Bajan Beef Stew is a true “comfort food”. In Barbados, it is traditionally served as the main entree, accompanied by peas, rice, pickled cucumbers, and sweet potato pie. Bajan cooks, however will usually have multiple variations on the meal. Oftentimes the extra ingredients are comprised of whatever is available in the kitchen. They get included into the pot, but always the mainstay ingredients and seasonings are the same.
You can, after trying out this very traditional, mainstream version of Bajan Beef Stew, to improvise in your kitchen. Once you get the basics down, you can get creative and customize it even further toward you and your family’s personal tastes.
Bajan Beef Stew Recipe-
- 2 lb. stewing beef, chopped into bite-sized chunks
- 2 tbsp. peanut oil
- 2 cups water
- 1-1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 medium-sized white or yellow onions, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp. raw turbinado sugar
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunk lengths
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large stalk of fresh thyme
- 1 large stalk of fresh marjoram
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Scotch bonnet chili pepper, chopped fine
- 1 tbsp. melted butter combined with 2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, marinate the beef chunks in black pepper, salt and 3 cloves of the crushed garlic.
- In a skillet over medium heat, caramelize the onions and the remaining 3 cloves of garlic. Place in another bowl, and set aside for now.
- In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, fry the meat in hot oil and melted sugar until well browned all over.
- Now add in the Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, salt, black pepper, scotch bonnet pepper, paprika, ground cloves, and water, Cover the skillet, reduce the heat to just a lively simmer, and cook for about 1-1/2 hours.
- Remove the stalks of thyme and Marjoram, and the bay leaves; add in the celery and carrots.
Replace the lid, and cook for 35 to 40 minutes more.
- Towards the end of the cooking, add in the butter and flour mixture, stirring well, to thicken the gravy.
- Serve your Bajan Beef Stew while nice and hot.
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