Finished Sample of the Stew

Finished Sample of the Stew

Last month as part of an experiment (and a chance to use up some extra goodies from our farm share) I made up a batch of tomato, plum, & pepper jam.  My comment then was it was so savory it was much more likely to find its way into z recipe than my breakfast toast.  I decided to use some this weekend in my first stew of the fall.

For this stew, I wanted something more like Ethiopian beef stew, called key wat, not the soupy stew of meat and potatoes from my youth.  I didn’t want it to be too spicy though, and instead of being heavy on the peppers, looked for other spices that would combine nicely and help make a rich sauce. To match the jam, I decided to use another local Portland product, Eliot's Nut Butters.  In this case, I was using their Garam Masala peanut butter.  IF you don’t have access to Eliots, well first I feel sorry for you because they are awesome, but you can approximate it by using fresh ground peanut butter plus a heaping tablespoon of garam masala.

 Stew with salad, and lentils on injera. I should have snapped a picture sooner, but we were so hungry we dug right in!

Stew with salad, and lentils on injera. I should have snapped a picture sooner, but we were so hungry we dug right in!

We served this up with a fresh tomato and onion salad and a side dish of daal - red lentils cooked in garlic and coconut milk.  We also served it all on injera - traditional Ethiopian bread, however it would go just as well with big pieces of crusty bread or some rice.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 4-5 hours in slow cooker


  • 2lbs of stew meat
  • 1 Onion sliced into thick pieces
  • 5 stalks of Celery, chopped into chunks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz of Jammly Tomato, Plum, & Pepper Jam
  • 5 Tbsp of Eliot's Garam Masala Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp of peanut oil
  • 3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 3 Tbsp of Mirin
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, combine the jam with the peanut butter, mixing with a spoon.  Once thoroughly  mixed, add the stew meat and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next day, pull the meat mixture out and add the chopped garlic and stir.  Allow to sit at room temp while you prep the remainder.
  3. Add the onions and celery as a layer in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  4. Add the oil, fish sauce and mirin to the slow cooker.
  5. Pour the meat into the slow cooker onto the veggies, taking care to scrape as much of the marinade from the bowl (a cake spatula is great for this).
  6. Cover and set to high and let cook for 2 hours
  7. Uncover and stir stew.  Cover and cook for additional 2-3 hours.
  8. Uncover and check flavor - salt and pepper as need for taste.
  9. If your stew meat for very large chunks, you may want to use a spoon and break them up slightly (don’t overdo it however, you want some chunks of meat, not a pulled beef)
  10. Turn off cooker and serve immediately or drop to low/warm setting and keep warn until ready to serve.

Serve with crusty bread or on top of a scoop of rice. Leftovers make an excellent filling in a sandwich with some pickles and a hearty mustard!