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Beef Satay Stew with Sweet Potato Rice
Beef Satay Stew has tender beef coated in a creamy, Southeast Asian-style satay sauce for a fun, unique dinner!
This hearty, easy beef stew recipe can be served over regular rice or follow the instructions for easy sweet potato rice.
And it can be made on the stovetop, in a slow-cooker or in an Instant Pot.
Plus this beef stew is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, Paleo and Whole30!
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So what is Beef Satay Stew?
So it goes something like this: I love beef satay with peanut sauce.
But the sauce, and often the beef marinade, contains soy sauce. Soy sauce contains wheat. Can’t eat it.
So how about I just take my favorite ingredients from the marinade and the sauce and pour it into a pot with the beef?
Hence, Beef Satay Stew. Done.
Since it’s made throughout Southeast Asia, there’s no one way to Satay, if you will.
And since I’m not of Southeast Asian descent, I’m not going to try to say what “authentic” beef satay is anyway.
I’m mainly going by memory here, thinking of the juicy, salty, savory beef dipped into a deep, creamy, spicy peanut sauce that I’ve had in restaurants around Chicago.
What you need for this Southeast Asian beef stew
- 2-2.5 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 2″ chunks (preferably grass-fed)
- 1.5 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 (14.5-15 oz.) can full-fat unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 1/4 cup pitted dates
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, or 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust per your desired level of spiciness)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened sunbutter (for nut-free) or your favorite nut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
- Optional toppings like toasted sesame seeds, sliced scallions and/or lime wedges.
- Serve this Asian beef stew with rice, sweet potato rice (see below), cauliflower rice or parsnip rice.
- Depending on how you want to make it, you’ll need a Dutch oven for the stovetop, a slow-cooker or an Instant Pot
- A large mixing bowl
- A blender or stick blender
- A slotted spoon
- A small skillet (if toasting sesame seeds)
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- A measuring glass
- A slotted spoon
- A whisk
How to make this Southeast Asian beef stew
Toss the beef with salt in a large bowl.
Blend coconut milk, coconut aminos, dates, white and light green parts of the scallions (onion powder), garlic (or garlic powder), cumin, coriander and red pepper flakes in a blender until smooth.
Or add the ingredients to a deep bowl or container and use a stick blender.
Taste the sauce and add salt if necessary.
If you have time to marinate, toss the beef with the sauce and let sit at room temperature for one hour or in the fridge for up to 24 hours. It’s not necessary but it adds more depth of flavor.
If cooking on the stovetop, add the beef and sauce, bring to a boil and reduce heat so it simmers 2 hours. Cover the pan if it looks like the sauce is reducing too much.
If using a slow-cooker, add the beef and sauce and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
If using an Instant Pot, add the beef and sauce and cook for 20 minutes. Immediately release the pressure.
No matter what method you use, when the beef is done (it’ll be lusciously tender), remove it with a slotted spoon.
Whisk the sunbutter/nut butter and lime juice into the sauce, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning.
Pour the sauce over the beef and serve, adding the toppings if you like.
How to make sweet potato rice
- White or orange sweet potatoes
Peel and trim the ends off the sweet potatoes.
Chop into small cubes and either pulse 5-7 times in a food processor until in rice-sized pieces or grate with the large holes of a box grater.
Add to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap with a small vent, and nuke for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly cooked but still with some texture to it (not completely soggy).
Stir in the salt, taste and adjust seasoning.
Make ahead ideas
The sauce can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator.
The beef stew will keep in the fridge for up to 6 days.
The stew can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
The sweet potato rice can be made and stored separately in the fridge for up to 6 days.
It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Heat the stew up over medium heat on the stove or for 2-5 minutes in the microwave.
If making the stew in advance, skip the garnishes or stir the sesame seeds and scallions into the stew for added texture. Omit the lime wedges or tuck one into each container with the stew, remove before re-heating and spritz the stew once it’s warm.
