Meaty main dishes: Louisiana and North African beef stew

When the weather gets cold, it's time to stock your pantry with ingredients for a hearty beef stew. These recipes are the perfect meal in a bowl.

Meaty main dishes: Louisiana and North African beef stew

Louisiana beef stew

Need sweet, rich flavour? Add molasses. It deepens the taste of barbecue sauces, stews and desserts. Here, it rounds out the savouriness of beef, potatoes, tomatoes and carrots in a Southern-style stew.

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 50 minutes

Serves 4

  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour
  • 450 g (1 lb) bottom round beef roast, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) chunks
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 450 g (1 lb) all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) chunks
  • 2 cans (425 g/15 oz each) diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) molasses
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) red-wine vinegar
  • 3 ml (3/4 tsp) ground ginger
  • 3 ml (3/4 tsp) salt
  1. In a Dutch oven or flame-proof baking dish, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the beef, shaking off the excess. Add the beef to the pan and cook until lightly browned, about three minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until tender, five minutes.
  3. Add the carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about three minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes, tomatoes (with juice), molasses, vinegar, ginger and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, ­covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Return the beef to the pan and simmer, covered, until cooked through, about five minutes.

North African beef and potato stew

Versions of beef stew are made all over the world, and this one takes its cues from North Africa, with the flavours of cumin, ginger and cinnamon. To add a touch of sweetness, we included pitted dates.

Preparation time 20 minutes

Cooking time 1 hour 30 minutes

Serves 4

  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil, divided
  • 750 g (1 1/2 lb) boneless beef chuck, cut into 3.5 cm (1 1/2 in) pieces
  • 250 ml (1 c) coarsely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (400 g/14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes (with green pepper, celery and onion, if available)
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground ginger
  • 1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 250 ml (1 c) water2 yams (about 450 g/1 lb), peeled and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces
  • 175 ml (3/4 c) pitted dates, halved crosswise
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  1. Heat 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and cook, turning often, until browned, about four minutes. Transfer the beef to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef.
  2. Stir the onion and garlic into the pot and cook, stirring, until the garlic is toasted, about one minute.
  3. Add the beef, tomatoes, cumin, ginger, cinnamon and water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until the onions are soft, about 45 minutes.
  4. Add the yams and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is very tender and the yams are cooked through, about 25 minutes longer.
  5. Stir in the dates and cook five minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and salt.

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