Beans and Beef Stew (Estofado de Frijoles y Carne)

by Erica Dinho on October 19, 2009

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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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Simply Life October 19, 2009 at 8:36 AM

Oh this stew looks delicious!


2 Cathy October 19, 2009 at 9:51 AM

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!


3 Felisha October 19, 2009 at 10:26 AM

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!


4 jo October 19, 2009 at 10:55 AM

Sure looks like great comfort food to me!


5 Erica October 19, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Thank you guys for the comments!


6 girlichef October 19, 2009 at 9:47 PM

I feel the same way…pressure cookers scare me!! LOL…but I’m all for the ease of the crockpot. This looks super comforting and delicious :)


7 Joy October 19, 2009 at 10:39 PM

Pressure cookers are wonderful! But so is your method for this nourishing delicious meal!


8 Sarah Naveen October 19, 2009 at 11:47 PM

Oh Wow Erica!!! Stew looks fabulous!!!! I m drooling ;)


9 rebecca subbiah October 20, 2009 at 12:01 AM

yummy, oh Pressure cookers are huge for indians as well my mum in law always brings one from india


10 Angie@Angie's Recipes October 20, 2009 at 6:42 AM

I like to use pressure cooker, fast, and the food tastes really good.
The beef stew is a must-have in the winter!


11 Mirro Pressure Cookers October 20, 2009 at 6:56 AM

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.


12 Sophie October 20, 2009 at 7:31 AM

The stew looks fab & so damn tasty too!

Fab comfort food & it is good for you too,…


13 Erica October 20, 2009 at 7:48 AM

Thank you all for visiting and taking the time to read my post!


14 Danielle October 20, 2009 at 7:06 PM

LOL…preasure cookers scare the crud out of me! Your stew looks great!! the plantains sound really good in it


15 Natalie October 20, 2009 at 8:13 PM

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 : )


16 Oysterculture October 20, 2009 at 10:49 PM

Perfect meal for a cold damp fall night – coming right up!


17 Diana October 21, 2009 at 10:47 PM

I am making this! Looks so good!! By the way, I love your new pic on the homepage!!


18 Muneeba October 22, 2009 at 9:00 AM

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.


19 Erica October 26, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Thank you everyone :)


20 Elaine April 10, 2011 at 5:03 AM

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)


21 kathey February 11, 2012 at 8:28 AM

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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