Beef stew with umhluzi & pap

Try this traditional meat dish.

Serves 4-6

For the beef stew

800g stewing beef

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons (45ml) oil for frying

1 onion, chopped

2 cups (500ml) beef stock

3 tablespoons (45ml) tomato sauce

½ teaspoon (2,5ml) dried thyme

1 dried bay leaf

cooked pap to serve

For the umhluzi (gravy)

2 teaspoons (10ml) cake wheat flour

1 tablespoon (15 ml) water

meat juices in the casserole

salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Trim off any hard fat from the beef and season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan. Fry the meat over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side until nicely browned, then transfer to a large casserole.

3. Return the pan to the stove, reduce the heat and add the remaining oil. Gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until lightly browned, stirring regularly.

4. Transfer the fried onion to the casserole with the meat and add the stock, tomato sauce, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil on the stove, then cover the casserole and put it in the oven. Cook for about 1½ hours until the meat is tender. Spoon out the meat, set aside and cover to keep warm.

To make the umhluzi

1. Place the casserole on the stovetop over medium heat. Mix the flour and water and stir it into the juices in the casserole.

2. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the umhluzi is thick and glossy. Season with salt and pepper.

Feel like a braai instead? Check out these braai tips.

Extract fom Johanne 14, Real South African Food by Hope Malau (Quivertree Publications).