This Beef in a Slow Cooker (Seswaa) from Botswana is so flavorful! Pop it in a crock pot for 4.5 hours and you’ll have yourself a delicious stew. You can also customize it with your choice of vegetables!
It’s very rare for my mom or dad to cook a dinner for the family. Usually, if I’m not cooking a meal for us, its takeout or cereal in my house. But every once in a while, my mom will whip up one of the very BEST fam favorite dinners: Roast in Slow Cooker.
Obviously, the reason that she loves this dish is evident: it’s easy! In the morning she can put some meat, potatoes, onions, and carrots into a slow cooker, and by the time dinner rolls around, our house is smelling yummy and everyone can’t wait to dive in.
The secret to her famous roast recipe (most likely the recipe actually comes from her Betty Crocker cookbook) is one little tiny package of Lipton’s Special Secrets Onion Dip Mix. These little packets come in a box with two seasoning pouches per box. When making her roast, the only thing my mom has to do is dump the meat and veggies in and then add a seasoning pouch. Lipton’s does the rest! These pouches offer juuuust the right amount of savory seasonings that the slow cooker really brings to life.
Now let me tell you a little bit about Seswaa
Seswaa is a dish famous in Botswana made from beef, water, and onions. In Botswana, not a lot of seasonings are used in their dishes, so typically the Batswana add either no seasonings or just a bit of black pepper to their Seswaa.
Seswaa is cooked on a three-legged pot over an open fire. This is the Batswana version of a slow cooker! The meat is added to this pot and is left to bake over the fire for hours until it becomes so tender that when the Batswana mix it up with an oar, the meat falls apart instantly.
This dish is a ceremonial dish in Batswana and is made often for weddings and celebrations. It typically is paired with Pap as well, a cornmeal porridge that acts as a base with which to eat your Seswaa.
When I made Seswaa at home, at first I attempted a traditional Batswana recipe with just water, pepper, meat and onions. I’m sure it tasted how the Batswana prefer, but to me, it felt a little bland.
TA DAH! Out came the Lipton’s seasoning packet to save the day! The simple act of pouring this packet into my slow cooker with my meat made ALL the difference in terms of flavor. It is SOOO delicious and flavorful, and the steps are still so easy!
What Type of Meat to Use for Your Seswaa
In Botswana, Seswaa is commonly made with meat on the bone. You’ll know that your dish is done when the meat is so tender that it falls off of the bone. You can choose to make your Slow Cooked Seswaa like this as well, but my preferred method was to use beef for stew.
I asked my butcher what the best kind of beef would be for this recipe, and he suggested a Shoulder Roast. I loved the way that the meat was easy to cut and cube, and how I didn’t have to search for bones once the meat began to fall apart.
Add a little Oomf to It
Okay you GET IT. I’ve said it enough times: Traditional Seswaa is made with water, beef, onions, and pepper. But let’s say you want to add some veggies to your meal. Maybe you want some potatoes? What about some carrots? Mushrooms? HAVE NO FEAR! You can do that ????.
To do this, add all of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Layer the potatoes and carrots on the bottom, then the meat, then the mushrooms and onions on top. Pour the water over all of the ingredients in the slow cooker. Depending on how much you add, you may need to add a bit more water. Pour enough water into the slow cooker so that the ingredients are barely peeking out of the top of the water. You don’t want them FULLY submerged, but they should be mostly covered. Give your slow cooker an extra half an hour as well, to make sure those potatoes get really tender.
And that’s it folks. You just made a traditional Batswana meal in the comfort of your own home. With a slow cooker nonetheless! And wasn’t it fun?? And simple?? Yeah, I thought so.
Did you like this recipe? If you make it at home, take a photo and share it Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork and tag @TheForeignFork.
If you loved this recipe, you’ll also love these recipes I picked out just for you:
As always, leave a comment on this post to let me know what you think! See you soon for some more awesome recipes from Botswana.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Seswaa)
- Slow Cooker
- 2 lb beef shoulder roast or any other slow cooking beef, I asked my butcher
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 cups water, or enough to cover the beef
- 1 package lipton recipe secrets onion, recipe soup and dip mix
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 5 bay leaves
- Chop meat into 2 inch cubes
- Place the beef in the slow cooker
- Add black pepper and Lipton recipe secrets package into the slow cooker
- Add quartered onions
- Pour water into the slow cooker. It should be enough water to cover most of the ingredients, but they shouldn’t be fully submerged.
- Add bay leaves
- Cover and Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Check after 4 hours. Once the meat is tender enough to fall apart easily, use two forks to pull the meat apart.