Shilo (Meat and Potato Dish)


I know, it’s a funny name. I haven’t seen Shilo being eaten in many households, but we ate quite a bit of it growing up. My mother says it originated from Somalia.  Shilo does not have a gravy, cannot be dressed up to look pretty, but it’s very tasty since you cannot go wrong with meat and potatoes. When I asked my mother for the recipe, this is what she wrote:

Dated: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 2:12 AM
“my love put meat in pressure cooker and add some oil , tomatoes, green chillies, salt,  black pepper, garlic, ginger, and some water . let it get ready and then remove from soup. separately cut potatoe and onions round put in some oil and put the meat which is ready and some black pepper and very little soup so potatoes get cooked. thats it . love mummy i love u i hope u understand.”

Lol, i did understand. For those that didn’t, here is the recipe with elaborate instructions.

Recipe: Shilo

Also known as: N/A

Categories: Main Dishes; beef

Accompaniments: Rotli

Source: My mother

Servings: 3-4


In a pressure cooker, add the following ingredients and let it marinate for some time:

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef cubes (lean cut)
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or a green chili
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 short cinnamon stick (taj)

On high heat, cook the meat for a bit until it releases some water. Add 1/4-1/2 cup water and close the pressure cooker and let the meat cook for 15-30 mins till done (depends on how well your pressure cooker works). Drain the meat retaining the stock that is left.

In the mean time, prepare the following

  • 3 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds about 3-4 mm thick
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder

I use a mandolin to slice the potatoes and onion to ensure the thickness of the slices are constant.


So the cooked meat looks like this:

The fully-cooked meat

  • In a large-bottomed non-stick pot, heat 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions and let soften for a couple of minutes. Then add the meat. Add about 1/4 cup of the stock the meat was boiled in and let the stock come to a boil.

Shilo cooking!

  • Add the raw sliced potatoes and the black pepper. Stir. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low. Let the potatoes cook in the steam. Check every 5 mins to ensure that it’s not sticking or burning!  When the potatoes are almost done, uncover and let most all the moisture evaporate. Don’t stir too much or else the potatoes will break. The potatoes were done in 10-15 mins.

It’s almost done!

If not serving the dish immediately, transfer into a microwave safe serving dish. Re-heat in the microwave.

It’s tastier than it looks!


2 responses to “Shilo (Meat and Potato Dish)

  1. Hey guess what? I looked at this recipe the other day and it reminded me of the good old days when mum used to make this. I guess its a family recipe cos I always get this bewildered look whenever I ask people if they’ve heard of “shilo”. So we followed your recipe step by step (no tomatoes, although your mum’s mentioned it and not sure if you left it out on purpose) and it turned out really nice! We substituted the beef for good quality mutton as its easier to get here and more fresh. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • I am so excited to get my first comment! Lol! I’m glad it brought back memories. I did leave out the tomatoes since it gets too runny for some reason. But mum says if you do want to add it, add it after the onions. Thanks for trying out the recipe :)

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