West African Beef, Plantain, and Okra Stew

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West African Beef, Plantain, and Okra Stew Recipe
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford


While not nearly as sweet as bananas, plantains do have a sweet flavor. In this soup we keep that sweetness at bay by using firm plantains with green skins rather than riper brown-skinned ones--the sugars will have not yet developed, so the fruit will add starchy body to the soup without too much sweetness.
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)


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2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
8 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon mustard seeds, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 cups unsalted beef stock
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained
3 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices okra (about 10 ounces)
1 large green plantain, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Hands-on: 30 Minutes
Total: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes

1. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add half of beef to pan; cook 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and beef.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until soft, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add 2 teaspoons mustard seeds, coriander, and cumin; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt, beef, sweet potato, stock, and tomatoes; stir to break up tomatoes. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 25 minutes. Stir in okra and plantain; simmer an additional 25 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and fresh cilantro.

Created date

August 2014

Nutritional Information

Calories 287
Fat 7.6 g
Satfat 1.9 g
Monofat 4 g
Polyfat 0.6 g
Protein 23 g
Carbohydrate 31 g
Fiber 5 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Iron 3 mg
Sodium 628 mg
Calcium 88 mg