as the weather starts cooling down here in the UK. My partner got his first taste of C'bean cooking r/t in Barbados last May and loved every meal, so no battles on that front!

  46. afei$ha
    June 26, 2011 / 12:42 pm

    omg dribble and i am really hungry right no//!

  47. Linda McComie
    June 1, 2011 / 8:01 pm

    I think that here in the UK half and half could be replaced with single cream.

  48. denise
    January 24, 2011 / 7:15 am

    hi chris,

    please could you tell me what half and half cream is please….. thanx denise

    • Chris
      January 25, 2011 / 12:02 pm

      it's cream with a lower content of fat…
      12% fat (range 10.5-18%)

      In the United States, half and half is a mix of 1/2 whole milk and ½ cream, typically used as a cream in coffee. Half-and-half does not whip, but it can be used in place of whipping (heavy) cream in many recipes for less fat cooking.

      Hope this helps.

  49. Soosan1
    January 5, 2011 / 11:13 am

    You don't actually say how many this serves. Looks great and will try it tonight.

  50. Nicole
    October 4, 2010 / 10:26 am

    This recipe looks great!!! I would love to make it next week as the weather is getting chillier up in Canada now. So if you don't have beef stock what could you just add water to the pot after the meet is browned and add more seasonings? and which seasoning would you add?

    Nicole: The "Caribbean-Canadian"

  51. Jackie
    September 22, 2010 / 10:36 am

    Your recipes are awesome my husband is from trinidad and I've made several of your recipes and he can't believe I did it all by myself my favorite is the stew fish it's awesome!

    Thanks again, continue sharing your recipes.


    • jumbieg
      September 27, 2010 / 9:23 pm

      lovely.. keep impressing him πŸ™‚

  52. June 17, 2010 / 2:37 am

    NP.. let me know your thoughts next time you try it.

  53. Debbi
    June 4, 2010 / 11:32 pm

    Hi Chris,

    This is too luscious … borderline insane!


    • June 17, 2010 / 2:38 am

      Quite right.. love the rich gravy.

  54. Michelle
    April 7, 2010 / 5:11 am

    Hi Chris, thanks for the idea of mashed potatoes with stew beef. I've never eaten it that way. I usually have it with parboiled white rice and callaloo.

  55. Joanne
    March 28, 2010 / 7:35 pm

    I love cooking stew beef. I make it with white rice on the side.

    • March 30, 2010 / 12:07 pm

      Joanne, thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      happy cooking


  56. Cheryl
    February 26, 2010 / 8:44 am

    Hi Chris:
    My husband is from Panama. I am always looking for dishes to fix for him instead of the “American Way”. i have prepared several carribean dishes and we both really enjoy them. Thanks


    • admin
      March 4, 2010 / 5:26 pm

      Hello Cheryl, great to have you here and commenting. be sure to try some of the recipes.. you’ll love them.

      happy cooking


  57. Alison
    January 18, 2010 / 7:57 am

    I live in the carribbean and always look foward to your recipes. Each Island has it’s own little thing where cooking the island style is concern. But we still have alot in common. That’s why I look forward and learn from your recipes. Keep them coming

    • admin
      January 19, 2010 / 2:29 pm

      Thanks Alison. Maybe we can get you to share a recipe soon? Though we crave our individuality, we still have a lot in common.

      Happy Cooking


  58. John Porter
    December 22, 2009 / 11:47 am

    Hi Chris,

    This is certainly a great dish and a superb presentation.I have done this sometime ago but I did not use the half and half. However, next time around I'll be sure to include it.

    Really enjoy the recipes and your clarity of presentation.

    Thanks so much.


    • denise
      January 23, 2011 / 5:53 pm

      hi, can you tell me what half and half is please…. thanx

      • Joannie
        August 28, 2011 / 10:15 am

        its like a creamer. Many people use it in their coffee instead of using milk. Its much lighter than milk, hence "half and half"

      • Eve
        November 3, 2011 / 5:36 am

        half and half (in Canada) is 10% fat cream so much richer than milk and what people generally use in coffee. you can cook with it like with whipping cream (35% fat) but it may separate if boiled.

  59. Sarah G.
    November 19, 2009 / 12:11 pm

    Hi Chris,

    You mention pig tail in the preamble above. Do you have any recipes to share using pig tail. I love it myself, and have happy memories of meals including it.

    Love your website, recipes, comments, etc.

    Keep on sending the “love”….

  60. July 14, 2009 / 9:40 pm

    Nice going there Chris. I’ve always found the stewed beef is a hit a miss dish. Sometimes it turns out really well. You do the same thing again and then it’s not so nice again. Go figure.
    [rq=56291,0,blog][/rq]Eating Abroad

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