Peanut Stew (Mafe)

This iconic West African dish can be found in many countries in the region--and in many forms. A variety of vegetables can be used in place of the butternut squash and turnips, including cabbage, okra, carrots and potatoes.

Recipe courtesy Young Sun Huh for Cooking Channel
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 25 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 2 hr 5 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 pounds lamb or beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet pepper, halved (seeds removed if you don't want it too spicy)
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash (about 1 small)
  • 2 cups diced turnips (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • Serving suggestion: cooked white rice
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Directions

1. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a large heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper. When the oil is hot, add the meat in batches and cook in a single layer (without overcrowding the pan) until browned on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes per batch. When the first batch is done, transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining meat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan per batch of meat.

2. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, garlic and habaneros and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften and break down, about 4 minutes; add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Return the meat and all of its juices back to the pan. Add the chicken broth and bay leaf, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about an hour.

3. Sir in the squash and turnips, cover and continue simmering for an additional 30 minutes. Ladle about a cup of the cooking liquid into a medium bowl and whisk in the peanut butter. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the stew and carefully stir and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Before serving, remove the habanero halves and the bay leaf. Serve with hot white rice on the side.

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