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West African Beef, Plantain, and Okra Stew

Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

 

Hands-on time 30 mins
Total time 1 hr, 25 mins
Yield Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  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.