Sunday, September 8, 2013

Mafé - Beef Stew from Senegal

This is going to be my comfort food for this coming Fall and Winter - Mafé.

It is a spicy stew from Senegal with a tomato-peanut butter sauce that is just fantastic.   Mafé can be made from beef, lamb, or chicken and like any regional dish, it has endless variations.  My son-in-law, Djiby, is from Senegal and I made this based on what he told me about the dish.  

They are staying with us from out of town for a few weeks because our daughter, Alex, just had our very first grandchild, Mariétou.   She's been a peach, not crying much or anything.  Of course Alexis has been wanting to hold her 24x7.  
Sleeping on Grandma.

I decided to do my mafé in a campstyle cast iron dutch oven but you could just as easily do this inside on the stove top and in the oven.  For a dish that I've never tasted before, I think I did an amazing job in creating something pretty close to the real thing.  The peanut butter flavor isn't strong at all because there is so much flavor going on in this dish.  Alex said she liked it better and everyone had several helpings. 

Mafé from Senegal

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours

Ingredients (6 servings)
    You'll Need
    • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 lbs stew beef (cut down into even sized pieces, if necessary)
    • 2 Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced
    • 2 large carrot, peeled and 1/2" diced
    • 2 cups quartered b sized white potatoes
    • 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced
    • 14 oz can diced tomato
    • 3/4 cup peanut butter
    • 6 cups chicken stock
    • 1 bunch green onion
    • 1/2 cup cilantro
    For The Dry Rub
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/4 tsp paprika
    • 1 1/4 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 3/4 tsp black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flake
    1. Brown the stew beef in a preheated cast iron dutch oven or heavy stock pot with oil. Don't over crowd the pot, do this in batches if necessary. Remove to a plate.
    2. Add the onion to the pot, season with some of the rub (maybe 1/2 tsp) and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Return the beef and any accumulated juices to the pot. Season with some more of the rub and cook another 3 minutes.
    3. Add the remaining vegetables, tomato (not drained), the remaining dry rub and toss to mix well. Mix the chicken stock and peanut butter together and stir into pot. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the beef is tender and the liquid reaches a sauce consistency.
    4. Remove from heat and serve on rice, garnished with green onion and cilantro.
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    It was a gorgeous Saturday and I enjoyed prepping my veggies outside.
    I could have used the Dutch oven on the Big Green Egg at 350f direct heat but I decided to use the briquettes method.   My Dutch oven is a Lodge #12 (Lodge Logic L12DCO3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Camp Dutch Oven, 8-Quart).  It has seen a lot of action both in the Egg and with briquettes and it is still in great shape.  Cast iron pots are an investment, they last beyond generations when taken care of.  

    Cook the onions just until they are tender.  You are not trying to cook them all of the way down.

    Ready to add the broth.

    I opened and stirred about every 30 minutes.

    Served the mafé with sweet jasmine rice.
    I can't wait to have this again on a rainy Fall night! 


    1. Do you use the same coals for 2 1/2 hours? I never use briquets so I wasn't sure how long they would stay hot for.

    2. I did do a second batch of coals about half way through when the coals on top had shrunk in size.

      1. Thanks Chris! One of the nurses at work was asking about cooking over fire and I was telling her how mom did this when we went camping. She seemed interested so I sent her this link for the pics. Oh, and Happy Grandparents day!

    3. Wow, this dish looks amazing. I love all of the flavors and the method of cooking. I bet I could do this in my cast iron spider in the fireplace when it gets cold. Your granddaughter is absolutely beautiful - just precious! Congrats to all of you.

    4. What a beautiful child. Congrats! GREG

      PS I have had this stew before and another one possibly called maraq!

    5. Congratulations on your first grandchild! She's beautiful. Stew looks/sounds amazing, as well.

    6. like we say in Senegal nex na ( it was really good) thanx again for the good mafe

    7. Oh man this sounds just like my kinda winter meal! One pot tasty goodness..

    8. What a fantastic stew and so full of flavors. I bet the peanut butter brings a lot of incredible flavor too. Your new grandchild is adorable. Congratulations to you and your family Chris. Who wouldn't want to hold that precious baby 24-7.

    9. Wow, that looks and sounds tasty!! I do love anything with peanut sauce though :)

      And your granddaughter is absolutely adorable!!!

    10. I suspect this would work well using a wok for the initial browning and short cook time, then transfer to a crock pot for the day. That's the way I'm going to try it. I also think that a lean animal, such as antelope or venison might be good. I'll try it with a pheasant when the season opens here.

    11. Hey Grandpa! Your granddaughter is a beauty - love that little face! There's nothing like a grandbaby either - so fun to love and have and so fun to send home! Congrats to you and Alexis, it's a great ride being GRANDS! This stew will be made the minute summer leaves...we're having record heat with temps in the high 80's - very unusual for this time of year for us but the minute the rains return I'm going to be all over this!

    12. First of all - what a BEAUTIFUL granddaughter you have! Seriously - that is a really lovely photo of her. Congratulations on becoming a grandparent!!!

      The stew sounds comforting, hearty, and so flavorful. I definitely want to give this a try.

    13. Holy cow, what an adorable little girl. Congratulations to your daughter and son-in-law.

    14. Delicious meal, Chris! And a beautiful little granddaughter! :)

    15. Oh my gosh, your granddaughter is BEAUTIFUL!! Congrats Chris!!

    16. What an adorable little child! Congratulations. I've made an African chicken stew with peanut butter and it was incredible. This recipe is so different that that one and I look forward to giving it a try. Have a great weekend Chris. Pinned.

    17. Wow!What a wonderful and comforting dish,Chris!I would love to try it!

    18. I love making stews and soups in the fall. This is a rich hearty, and soul satisfying stew.

      Your granddaughter is beautiful! Congratulations!



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