Beans and Beef Stew (Estofado de Frijoles y Carne)

Estofado de Frijoles con carneThis beans and beef stew is a warm and comforting meal and the perfect dish to eat on a cold day. Beans are a staple in Colombian cuisine and are usually cooked in a pressure cooker. I do own a pressure cooker, but I am a little intimidated by that thing. My mom bought it for me when I was engaged to be married. Like most Colombian mom’s, she couldn’t bear the thought of her daughter not owning a pressure cooker.

I noticed that I have been using my crock pot more and more lately. I used it again for this beans and beef stew, not the pressure cooker 😉 Just think about how great it is to put a bunch of ingredients in a pot and not have to worry if dinner is burning for at least 5 hours. You also don’t have to worry about it exploding as a result of too much pressure, sending shrapnel throughout the kitchen. Enjoy the dish!



(6-8 Servings)

  • 1 pound dry red, pinto or canary beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 pounds beef for stew, cut into chunks
  • ½ cup grated carrot
  • 1 large green plantain, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 scallion
  • ½ cup red bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Wash the beans and soak overnight in cold water. Drain the beans and dump into slow cooker.
  2. Place the onions, garlic, scallion and red bell pepper in the food processor.
  3. Add the beef to slow cooker with beans and pour in water. Add the chopped vegetables, grated carrot and ground cumin. Stir well.
  4. Cover the pot and cook on high for 5 hours or until the beans are tender.
  5. Add the plantain, season with salt and pepper and cook for 30 minutes more.
  6. Add chopped cilantro and serve with white rice and hogao.
  7. If using a normal pot:
  8. Wash the beans and soak overnight in cold water. Drain the beans and place in a large pot and add the water, beef, chopped vegetables, carrots and cumin. Over medium-high heat, bring the beans to a boil, then cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the beans to cook until almost tender, approximately 2 hours.
  9. When the beans are almost tender, add the plantains, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for another hour or until the beans are fully cooked. (Add additional water as necessary).
  10. Add chopped cilantro and serve.
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  1. says

    I’ve never actually used (or owned) a pressure cooker. And now with your description of shrapnel, I may never have one!!! Your stew looks great!

  2. Felisha says

    I had a pressure cooker once upon a time, but it was a cheap one and it broke. When I go to Colombia next year, I’m going to bring one back here 😉 I prefer the slow cooker! I think because I AM a slow cooker haha..I hate rushing things! Will try this recipe out–love fix it and forget it meals!

  3. says

    You had me at the picture. The beef looked so tender sitting there on top of the stew.. my mouth instantly began to call me and I went straight from this recipe to my kitchen to check if I had all of the ingredients. I also love how you give the alternative instructions in case you do not have a pressure cooker.

  4. says

    Erika, this stew looks sooo comforting ! Perfect for the upcoming winter : ) … Also, I love your serving platter and dish…its sooo cute, like a picture from a gourmet magazine : )

  5. says

    I’m glad u didn’t end up using the pressure cooker …coz I don’t own one, and am too scared to! This dish sounds simple and hearty, but I love the small touches of deep flavor added in there from the plantains and red pepper etc.

  6. Elaine says

    I recently purchased a pressure cooker and am looking for recipies to try – this one looks perfect, especially as my husband is Colombian and loves this kind of food (and yes his mother has a few pressure cookers of all different sizes….How long would you need to cook this recipie in a pressure cooker? (I do have a slow cooker but would like to try it in the pressure cooker)

  7. kathey says

    This looks like a tasty recipe, and for all of you intimidated by pressure cookers, I have been using one for years to cook quickly, and have not had any incidents. The ‘exploding’ pressure cooker has been a thing of the past for many years, due to creation of better cookers with better materials. Do not let that intimidate you anymore. It is nice to take a frozen chicken, placed into the pot and have it soup ready in a little over an hour. Or to take frozen breast and thighs, and have adobo ready in about 30 minutes.


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