Thursday, 4 December 2014

Beef Mafé (West African groundnut stew)


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Beef Mafé - West African groundnut stew
Eric le chien trying to blend in with his surroundings
The snow is falling here in the Limousin and powdery white flakes are covering the ground.  The temperature has dropped by about 20c in a week, a bit of a shocker, but it's beautiful. As long as the fire's on, I've had a long country walk with Eric le chien and a stew is slow cooking away I'm happy. I am still excited by the change of seasons and colours here in the Creuse - it is a real pleasure and a joy to be so close to, and a part of nature where we live. 

I am always looking for new recipe and flavour inspiration from around the world and love to experiment with new methods and ingredients. This recipe for mafé - a West African groundnut stew is a simple one pot dish. The choice of ingredients is up to you and what's seasonal or needs using up. You can cook this on the hob on a low heat until the vegetables and meat are cooked through and tender - or let it simmer away in the slow cooker for about 5-6 hours.  It's cooked when the meat is tender and falling apart and the vegetables cooked through.


This recipe was given to me by my friend Susanne who knows of my love of spicy stews and slow cooking.  Merci beaucoup Susanne.


recipe inspired and adapted from The Congo Cookbook 


My mafé recipe uses beef but you can substitute with your meat or fish of choice, or leave it vegetarian. You can use your own choice of vegetables too. I've used this same recipe base with pork shoulder, sweet potatoes & cabbage. NB: cooking times will vary depending on your choice of ingredients.  


Tip:  Stews are always better eaten the next day if you have time to prepare ahead.  After cooking, cool and refrigerate and reheat thoroughly the next day.  

serves 6

preparation time: 15 minutes
cooking time:  approx 2 hours on the hob or 5-6 in a slow cooker (but refer to your own cooking manual as all slow cookers are slightly different)

ingredients:

1 kg stewing beef (cut into large chunks)
2 large onions (roughly chopped)
6 carrots (cut into large chunks)
2-3 handfuls green beans 
2-3 large potatoes (cut into large chunks)
1 cup peanut butter (or make your own by blending 1 cup of roasted peanuts with 1/2 cup of water)
1 cup stock/water
1 kg chopped tomatoes
3-4 garlic cloves (crushed)
3-4 bay leaves
2-3 whole chillies (scotch bonnet are good) 
salt and pepper 
2 tbs oil

method:

Heat a large frying pan then add the oil. Fry the beef for a few minutes (in batches if necessary) to caramelise on both sides then add with all the other ingredients to a large cooking pot/slow cooker. Stir everything together to make sure it's well incorporated then cover and bring to the boil.  
Reduce the heat and simmer on a low heat for approximately 2-6 hours - depending on your cooking method/cut of meat. Check regularly and stir. If it looks like it might be drying out add a bit more stock/water.  

I like to serve this with soft polenta or rice. Bon appetit!  



my mafé - beef groundnut stew


The almost invisible & stealthy Eric le chien at De Tout Coeur Limousin


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38 comments:

  1. Thank you for entering Simple and in Season - another exciting stew!

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    1. Thanks so much Ren. Always looking out for recipe inspiration and trying different flavours. Thanks for hosting too #simpleandinseason

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  2. Seems delicious and for sure I am gonna try it! Thanks for sharing :D

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  3. Bonjour! Nothing a warm bowl of meat stew on a cold day. I imagine this is the same taste as our local kare kare which also has peanut butter in the mix. Interesting that they also did this in Africa.

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    1. Kare Kare sounds interesting - do you have a good recipe?

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  4. beef stew is very popular here in PH. with peanut butter seems like our own dish called 'kare-kare'

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    1. Will look this up sounds great - do you have a recipe?

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  5. They look so delicious! Perfect for the weather you are having now. When I was in South Africa, they love making stew similar to this one and now you make me crave. :)

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    1. Thank you so much. It is a really simple but delicious recipe. Do you have recipe for the south african stew you used to eat?

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  6. Look so yummy and tempting! I shall copy this recipe and learn to cook one day :D

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  7. Beef stew is my favorte meal but without groundnut. I'll try to experiment this recipe next week. I think,red beans too is fine for this recipe.

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    1. Beans would be good added to this dish too - as long as they are cooked for long enough

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  8. A hearty meal that is perfect for the cold season you have there. I also thought of kare-kare when I read that there is peanut butter in the sauce.

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    1. That sounds delicious - do you have a recipe too?

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  9. That stew looks and sounds delicious and Eric le chien looks like he's looks like he's really enjoying himself =)

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    1. He loves exploring the countryside - and would eat the beef too if we let him!

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  10. I am not so much of a fan of beef. I don't know, there's something in beef that my taste don't like it much. But the one you shared here is something, I want to take as an adventure...

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    1. let me know how you get on - you can substitute with other meats or vegetables too :-)

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  11. Oh my, hot stew on a cold snowy day is the perfect combination. :') I can already imagine how delicious it would be from the recipe!

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    1. Thank you - it is great for a night in front of the fire - very warming :)

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  12. I like the advice that stews are better eaten the next day. I think it would make the stew softer and richer in flavor.

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    1. Thanks - I always try to do this if I have time

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  13. I am a vegetarian so won't be able to appreciate this stew. But I am sure a lot of my friends will enjoy it :)

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    1. You can make this with just vegetables - it's the flavour of the peanuts & chilli that makes it.

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  14. I love beef stew! My dad loves to cook this for me and my mom. And it's one of the popular dishes here in the Philippines during festive. :) This made me crave.

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    1. that sounds great - do you have the recipe? Always keen to learn new recipes and dishes...

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  15. My meat loving hubby would love this recipe! I must print it off to share :-)

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  16. Very nicely presented. Groundnut Stew is popular all over the African continent and variations abound. In Nigeria, we make it strictly with chicken or vegetables.

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    1. Do you have any good recipes for it? Is it very different from my version ? I love to learn about other cultures through their food and recipes - it's fascinating.

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  17. Can the beef be replaced by chicken? Because I don't eat beef yet this dish looks wonderful! Do let me know if it will taste weird if it's beef instead!

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    1. You can definitely swap with chicken or even vegetables - will still be good :)

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  18. There is no snow here still but weather is pretty cold so I think that is a great recipe that is very suitable for me to make me feel warm and give my body strength in the cold winter days!

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    1. Perfect for the colder days - let me know if you give it a go :)

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  19. The recipe is just right for a cold snowy day! The rich gravy will fill you with warmth.

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    1. A good recipe to have on a cold winter's day to warm you up - that's for sure.

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