Substitutions and variations
- You can use tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) instead of coconut aminos in the sauce
- You can use date syrup, maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of dates (if doing a Whole30, stick with the dates or leave them out entirely)
- You can leave out the red pepper flakes or add more if you like a spicy beef stew
- Use any unsweetened nut butter you like: sunbutter (for nut-free), almond butter, peanut butter, etc.
OTHER STEWS AND BEEF RECIPES
Beef Satay Stew with Sweet Potato Rice
- 2-2½ pounds beef stew meat (2" chunks)
- 1½ pounds fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1 (14.5-15 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup coconut aminos (see note)
- ¼ cup dates, pitted (see notes)
- 1 bunch scallions or 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 4 garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust per your preference)
- ¼ cup unsweetened sunbutter or other nut butter
- ½ teaspoon lime juice
- ¼ cup sesame seeds (optional, see notes)
- scallion greens (optional, see notes)
- lime wedges (optional, see notes)
Sweet Potato Rice
- 3 pounds white or orange sweet potatoes (about 3 medium/large)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more if necessary
For the beef stew:
- Toss the beef with 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt and set aside.
- If using, thinly sliced the scallions, reserving the darker green parts. Peel and coarsely chop the garlic.
- In a blender or food processor, blitz the coconut milk, coconut aminos, dates, white and light green scallions slices or onion powder, chopped garlic or garlic powder, cumin, ground coriander and red pepper flakes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
- If you have time to marinate (it's not necessary but adds a bit more depth of flavor), toss the beef with the sauce and marinate at room temperature for one hour. For any longer than that, store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
- For the sesame seeds: While your stew is cooking per one of the methods below, toast your sesame seeds, if using. Add the seeds to a small, dry, cold skillet. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally. Once you begin to smell them after about 5 minutes, you don't want to walk away or they'll burn evenly. Keep stirring until they're evenly toasted, then pour into a bowl.
- For the stovetop: add the beef to a heavy Dutch oven or stock pot and pour the sauce over. Stir the beef to make sure it's evenly coated. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 2 hours. Cover if it looks like the sauce is reducing too much. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef from the pot. Whisk in the sunbutter and lime juice. Taste and add more salt if necessary, then mix the beef back into the sauce. Serve warm, garnished with the toasted sesame seeds and dark scallion greens, with lime wedges on the side for spritzing.
- For the crockpot: add the beef to the crockpot and pour the sauce over. Stir the beef to make sure it's evenly coated. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours, or until the beef is tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef from the pot. Whisk in the sunbutter and lime juice. Taste and add more salt if necessary, then mix the beef back into the sauce. Serve warm, garnished with the toasted sesame seeds and dark scallion greens, with lime wedges on the side for spritzing.
- For the Instant Pot: add the beef to the insert and pour the sauce over. Stir the beef to make sure it's evenly coated and the sauce reaches the bottom of the pot. Cover, seal and cook for 20 minutes. Immediately release the pressure (or letting it naturally de-pressurize is fine, too). Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef from the pot. Whisk in the sunbutter and lime juice. Taste and add more salt if necessary, then mix the beef back into the sauce. Serve warm, garnished with the toasted sesame seeds and dark scallion greens, with lime wedges on the side for spritzing.
For the sweet potato rice:
- Peel and trim the ends off the sweet potatoes. Chop the sweet potatoes into small cubes and blitz in a food processor until you get rice-sized pieces (about 5-7 pulses), ricing them in batches if necessary. Or use the large holes of a box grater.
- Pour the sweet potato rice into a microwave-safe bowl and seal with plastic wrap, allowing for a small gap somewhere around the rim. Nuke for 5 minutes, uncover, stir and nuke for another 2-4 minutes, until desired texture is achieved (I like my rice to have a little bite to it). Stir in the salt, taste and add more salt if necessary.
