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Kenyan Steak and Irio

February 25, 2011

I had my first meal of  Nyama Na Irio (Steak and Irio) the evening I arrived in Nairobi with my constant travelling friend Susan. After checking our bags at a hotel we scurried around Nairobi checking out personal tour guides for safari we went back to our hotel and sat around a beautiful dinner table with  a young lady, Adele, from Austria that we had met in the lobby.  She was traveling alone and was also looking for a guide for a safari as none of us were not interested in going “on tour” , so she joined us on our venture.  “Steak and Irio” was the specialty of the evening so we all tried it (maybe because it had ingredients we all knew) but I fell in love with this dish immediately.  All good things in one plate.  We were very young, with one small piece of luggage each.  There were no extra fees for anything back then but one bag was religion as we needed some freedom to do what would happen next (guess that idea is gone).  We had no reservations in Kenya or Tanzania, we were just going.  There was no internet, no cell phones, not even “Walkman’s, and actually except for major hotels it was quite difficult to make reservations.  That was not important to us, that was the journey, we just got on a plane and went where we wanted to go as we had done so many times before.  I still like it like that.

Kenyan Steak and Irio (Nyama Na Irio)

For the Irio


  • 1 Pkg. Frozen Peas
  • 1 Can Corn, drained (16 oz.)
  • 4-6 Potatoes
  • 3-4 T. Butter
  • 1/4-1/2 C. Heavy Cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • Fresh Parsley (for garnish)


  1. Saute the peas in a bit of water until tender; puree with an immersion blender
  2. Add the corn and combine; set aside and keep warm
  3. Boil the potatoes; remove from heat
  4. Mash potatoes with the milk and heavy cream; season with salt and pepper
  5. Combine the pea and corn mixture with the mashed potatoes and et aside on a warmer

 For the Steak and Onions


  • 2 lbs. Filet Mignon (may substitute sirloin) (cut in bite size pieces)
  • 2 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 4-6 Onions (sliced)
  • 2 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 2-3 T. Flour (Wondra)
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper


  1. Saute the steak in the butter until medium rare; remove from heat and set aside
  2. Add addl. butter and olive oil and the onions and saute; add the Wondra and combine
  3. Return the steak to the onion gravy and heat thoroughly just prior to serving

 To Assemble

  1. Make sure the irio and the steak and onion gravy are heated thoroughly
  2. On a warmed plate; make a mound of the irio and form a hole in the center
  3. Fill the hole with the steak and onion gravy
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley

(Serves 8)

Recipe adapted from

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2011 21:06

    Just visited this page through a link and wanted to inform you that your theme looks a a bit broken, the menu looks a little distorted. At least in Safari, so the problem might be related to my browser.

    Only wanted to inform you about it so do something about it if you want to…

  2. February 26, 2011 11:22

    Fun to hear about your adventures! This dish is everything you could want. I have to make it for the hubby. Maybe even company! 🙂 Stumbled!

    • February 26, 2011 16:14

      Hi Megan, thanks for the stumble, still do not know how to do Stumble. This is a great dinner and certainly for guest/love the simple ingredients but such a “volcano” of comfort food on one plate.


  1. Yama na Irio | Koo

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