If I ever write a cookbook, it would probably be called “Just Bung It In The Oven” – I love a recipe where you can throw some ingredients together, bung it in the oven, and let the magic happen while you do something else. This is especially true of winter nights on lazy weekends, such as last night’s beef satay stew.

I had some leftover satay sauce from a fish dish I adapted from a BBC Saturday Kitchen recipe last weekend. It set to a nice, thick, smooth paste in the fridge. Click here for the link to the satay monkfish recipe – I used cod because I couldn’t find monkfish in the local Asda, and cooked it in the oven rather than on the stove. I had loads of leftover satay sauce so I brushed a little onto some pork belly for an easy midweek dinner and used the last of it last night in a satay beef stew of my own invention.

For the satay sauce, you can  cheat with 125ml of store-bought satay sauce – there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing this. Click here for more of my favourite food cheats. Honestly, most of us right now are either knackered, broke, fed up or a combination of all three and anything to make life easier should be embraced like a long-lost lover.

Alternatively, you can make up the satay component of this stew by mixing together the juice of one lime (or three tablespoons of bottled lime juice), a teaspoon of honey or brown sugar, a tablespoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of any curry powder (I used garam masala powder), two heaped tablespoons of peanut butter, and 150ml of coconut milk.

This beef satay stew can be served with rice or noodles. Again, because it was Saturday night and I really wanted to eat comforting bowl food in front of the telly, I just bought egg noodles from Asda and popped them in the microwave. I added a few splodges of sweet chilli sauce (another winning food cheat) to the noodles before ladling the beef satay stew on top. Easy, warming and perfect with a bottle of Cotes du Rhone.

Satay beef oven-cooked stew


Groundnut oil

400g diced beef

1 large red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic

250g sweet potato, diced

200ml coconut milk

300 ml stock (I used beef stock but any stock is fine)

Satay sauce (either store-bought or see the top of the page for instructions on mixing your own from scratch)

Dash of lime juice

Ground ginger, coriander and chilli powder to taste

3 peppers, ideally one red, one yellow and one green for colour, diced


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C.
  2. Heat a splash of groundnut oil on the stove in an ovenproof pot and cook the red onion and garlic until the onion starts to soften.
  3. Add the beef, sweet potato, coconut milk and stock – bring to the boil, letting the beef cook in the hot liquid. This keeps it tender.
  4.  Stir through the satay sauce and mix in the lime juice, ginger, coriander and chilli powder to taste.
  5. Cover and put in the oven for one hour.
  6. After an hour, pop the diced peppers in and cook for a further five minutes in the oven.
  7. Serve with rice or noodles.

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