Trinidadian stew

By Julie Van Rosendaal on November 01, 2012
Lydia Marshall-Browne is known for the flavourful curries and stews she feeds her children and grandchildren throughout the year. This beef stew from her native Trinidad is rich and intense due to her special technique of caramelizing the sugar and oil before browning her beef. Lydia cooks hers quickly. For more tender meat, cover and braise for 2–3 hours.


2 lbs (1 kg) cubed stewing beef or bison
1 tbsp (15 ml) soy sauce
4–5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp (5 ml) black pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil
2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped (leaves too)
small handful of chopped parsley and cilantro


1. In a large bowl, toss together the beef, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Let marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator, or overnight.

2. In a large pot set over medium-high heat, combine the oil and sugar. Cook until it caramelizes, turning deep golden. Add the meat and brown all over. Once brown and the moisture has cooked off, add about 1/2 cup water or beef stock and stir, scraping up the browned bits. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, cover, turn to low and simmer for 2 1/2 hours, until meat is very tender.)

3. Add another 1/2 cup water or stock if needed if the pot goes dry. Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsley and cilantro and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are golden and tender. Cook for 20 more minutes, or until the beef has cooked through. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, November 2012.

By Julie Van Rosendaal | November 01, 2012

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