Nigerian Beef Street Fries (Paleo, Whole30)

The phrase “meat and potatoes” stands for everything that’s good.

Who doesn’t want to be besties with at least one meat-and-potatoes kinda guy?

For centuries, a nutritious meal was defined by roasted meat for strength and tubers for energy. As cooking evolved, so did this basic meal. Meat and potatoes were transformed into classic comfort foods like shepherd’s pie and meatloaf with mashed potatoes—then pub menus and food trucks gave us sexy, multiple-napkin, shareable eats like stuffed potato skins, poutine, and street fries.

This recipe for Spicy Nigerian Beef on oven-baked fries is just one of 12 meat-and-potato recipes in Well Fed Weeknights. With these recipes, you can assemble a satisfying stuffed baked potato (or street fries!)  in under 40 minutes. You start by plopping potatoes into the slow cooker a day in advance and finish by sautéing savory meats and chopping garnishes at meal time.

The first step in this recipe starts the night before: Wash 4 medium potatoes, but don’t poke, wrap, or otherwise molest them. Just place them in a slow cooker and forget about them for 8–10 hours. Store cooked potatoes in the fridge until meal time.

Spicy Nigerian Beef (Suya)

Total time: 35-40 minutes (when the potatoes are pre-cooked) | Whole30 compliant

Ingredients:
Potatoes
  • 4 cooked potatoes (see above)

Beef
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds beef sirloin or flank steak

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Spice Blend:
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse (granulated) onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse (granulated) garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 cube organic chicken bouillon (omit for Whole30)

  • 1⁄4 cup roasted cashews

Veggies:
  • 2 plum tomatoes

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 1 small jalapeño (omit if you don’t want it tongue-tingling)

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Garnish:
  • a handful fresh cilantro

  • fresh lime

Directions:
1

Cook the fries. Preheat the oven to 450F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. While the oven heats, cut the cooked potatoes into french fry strips. Place the fries in a large bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil until coated. Spread the fries in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle them generously with salt. Slide the pan into the oven—it doesn’t matter if the oven temperature hasn’t yet reached 450F. Set a timer for 10 minutes and check the fries to make sure they don’t burn! While the fries bake, make the meat topping.

2

Prep the meat and spice blend. Cut steak into 1⁄4-inch strips and place them in a medium mixing bowl. Combine the spice blend ingredients in the food processor bowl and pulse until it resembles a coarse powder; you want chopped nuts, not paste. Sprinkle the spice blend over the meat and toss to coat, pressing the nuts into the meat. Set aside.

3

Cook the veggies. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high, 2 minutes. While it heats, cut the tomatoes into wedges; slice the onion and the jalapeño. (Remove the seeds if you want it less hot.) Add the veggies to the hot oil and stir-fry for 1–2 minutes until crisp- tender. Transfer the veggies to a plate.

4

Cook the meat. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the oil, and let it heat for 1 minute. Add the steak in a single layer and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, then  ip it and cook it for an additional 2–3 minutes. Now’s a good time to cut the lime into wedges. Add the veggies to the pan, toss to combine, and turn off the heat.

5

To serve, pile the meat and veggies on the fries, then top with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

You Know How You Could Do That?

Make it a bowl! When you’re not in the mood for potatoes, pile the meat and garnishes onto these satisfying, non-starchy alternatives:

cauliflower rice
zucchini noodles
— baby spinach
— spring mix

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Comments

  • Heather says:

    I don’t have a slow cooker (blasphemy, I know!) – would I just bake the potatoes whole in the oven for an hour or so the night before / before I start the recipe? Or do I just prep them as fries and bake them a little longer?

    • Heresy!!!

      There are two good reasons to pre-cook the potatoes before making fries: (1) They taste better and cook faster/get browner if you pre-cook them; and (2) The amount of resistant starch in potatoes increases when they’re cooked, cooled, and reheated, so they feed your good gut bacteria more lovingly with resistant starch.

      Options:
      1. You can boil the potatoes whole in salted water, chill them, and cut them into french fry strips (or cubes), then follow the baking instructions.
      2. If you have a microwave, you can zap the potato for 5 minutes or so, then refrigerate until chilled, cut, and bake.

      Enjoy!

      • Heather says:

        Wonderful, this makes so much sense. I’m always looking for more ways to lovingly treat my ever-sensitive gut. Thank you so much!!

  • Bebe says:

    This sounds yummy. I have to avoid nightshades but love the idea of fries. Do you think sweet potatoes would work? It seems like 8 hours in the slow cooker would make them awfully soft and ‘untossable’. Or does chilling them firm them back up?

    • Start with 6 hours for sweet potatoes — it really depends on their size, so keep an eye on them. For small ones, I’d even go 4 hours then check… you want them tender, but not mushy.