Turkish-Style Beef and Eggplant Stew


This Turkish-inspired stew is proof that delicious, elegant flavors can come out of a slow cooker.

Photo: Victor Protasio
Hands On Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs
8 serves

The beef and eggplant simmer in a tangy and spicy tomato-based sauce until the meat is fork-tender and the eggplant is so soft it's almost creamy. Sliced bell peppers and onions melt into the stew, too. It's an upgrade on everyday beef stew, making a bowl elegant enough for a dinner party and comforting enough for cozy, chilly evenings. Couscous is recommended for serving, but you can mix it up: the dish will play well with almost any grain, like brown rice or quinoa.


  • cup red wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1 ½ teaspoons Aleppo-style pepper or crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-in. pieces

  • 3 small Italian eggplants (1¾ lb.), sliced into ½-in. rounds

  • 3 medium-size red bell peppers (1½ lb.), seeded and sliced

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • Cooked couscous and fresh oregano leaves, for serving


  1. Line a 6-quart slow cooker with a slow cooker liner, if desired. Combine vinegar, tomato paste, cumin, Aleppo, salt, black pepper, and ¾ cup water in cooker. Add beef, eggplants, bell peppers, and onion; stir to combine. Cover and cook until meat is very tender, 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 ½ to 5 hours on high. Serve stew over couscous, garnished with oregano.

Chef's Notes

Instant Pot variation: Follow the prep instructions above and lock the lid in place. Turn the steam-release handle to the sealing position. Select Manual or Pressure Cook (depending on model) and set to high pressure for 30 minutes. Carefully turn the steam-release handle to the venting position and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). Release the lid and turn off the cooker. Serve stew over couscous, garnished with oregano.

To freeze: Let stew cool to room temperature. Transfer to sealable freezer-safe containers. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave or overnight in the refrigerator.

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