Slow Cooker Harissa Stew

Slow Cooker Harissa StewRemember this delicious harissa lamb chop recipe? Take the recipe’s advice and also try harissa – a spicy North African condiment you can make at home with dried chiles, garlic, coriander, cumin, caraway and olive oil – as a rub for other types of meat like pork or beef. This recipe for slow cooker harissa stew guides the way.

In this recipe, harissa gives the stew meat complex, spicy flavor but the stew isn’t overly hot. However, if the moderate level of spiciness is still too hot for you, then cool the stew down by adding extra coconut milk at the end. If the stew isn’t spicy enough, then use leftover harissa as a condiment served with the stew.

Why the recent obsession with harissa? The stuff’s addictive, for one. The peppers and spices in harissa also provide a healthy dose of antioxidants. This stew recipe throws in even more spices on the side for good measure, like cinnamon, turmeric and cardamom.

Like most slow cooker meals, this is a simple “toss it in the slow cooker and forget about it” recipe. And like most stews, it tastes even better a day or two later, so pray for leftovers.

Servings: 6 to 8

Time in the Kitchen: 40 minutes active time, plus 6 to 8 hours in the slow cooker



  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) boneless pork or beef shoulder (or other cut of stew meat) cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
  • 2 tablespoons harissa (15 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (15 ml)
  • 1 cup beef broth (240 ml)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander (10 ml)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (2.5 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (a pinch)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (120 ml)


Rub the meat down with harissa and generously salt. Let the meat come up to room temperature for 20 minutes or so while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet. Add half of the meat to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned all over. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker. Continue until all meat is browned.

Browned Meat

Add the beef broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits of meat stuck to the skillet. Pour the liquid into the slow cooker.

Add the onion, tomatoes and their juice, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick and coconut milk to the slow cooker and mix in well with the meat.


Cook on low 6 to 8 hours until meat is tender.

Spoon off the fat from the surface of the sauce, if needed. Add more coconut milk to the broth if you like.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Slow Cooker Harissa Stew

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