International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Beef and Okra

Basket of fresh okra

(Jamaican beef and okra stew)

Image by Jérôme Decq

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This recipe makes a simple meat and vegetable stew with tons of flavor. It's a typically Caribbean concoction using that favorite vegetable import from Africa — okra. Try using goat instead of beef if you can find it.

4 to 6 servings


  • Oil -- 1/4 cup
  • Beef shoulder or sirloin, sliced thinly across the grain -- 2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Onion, thinly sliced -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3-4 cloves
  • Chopped tomatoes -- 1 cup
  • Water or stock -- 1 cup
  • Thyme -- 2 teaspoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Okra, stems removed and cut into rounds -- 1 pound


  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high flame. Add the beef and sauté until browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.
  2. Add more oil to the skillet if needed and then add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer 2 or 3 minutes to cook them down a little. Then return the beef to the skillet and add the water or stock, thyme, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the okra and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beef is tender. Adjust seasoning and serve over rice.

Beef and Okra Notes and Variations

  • Add a minced jalapeño or Scotch bonnet pepper with the garlic for some fiery heat.
  • Half-frozen beef will be easier to slice thinly. Slicing the beef across the grain makes it much more tender.


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