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43 thoughts on “Beef Satay Stew with Sweet Potato Rice”
Love your creativity and approach to making the beef satay. I agree, the flavors are amazing but eating out it is not always possible or it is hard to find what you need, so having a solid recipe to work with at home is just perfect!
Thanks so much!
The sesame, cumin, lime and garlic… these are some of my most favourite flavours! I have never tried cooking all of them together.
Cool – let me know if you try it!
I love satay, turning satay into stew is a great idea! Peanut sauce is one of my favourites too, I could eat it with pretty much anything! Definitely will be giving this a try with the sweet potato rice!
Yes, put peanut sauce on ALL the things!
I am so excited to try your beef satay stew AND peanut sauce recipe! My whole family just loves asian-inspired meals and I LOVE healthier versions.
Oh good! Let me know if you do!
I am so intrigued, how those sweet potato rice taste? I would have never thought of such a great idea. I normally make cauliflower rice, but a great idea to try this as well. Thanks for the tip of the year.
Since I used white sweet potato rice, it’s less sweet than the orange kind so it’s kind of a more neutral base that goes with a lot of dishes. Orange sweet potato rice is sweeter that I only use at certain times but I do think it would work well with this or almost any Asian-themed dish.
I adore Satay chicken with peanut sauce & my hubby fully believes all chicken recipes should be replaced with beef, lol. So this is a keeper for sure! I can’t wait to try sweet potato rice with it.!
Ha! I like the way your hubby thinks.
I love the idea of the potato rice! I have not tried that before but I think we would love it! We don’t have a microwave – could I make this in a pan quick just like cauli-rice?
Yep, that would work just fine. It might take a bit longer than cauli rice since it’sa bit denser and starchier, but not by much.
where have I been, don’t think I’ve ever seen a white sweet potato — purple, yes, but not white! Also, I’m a beef girl, so you know I’m totally making this 🙂
Hopefully you can find them – they’re great! A little starchier and less sweet than the orange kind. They work really well in a lot of dishes.
I love how simple this recipe is yet packed with so much flavor. Will be making it again. love it!
This sauce is genius – so flavorful and sweet! Our evenings are sometimes a little crazy, so I love the option of putting this in the slow cooker!
Thanks so much! Yeah, slow cookers are such life- and time-savers!
I love all of the healthy ingredients in this! And that sweet potato rice, yum!
Thanks! That sweet potato rice is so versatile.
Oh yum! Love the combination of beef and peanut sauce. And sweet potato rice? That’s something I need to try asap.
It’s such a welcome change from cauliflower rice!
Simply fabulous! I am a whole30 girl, so anything that that looks this amazing is definitely going to be made at my house:)
Awesome! It’s always good to have more options for some variety.
This looks fantastic! I love peanut sauce, too. And that sweet potato rice? Brilliant!
I’ve never thought to use sweet potatoes for rice! I love that idea, since I can’t eat cauliflower. Great idea!
Oh no! That must be so frustrating since every other recipe these days has cauliflower. I hope this works for you!
Yummmm!!! That beef satay looks and sounds amazing!
This looks so delicious and flavorful, and I love how you provided all the different cooking methods! I’ll definitely try this in the Instant Pot.
That IP makes life so much easier 😉
What flavors! I wanted something beyond a traditional stew, and this hit the spot!
Oh good! That’s what I was going for. 🙂
What a great collection of ingredients. Can’t wait to try it!
Thanks! Let me know if you do!
We love peanut butter sauce too, so much! 😉 This looks great, and that rice: I’ve been meaning to try it; thanks for the recipes!
OMG, I just love that sauce so much. And the rice is so easy and so filling!
Making satay into stew is nothing short of genius! I love satay too, but I’m also too lazy to thread meat onto a skewer more than a couple times a year!
Ha, I know, right? I don’t know why it seems too fussy but I just can’t be bothered most of the time.
Wow love that there’s coconut milk and coconut aminos!
Two of my faves!