Yam & Beef Stew with Caramelised Onions & Pine Nuts


This rich and hearty stew is a one-pot meal full of delicious, spiced beef and starchy, filling yams (the real yam) and carrots, and a touch of delicate forest flavour of pine nuts and sweet, balsamic onions. It’s rustic and sophisticated at the same time, and most importantly it’s easy to make.

Cook’s notes: Yam is a starchy root vegetable similar to potato and sweet potato but it’s not the same thing. You can learn more about yams in this post, but all you need to know for this recipe is that when fresh, it has firm white flesh and rough, bark-like skin and when cooked, it becomes soft and starchy, and not very sweet.

It has a lower glycemic index than white potatoes but is still a high source of carbohydrates, potassium, vitamins B6 and C, and fibre. If you can’t find yams in your nearest greengrocer, check out speciality Asian, African and Latin American grocers, or use a regular white or sweet potato instead. It will be as delicious!


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Paleo yam & beef stew

Yam & Beef Stew with Caramelised Onions & Pine Nuts

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
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Delicious, hearty beef and yam stew cooked in one pot. Use regular white or sweet potato instead of yams if needed. Lamb or even chicken or turkey mince can be used instead of beef. Pine nuts can be omitted or replaced with toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.


  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • generous pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (aged if possible)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 400500 grams beef mince/ground beef
  • 2/3 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 23 cups diced yams (peeled)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup beef or vegetable stock or bone broth (water and stock powder can also be used)
  • 2/3 cup diced tinned tomatoes (about one tin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lemon and 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large pot or saucepan over medium heat. Season onion with salt and sauté over medium heat, covered, for 10 minutes, until softened. Add the vinegar and stir through for 20-30 seconds. Transfer a couple of tablespoons to a bowl and leave the rest in the pot.
  2. In another frying pan, cook pine nuts over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds. Until lightly browned and toasted. Remove to a bowl.
  3. Add beef mince and ginger to the pot with the onion and turn the heat to high. Stir through well. Then add grated garlic and spices and stir through over high heat for a couple of minutes, break the mince apart in the process.
  4. Once the meat has browned slightly and changed colour, adds the yams, carrots and pine nuts and stir through. Pour in the stock, or water and stock cube, and tomatoes, stir through and season with a little more salt. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring through a few times.
  5. Serve in bowl with a little caramalised onion on top and garnished with parsley and lemon zest for a little zing and freshness.


Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author:Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I’ve been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food on the blog because I believe in a balanced diet.More about me here. Sign-up for my newsletter and subscriber freebies.

PS. Some posts contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for purchases made through these links.

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  1. Have just cooked this and it smells great!! Haven’t tasted yet as it is for tomorrow’s night tea. Just a quick query though; the recipe does not mention when to add the tin of diced tomatoes, so I added them with the stock. Also I only used 4 cups of stock as 5 1/2 seemed a lot, but still the stew is quite watery. Is there something I may have done wrong?

    1. Hi Ally, the recipe is for 1 1/2 cups of stock, not sure where you got 5 from but I hope that didn’t ruin the dish for you. I’ve added the tomatoes to instructions, it was correct to add them with the stock. Best, Irena

      1. Actually the instructions still don’t have the tomatoes added. It is a lovely dish though. Made it last night.

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