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!