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

About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

14 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Harissa Stew”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Sounds delicious! And so simple too. I love slow-cooker dishes.
    Thanks, Mark!

  2. The metric conversions for the tablespoons need to be changed to 30mL for 2 tablespoons.

  3. I was just about to throw a bunch of stewing ingredients in my slow cooker – I think I’ll give this a go. Looks really tasty, thanks Mark.

  4. Coriander is listed but is already part of the harissa recipe. Duplication intended?

  5. Harissa is a combined spice paste in it’s own right, I would think the other ingredients are to make a scrumptious “gravy”.

  6. Interesting. That should taste great with all of those AGE’s swimming around from the high heart browning before transferring to the slow cooker.

    1. Skip the browning! I am too lazy for that and mine was still delicious.

      1. Love it!! I tend to be on the lazy side myself. actually, going primal has helped me so much with the cooking crisis in this house. I just don’t have the patience to make things like this in the kitchen. I would rather be playing the flute, reading a good book, or hiking with my hound mix, doing a yoga practice, or riding my bike. I think you get the idea. My go to for easy eating are eggs, green smoothies, mashed cauliflower with sardines, butter and onions. No muss no fuss. Of course this is just one example. I have a wide range of veggies and meats that I will rotate. The less cooking the better for me. This is not all I eat, but there is very little cooking involved. It is either steaming, or very gently sauteed. I might be missing out on the glories of eating wonderful dishes, but since I am not food motivated, just getting the best nutrients in my body is enough for me.

  7. I made this yesterday and it’s very good. I didn’t read the instructions very well and coated the meat with the harissa AND the extra spices before cooking, but it still turned out great. Mixing the leftover harissa with some mayo made for an excellent dipping sauce as well. Thanks!