Jamaican beef curry recipe – a delicious one pot melt-in-your-mouth Caribbean stew made using a slow cooker and with served with sweet potatoes
If you’re looking for a recipe that’s hearty, tasty and incredibly filling all in one serving then this Jamaican beef curry is the one for you. It is very simple to make, no fuss, not much prep and clean up because I made the recipe using a slow cooker. All you will need is plenty of simmering time to await the results – melt in your mouth meat!!
Dutch pot vs slower cooker
I grew up on Jamaican beef curry (aka curry beef) in fact it was a staple in our household. Jamaicans like most Caribbean islands are partial to some beef, mutton, goat meat or even curry shrimp. We have our own traditional way of cooking meat which tends to be in a dutch pot (aka dutch oven or dutchie) using Caribbean infused curry powder (not the same flavour as Indian curry).
Search the cupboards of an Island person and you’ll will find a dutchie or two waiting to be used. I don’t think a week goes by without having it on rotation. While the preferred choice of saucepan to make Jamaican beef curry would be a dutch pot. I wanted to change the status quo by preparing my beef stew using my slow cooker.
I’ve made this recipe using my slow cooker a number of times now and I must admit I do prefer the results that a slow cooker yields. That isn’t to say a dutch oven can’t do the trick but the key is in the length of cooking time (think 4hrs at least). Trust me, it really makes a helluva difference to the tenderness of the beef and not to mention the aromatic flavour.
Benefits of using a slow cooker
I honestly don’t know where I would be without my slow cooker. It’s makes some great tasting stews and casseroles. Don’t be deterred because this isn’t the traditional way of making a Caribbean dish, sometimes it’s a good idea to diversify and try new things.
A slow cooker………
- Eliminates the temptation of buying an unhealthy takeaway, instead opting for tasty nutritional comfort food
- Only requires one or two steps – browning the meat and then cooking in the slow cooker
- Great to make some winter comfort food but can use throughout the year
- Low wattage making it cost effective compared to using an oven
- Long low temperature cooking helps to tenderise the meat, even the cheapest cuts of meat taste like premium produce.
- Brings out the true depth in flavour.
- Can leave the slow cooker on while you carry out chores or even go to work or run errands returning to a warm home cooked meal
How to cook Jamaican curry beef in a slow cooker
Seasoning the meat – the first thing you need to do is season the meat. I do this overnight, so the raw ingredients are given enough time to penetrate the meat.
Browning the meat – Even though the slow cooker will be doing the bulk of the work, searing the meat is recommended to seal of the flavour before it is left to cook for several hours.
Transferring the meat to the slow cooker – I add the meat to the crock pot then add my potatoes which I like to cut in a combine a of medium wedges and a few halves. Some people add them towards the later stage of cooking put I had them at the beginning. I simply make sure they rest towards the top so they cook in the liquid but don’t break up in the stew
The liquid – Unlike stove top saucepans/skillets, slow cooker trap in the moisture where there is no way for the liquid to evaporate. It very important to ensure the correct amount of liquid is added to create your stew. I used 2 cups of water. While the beef is browning it should yield it’s own liquid which results in roughly a cup.
The slurry – Slow cookers retain their moisture which means the stews require thickening. Remedy this by adding a slurry (a thickening agent containing starch mixed with water) 3o minutes towards the end of cooking.
Is this curry beef dish suitable for a stove top?
Yes, you can follow the instructions but instead of using a slow cooker, use a casserole dish or dutch pot. Reduce the simmering time to 1 hr and 30 minutes instead. Do check the liquid levels and replenish by 1/2 cup if required.
No slurry is required for the stove top version
Can I eat this with something that’s low carb instead?
Yes, if you are watching your calories, you care more than welcome to serve the curry with vegetables (spinach, kale, callaloo or leafy greens) in place of potatoes.
Notes and tips
- Suitable for home freezing
- Paleo/gluten free
- For best results use the Caribbean style curry as linked
How to make Jamaican curry beef using a slow cooker (in pictures)
Add the beef and contents to a pan and begin to sear the meat
Add the sweet potato pieces/wedges to the slow cooker along with the meat and sprigs of thyme
Finally add the tomato puree and coconut cream before placing the lid on
Side dishes to pair this with
Other slow cooker Caribbean recipes
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Jamaican beef curry
- 700 g diced beef stewing steak, washed and drained
- 3 scallion sliced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 tbsp of curry + 1 tsp see post for recipe
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 inch of ginger grated
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 tbsp of tomato puree
- 1 tbsp of coconut cream coconut manna
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 cups of warm water
- 1 tsp of himalayan pink salt
- 1 large sweet potato cut into wedges and halves
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
To make the slurry
- 2 tbsp of tapioca stach
- 2 tbsp of cold water
- Add the beef pieces to a large bowl then add the 1 tbsp of curry followed by the black pepper, garlic, scallion, onions, bell peppers, ginger and pink salt.
- Use your hands to work all of the ingredients into the beef until it is coated with the curry.
- Set aside and refrigerate overnight
- On medium heat, melt the coconut oil then toss the bowl of beef with the rest of the contents into the pan/skillet and proceed to brown the meat and sprinkle in the remaining 1 tsp of curry powder.
- This should take up to 10 minutes, stirring so each side is evenly browned. The beef should form it's own juices during this time.
- Once seared add the browned beef to your slow cooker.
- Add the potato pieces and sprigs on thyme in the crock pot on top of the meat ready to be covered by the water
- Finally pour in the cups of water and stir in the coconut cream and tomato puree.
- Adjust the setting to high and timer for 4 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving, prepare your slurry to thicken the sauce by mixing the tapioca starch with the cold water into a smooth albeit runny paste.
- Add the slurry to the crock pot, carefully mixing so that it is evenly distributed.
- Serve accordingly