Sunday, 19 August 2012

Spicy Beef and Tomato Stew with Poached Eggs

Eggs are poached in this spicy beef and tomato stew just before it is served

This recipe is similar in some ways to the Mexican breakfast dish that is huevos rancheros but perhaps has more in common with the North African dish, shakshouka. It is simply a spicy beef and tomato stew, slow cooked on the hob, with eggs poached in the pan as the final stage of the cooking process. It has then been served with some very fresh bread.
Principal ingredients for this spicy beef and tomato stew

Ingredients (Serves Two)

3/4lb stewing steak or beef
Olive oil
1 small white onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 green bell pepper
1 pint fresh beef stock
14oz can chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
Salt and black pepper
2 large eggs
Sliced basil leaves to garnish
Fresh bread slices to serve

Sliced onion and garlic is added to the browned beef


Pour a little olive oil in to a deep frying pan which has a lid. The lid will help the eggs poach properly at the end of the procedure. Bring up to a medium heat and add the diced beef. Brown it quickly before adding the peeled and sliced onion and garlic.  Cook for a further couple of minutes before the green bell pepper (seeded and sliced) is added.

Chopped bell pepper is added to the browned beef and onion

Stir fry for a further minute or so before adding the beef stock, tomatoes, paprika, chilli flakes (if you are using them) and salt and pepper. Turn up the heat to bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer as gently as possible for two hours, stirring occasionally and topping up the liquid level with a little boiling water, only if necessary.

Stock, tomatoes and spices are added to the pot

When the stew is essentially ready, only then is it time to add the eggs for poaching.  First of all, taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if necessary. The eggs should firstly be broken in to a small bowl. This not only makes it easier to add them to the pan, it allows you to remove perhaps any bits of shell which may inadvertently be included.

Eggs should be broken in to a small bowl rather than straight in to the pot

A spoon should be used to make a couple of little wells in the beef and tomato stew. The eggs should then carefully be poured in to the wells.

Eggs are added to wells made in the stew

Putting the lid on the pan at this stage does help to cook the eggs more evenly. They will take about eight to ten minutes, depending upon how liquid or solid you wish the yolk to be served.

The lid should be added to the pan when poaching the eggs

Remove the lid from the pan and scatter over the sliced basil as a final garnish. You may wish to serve the stew in the pan at the table (be sure to sit it on a heatproof board) but it can be dished up in the kitchen if you prefer.

Stew is delicious served simply with some fresh bread


  1. Had this for my dinner tonight and it was lovely, thanks for the recipe.

    1. Delighted you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and taking the time to let me know how you got on with the dish.