I love eating peanut butter straight from the jar. I’m not a big PB & J eater, but I do love sticking my
finger spoon in the PB jar and scooping up a mouth full of peanut butter. So what does peanut butter have to do with Mafe’? Mafe’ is a west African stew with a peanut butter sauce as the base.
German Mama of Arepas to Zwetschgen, the host of Cook Around the Globe selected West African cuisine for October, another region of the world with a cuisine I am totally unfamiliar with – until now. While surfing several sites I kept coming across recipes called mafé, groundnut stew, and chickennat. All of the the dishes were stewlike, one pot meals that used at least 1 cup of peanut butter in the sauce. Most used a meat such as beef or chicken, and the recipe I selected mentioned a vegetarian version. Since I’ve never really cooked with peanut butter, I decided to go for it.
Mafé or Groundnut Stew Recipe
(Adapted from Mafé at whats4eats) italics show my changes
Prep and Cook Time: 1.5 to 3 hours (depending on the the cut of meat or whether or not you even use meat)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed into bite-size pieces (I used beef tri tip)
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced*
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced*
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (or you could use fresh tomatoes)
2 cups water or stock (I used duck stock because I had some in the freezer)
8 small sweet peppers, sliced into circles
2 small hot peppers, minced (optional)
1 cup natural, unsalted peanut butter
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t need to add salt because of the tomato paste and canned tomatoes)
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Sweet and Spicy Pepitas (optional)
*substituted with 1 ½ Tbsp. ginger garlic paste. Next time I’ll use 2 Tbsp. paste.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the beef and sauté until browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the onion to the pot and sauté 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
- Return the beef to the pot, stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
- Add enough water or stock to loosen the dish to a stewlike consistency.
- Add the sweet and hot peppers. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
- Stir in the peanut butter and simmer for another 40 minutes or longer, until the beef is tender. (I had to cook it 2 hours to tenderize the tri tip.) Add water as necessary to keep the dish stewlike.
- Stir in the parsley and adjust seasoning.
- Top each serving with some Sweet and Spicy Pepitas.
Serve over rice.
We really liked this dish! It was hearty and definitely like a stew. Next time, I think I’ll add a few more vegetables like carrots and maybe parsnips. I did add some sweet peppers as well as 2 Big Bomb hot peppers. The same friend that loaned me these beautiful bowls gave me the Big Bomb peppers (the round ones in the picture) the day before I made this. They were perfect in this dish.
Even though I used fresh ground peanuts with no salt or sugar, this dish was sweeter than I thought it would be. The sweetness probably came from the tomato paste. Adding the hot pepper helped to offset the sweetness as well as giving the dish a little bite that I think it needed. Next time I’ll probably make it a little spicier.
The meat – You can use beef, lamb, goat, or chicken for the meat. Next time I’ll use chicken and make chickennat which is a little different.
Vegetables – A variety of vegetables can be added with the water or stock. You can add cabbage, yams, sweet potatoes, parsnip, squash, okra, eggplant, potatoes, peppers, or carrots. I think serving it over a baked sweet potato would be quite delicious.
Vegetarian – Omit the meat and just use a variety of vegetables and water or veggie broth.
Slow cooker – I’m putting this here in hopes that someone will offer advice on how to adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. I think it is a slow cooker dish, but since I don’t have a slow cooker (did I hear someone gasp?), I’m not even going there. If you have some advice on this, please leave a comment.
Suggested Slowcooker adaptation: Perform steps 1-4 as written. Put in crock pot. Do step 5. Cook on high for 1 hour, the do step 6. Simmer on LOW for 4-6 hours (depending on tenderness). Do step 7 at the end! (Thanks for Ann over at Cooking Healthy for Me for this!)
Last but not least – Would I make this again? Absolutely!
This recipe has been linked to the following blog hops. Be sure to check on the links provided to find a great selection of similar recipes.
Bizzy the Explorer Searches for Peanut Butter hosted by Bizzy Bakes, Weekend Potluck, Mix it up Monday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Hearth and Soul, and Sunday Night Soup Night, Full Plate Thursday, Katherine Martinelli’s Beef Hop, Made With Love Mondays