Beef Stew with Browned Flour

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    4 to 5


Appears in

The Ghana Cookbook

By Fran Osseo-Asare and Barbara Baëta

Published 2015

  • About

This easy, tasty stew uses familiar ingredients in familiar ways, but with a twist. While wheat flour is an imported ingredient, it has found its way into many classic Ghanaian dishes, such as this stew my sister-in-law taught me how to make years ago. The secret is to begin by browning the dry flour in a heavy pan. I am partial to cast iron for this.


  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour or whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • 1 pound beef (like chuck roast or top round), sliced into medium strips (not as thin as for a stir-fry, but not as thick as for regular beef stew)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • A little minced fresh chili pepper: part of a seeded jalapeno for mild, 1 green cayenne for hot, or ½ a seeded green or red habanero for very hot (optional)
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon dried ground red pepper



Brown the flour

  1. Begin with a clean, dry, heavy frying pan. Heat the pan on medium for several minutes, then put the flour into the pan. Stir or gently shake the pan until the white flour turns brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Watch it carefully to keep from burning it. Compare it to the original color of the flour. When it is noticeably browner but not dark brown, remove the pan from the heat.) Empty the flour into a small bowl to prevent it from continuing to cook, and set aside.

Prepare stew

  1. Heat the oil in the same frying pan over medium heat, add a little of the chopped onion and sauté for a minute or two. Add the meat and raise the heat a little so that it browns on all sides, adding a little more oil if necessary to keep everything from sticking.
  2. Once the meat is browned, add the rest of the chopped onion, the garlic, and minced chili pepper, if using, and stir well. Add the tomato sauce, salt, ground red pepper, and 1 cup of water and stir well.
  3. Sprinkle the browned flour over the stew and stir again. Lower the heat to simmer, cover the pan and cook the stew until the meat is tender, about 20 minutes. Add a little more water if necessary. Check and adjust the seasonings (salt and red pepper) before serving.

To serve

Serve this stew with Shito or any chili sauce as a condiment on the side and let everyone add his or her own at the table. This stew pairs well with rice, but it would go fine with other starches, such as mashed or boiled potatoes or yam slices.

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