Skip to main content

Orange-Ginger Beef Stew Recipe

This ginger beef stew recipe is easy to make and looks gorgeous on the dinner table.

This ginger beef stew recipe is easy to make and looks gorgeous on the dinner table.

How to Make Orange-Ginger Beef Stew

I'm not from the land of Saint Istvan and bear no heritage from that country traversed by the Danube. But when my friend suggested calling this recipe a "goulash," it sounded like a perfect description of the heady melange of ingredients and flavors that constitute it. Unsure of what I wanted to make for dinner, my mind wandered back to a superb memory of going to a Burmese restaurant (the first and only time I have eaten that cuisine) and ordering a delightful mango beef dinner there.

A Product of Improvisation

Being in France and not knowing the original recipe, I was sure whatever I made would be far removed from that long-ago meal in the San Fransisco Burmese restaurant—not to mention the lack of mangoes and supplies for creme fraîche I needed! Thus a modification was born; mango beef became orange beef, fried seductively with onions and then laced with orange juice and Grand Marnier, my favorite cooking alcohol. I added cinnamon, creme fraîche, tarragon, and garlic, which made a rich sauce for the beef; it was sweet without being too sweet. These rich, contrasting flavors caress the tongue.

I served it over couscous, and it was a great success. The Hungarians might deny that it was goulash, but it retains the soul of the dish; these ingredients become more than the sum of their parts, built from improvisation and love for the cuisine. This recipe is entirely my own.


  • 1 1/2 lb beef
  • 4 onions
  • 2 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 inches ginger
  • 4 (large) cloves garlic
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • dash of tarragon


  1. Chop the beef into appropriately sized cubes. Chop the onion finely. Zest the oranges, then juice them, preserving both. In a large casserole, heat the oil until it is very hot over high heat
  2. Sauté the beef in the oil shortly, until it is browned. Then add in the onions. Reduce heat somewhat and fry until the onions are softened and golden. Add in the orange zest, then the orange juice. Continue to cook over medium heat for several minutes.
  3. Add in the ginger and then the garlic. Mix thoroughly. Add in the Grand Marnier, salt, pepper, cinnamon, tarragon, and the crème fraîche. It should be a very thick liquid with all of these additions. Adjust as necessary with additional crème fraîche.
  4. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend together.

© 2018 Ryan Thomas