Weekly Winner – A Spectacular Stew

I’m usually relatively indifferent about beef stews.  To me, they all tend to wind up tasting the same.  Not bad mind you, just similar.  There might be a few different spices or herbs.  Some might be beer-based, some wine-based but basically, it is stewed beef with vegetables.   Satisfying, but not exceptional.  Until now.

When I cut this recipe out of Bon Appetit magazine, I had no idea what Kerala-style meant.  I’m still not really sure I know, but what I do know is that this recipe is definitely a winner.  It is a mild-curry flavored beef stew that, thanks to the coconut milk actually winds up tasting a little creamy.  It is fragrant, cozy and spectacular.  It quite possibly will replace most of my beef stew recipes.

Kerala-Style Beef Stew


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 ½ pounds beef chuck, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 serrano chiles, seeded, chopped
  • 1 1×1-inch piece ginger, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • ½ pound small carrots, scrubbed or peeled, halved lengthwise
  • ½ pound baby red-skinned potatoes (about 1-1/2″-diameter), halved, or quartered if large
  • ¼ pound frozen, thawed pearl onions, halved
  • 2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • Cilantro sprigs (which I did not use – hate the stuff)


Heat  1 1/2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches and adding remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp. oil between batches, add beef and sear, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate.

Stir in garlic, chiles, and ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add 1 tsp. pepper and turmeric; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth and reserved beef; bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of pot. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until beef is tender, about 45 minutes.

Add carrots, potatoes, and onions. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 15–20 minutes. Stir in coconut milk.

Divide among bowls. Garnish with cilantro (or not, in my case)


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Weekly Winner – What a Crock! (Pot Stew, that is) « Donna's Quick Qi
  2. Trackback: Weekly Winner: Reconsidering My Stand on Beef Stew | Donna's Quick Qi

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