Traditional African Biltong Stew

African biltong stew recipe

The Spruce / Jess Masanotti

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
443 Calories
28g Fat
21g Carbs
30g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 443
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 28g 36%
Saturated Fat 10g 49%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 1675mg 73%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 30g
Vitamin C 24mg 122%
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 1005mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Biltong is a much loved South African delicacy made with dry-cured beef or game meat and flavored with spices such as whole coriander seeds. The spicing of biltong has been attributed as a Dutch invention, however, the act of drying meat as a form of preservation has been practiced in Africa for centuries and is still the case presently. It is most useful, even today, in regions which are deprived of electric power for refrigeration. Hence when a meat stew is made in these areas, it is quite typical to use dried meat or biltong with a little peanut butter to make a stew.

The addition of peanut butter to enrich the stew is most likely done because the meat is not normally affordable, therefore another source of protein is sought to supplement that which would have otherwise been consumed from the meat.

Making this stew is easy because all of the ingredients can be consumed as is, therefore not much cooking time is required. On the other hand, this stew may not be a suitable home staple for practical reasons, as biltong is quite expensive. If you don't want to spend that much money, you can still make this stew. Just use chicken breast and two strips of smoked bacon to enhance the flavor. If you like the idea of a peanut stew, try ​maafe, a peanut butter soup.

This is best served with polenta and a side of green vegetables. Traditionally, it is served with sadza and cabbage as pictured.


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

  • 11 ounces biltong, thickly cut 

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped

  • Cayenne pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for African biltong stew
    The Spruce / Jess Masanotti
  2. In a large pan over medium-high heat, fry the chopped onions, garlic, and ginger in the oil for a couple of minutes, or until translucent.

    Fry onions and garlic
    The Spruce / Jess Masanotti
  3. Add the biltong and saute for 30 seconds.

    Add biltong
    The Spruce / Jess Masanotti
  4. Add the tomato puree and peanut butter and stir to coat.

    The Spruce / Jess Masanotti
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cayenne pepper (if using), and cook for 5 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour in the water and simmer for 10 minutes until the stew has reduced to a thick sauce.

    Biltong stew
    The Spruce / Jess Masanotti

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