Tas Kebabi is a Turkish Beef Stew gently cooked with onion, garlic, spices and stock until the meat is tender. This authentic beef stew is usually topped with sauté potatoes and peppers and served on a bed of Turkish Rice (Sehriyeli Pilav).
Tas Kebabi is also popular in Iran, Azerbaijan, Levant countries and some parts of the Balkans. Every country/household makes it differently but the main concept is to slowly cook the meat (usually beef or lamb) in an aromatic tomatoey sauce.
Why This Recipe Works?
- Although it is called "Tas Kebab", it is not an actual kebab recipe where meat is placed on skewers and cooked over fire. This delicious dish is actually a super easy one-pot stew!
- You can cook the meat a couple of days ahead and keep it refrigerated until you want to serve it. Simply reheat the meat and fry the vegetables before serving.
- It's incredibly simple, but the broth is very flavorful, and the beef is so tender that it falls apart.
- This dish is hearty, comforting, and gently spiced, a delicious stew that you can make any time of the year!
Ingredients and Substitutes
- Beef - A well-marbled cut such as chuck or brisket is my preferred cut of meat for this recipe.
- Olive oil - I use a good quality olive oil to achieve the best flavour. You can substitute it with butter.
- Onion - It adds great flavour to the stew. You can use brown, yellow or white onion. Shallots would work great as well.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic is a great flavouring that adds sweetness and nuttiness to dishes. Turn it into a paste with a Mortar and Pestle or grate it using a Microplane Zester Grater. I use two large or three small fresh garlic cloves for this recipe.
- Tomato paste - It is the staple of Turkish cooking. It adds an umami flavour to the dishes as well as a bright red colour. You can find it in Turkish or Middle Eastern shops. You can also buy it from .
- Flour - I use plain/all-purpose flour to thicken the sauce. Substitute it with cornflour for a gluten-free option.
- Spices - I like keeping it simple but you can add your favourite spices and flavourings such as cumin, cinnamon or cloves. Adjust the amount to your taste.
- Potatoes - I use floury potatoes such as King Edward, Maris Piper, Russet or Rooster as I like them flaky inside with crispy edges. If you want to achieve good solid crispy potatoes, use a waxy potato such as Charlotte, Anya, fingerling potatoes or any type of red potatoes.
- Peppers - I prefer using Turkish green peppers for this dish. They are one of the most popular peppers used in Turkish cuisine. They are usually mild but some of them can be quite hot. You can replace them with bell pepper or Spanish Padron peppers.
- Red Peppers - I use sweet Romano peppers but any sweet type of red pepper works with this recipe.
Making this delicious and hearty Tas Kebabi - Turkish Beef Stew is quite simple. However, to achieve the best results, you need to follow a few simple steps and tips:
Cook the Beef Stew
Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or a heavy-based pan over medium-high heat and brown the beef pieces. Do it in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding. Add the onions along with the garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until slightly softened. Stir continuously to avoid them burning.
Stir in the tomato paste, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, salt, bay leaves and flour before adding the stock. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the stock and bring the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat to low-medium, cover and gently simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender and falling apart when touched with a fork.
Stir the pan every 15 minutes or so while cooking. Prepare and sauté the vegetables when the meat is almost cooked.
Prepare the Vegetables
Peel and cut your potatoes into 1 - 1½ cm cubes. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the potatoes. Fry them until golden and crispy and remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon. Do it in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
Add the peppers to the same pan and fry them for a few minutes, until slightly softened. Remove the peppers to the same plate as the potatoes with a slotted spoon.
Taste the seasoning of the stew and add some more salt if needed. Remove the bay leaves and serve Tas Kebabi on a bed of rice with fried/sautéed potatoes and peppers.
For more scrumptious Turkish Recipes why not try:
Tas Kebabi gets its name from the old days when they used to slow cook it with very little water in heavy copper pots called “tas.” During those days, tas kebab was served in the form of cooked meat in a "tas" in the middle, in a tray surrounded by rice, and then the tas was carefully removed from the middle and served.
This Turkish Beef Stew is best when made a day or more ahead of time and reheated prior to serving, as this allows the flavours to develop. When ready to serve, fry or sauté the potatoes and peppers and add to the beef stew just before serving the Tas Kebap.
The leftovers keep well in an airtight container for up to five days in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer.
Top Tip From the Chef
You can sauté the potatoes instead of frying them. Check my Crispy Sauté Potatoes with Garlic recipe post to find out how to make delicious & crispy potatoes! Alternatively, for a healthier option, you can use your air fryer for frying the potatoes and peppers.
I hope you enjoy the process of making this hearty Turkish Beef Stew as much as you enjoy eating it!🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet Olsun!
Tas Kebabi - Turkish Beef Stew
For the Stew
- 800 g diced beef (Well-marbled cut such as chuck or brisket)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 500 ml beef stock or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
For the Vegetable Topping
- 2 large potatoes (diced)
- 4 Turkish green peppers (or 1 green bell pepper) (sliced)
- 1 sweet Romano pepper or red bell pepper (diced)
- ¼ cup oil for frying
Cooking the Beef Stew
- Add olive oil to a Dutch oven or a heavy-based pan over medium-high heat and brown the beef pieces. Do it in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding.
- Add the onions along with the garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until slightly softened. Stir continuously to avoid them burning.
- Stir in the tomato paste and flour then add the stock.
- Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the stock before adding the paprika, freshly ground black pepper, salt and bay leaves.
- Bring the pan to a boil, reduce the heat to low-medium, cover and gently simmer for 1 hour and 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender and falling apart when touched with a fork.
- Stir the pan every 15 minutes or so while cooking. Prepare and sauté the vegetables when the meat is almost cooked.
- Taste the seasoning and add some more salt if needed. Remove the bay leaves and serve on a bed of rice with fried/sautéed potatoes and peppers.
Preparing the Vegetables
- Peel and cut your potatoes into 1 - 1½ cm cubes.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the potatoes.
- Fry them until golden and crispy and remove them to a plate with a slotted spoon. Do it in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
- Add the peppers to the same pan and fry them for a few minutes, until slightly softened.
- Remove the peppers to the same plate as the potatoes with a slotted spoon.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don’t leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
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