This Potato Stew Recipe is known as Kari (curry in Assyrian) or "Shirwa't Kitropeh" (potato stew). This deliciously thick and rich potato stew is traditionally served over Vermicelli rice with herbs and pickled vegetables on the side.
Why This Recipe Works
Stews are quite popular in the Middle East. In fact, stews are served at least a few times a week if not more. Lamb or beef are usually included, in most stews, including Potato Stew. Occasionally, chicken is substituted.
Most of these stews are cooked the same way, however, the main difference is the vegetable used in the stew. Sometimes the meat is left out, especially when fasting or abstaining from meat.
This Potato Stew recipe yields a rich and creamy stew that's easy to prepare in an Instant pot or stovetop. The tender potatoes melt in your mouth and the thick and hearty stew will leave you wanting more.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1 | Prepare Meat
Cut meat into 3" pieces and rinse well. Place in a six-quart Dutch oven and cover with 5 cups of water.
Step 2 | Simmer Meat
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, covered. Remove meat from the pot, strain, and reserve the remaining broth.
Step 3 | Fry Potatoes, Onions, and Garlic
Rinse the pot, dry, then add the vegetable oil. Fry the cubed potatoes until golden. Add the onion, and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
Step 4 | Add Meat and Spices
Return meat to the pot and sprinkle with salt, curry, paprika, and brown meat for a few minutes.
Step 5 | Add Tomato Paste and Broth
Dissolve the tomato paste in 4 cups of reserved broth. If necessary, add more water to equal 4 cups. Pour liquid over the meat and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
Serve with rice, pickles, and a bowl of herbs on the side.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
There is no fast and hard rule as to which potatoes should be used in stew, at least none that I follow.
It does matter, however, if you are looking for a specific result. In this particular beef stew recipe, I recommend using Russet or Idaho potatoes.
These potatoes contain high starch content and will thicken the stew, as they're meant to.
If you don't want the potatoes to fall apart, skip the Russett and Idaho potatoes. In their place, use waxed potatoes such as Red Potatoes or New Potatoes.
These potatoes will hold their shape better. Not only that, but they will also release less starch.
No matter what potatoes you use, they should not require longer than 30 minutes of cooking in the stew. Depending on the variety you use, longer cooking will cause the potatoes to fall apart (especially starchy potatoes).
This is one reason we cook the meat first, to get it nice and tender, before adding the potatoes, which require less cooking time than the meat.
No matter what variety of potatoes you use, you do not need to boil the potatoes before cooking them in the stew.
I do, however, recommend frying them first. This not only enhances the flavor but helps them to keep their shape somewhat as they cook.
Potato Stew is one stew where you don't have to worry about thickening. This is due to the starch content of the potatoes.
If using waxed potatoes such as red or new potatoes (which contain less starch) you can thicken the stew a few ways. A simple way to do this is to cook the stew longer.
Alternatively, you can use flour or cornstarch to thicken the stew. This can be done in two ways. The first way is to coat the boiled meat in flour prior to browning. The flour will thicken the stew as it cooks.
The other is by dissolving one tablespoon or more of cornstarch in ½ a cup of cold water. Whisk this mixture into the stew, which will thicken as it comes
to a boil.
The trick to making stew meat tender is to cook it for a long period of time. To accomplish this you can first boil the meat while covered, for approximately 45 minutes.
Next, drain the meat and save the broth to use in the stew. Finally, brown the meat and cook in the stew for an additional 30 minutes.
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Lamb or Beef Potato Stew
- 1 pound beef, lamb, or chicken (with bones)
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3 medium potatoes (cubed)
- 1 small onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- ½ tablespoon paprika powder
- Slice meat into 3" pieces and rinse well. Place in a six-quart Dutch oven and cover with 5 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, covered. Remove meat from the pot, strain, and reserve the remaining broth.
- Rinse the pot, dry, then add the vegetable oil. Fry the cubed potatoes until golden. Add the onion, and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
- Return meat to the pot and sprinkle with salt, curry, paprika, and brown meat for a few minutes.
- Dissolve the tomato paste in 4 cups of reserved broth. If necessary, add more water to equal 4 cups. Pour liquid over the meat and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.