Legendary Dishes | Cowboy Stew (aromatic beef and bean stew)


The original cowboy stew made on the range generally contained chuck beef, beef or veal liver, beef or veal heart and sweetbreads seasoned with pepper, salt and hot chilli sauce. Some cow hands would add beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes for a more complete meal, with cornmeal to thicken it.

Nowadays cowboy stew will contain onions and potatoes, and the seasonings with include garlic. Some like it spicy and will add combinations of chillies with cayenne and hot chilli sauce while the youngsters will add cans of baked beans and tomato soup. It is a stew so this is an expedient decision. Tomato paste and tomatoes will release sufficient liquid to cook the meat.

  • 1 kg chuck beef, cubed small
  • 600 g black beans / white beans, pre-cooked
  • 400 g tomatoes, skinned, chopped
  • 250 g whole kernel corn / sweet corn
  • 250 g onions, sliced into half-rings and small pieces
  • 100 g green beans, cut into large pieces
  • 100 g tomato paste
  • 9 green chillies, chopped small
  • 3 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp hot chilli sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Place all the ingredients into a casserole, a large pot or a slow cooker and gently fold to mix. Allow 8 hours in the slow cooker, two hours at the highest setting, the remainder at the lowest setting. For the pot simmer at lowest setting for 3 hours. For the oven pre-heat to 190ºC (375ºC), after 30 minutes reduce heat to 110ºC (225ºF), bake for 4 hours.