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African Beef and Peanut Stew (Mafé)

By September 20, 2012February 9th, 2013Food, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes

African Beef and Peanut Stew

It’s really starting to feel like fall this week. The crisp air feels so good after this summer’s wrath. Neil picked up mums from the hardware store for me to plant, and I am ready to welcome fleece jackets, jeans and slippers at night back into my life. And most of all, I’m excited for comfort food. Last week, we made our first batch of Shepherd’s pie. An oversized one at that. A bag of frozen mixed vegetables, two sweet potatoes and 1 1/2 pounds of ground pork went much further than I thought it would. I ended up filling two huge baking dishes, which fed us for the whole week. That’s why you didn’t see much in the way of eats from us last week.

African Beef and Peanut Stew

This week, with temperatures dipping into the 50’s, I decided it was time for stew. I found this recipe months back, and finally decided it was the right time to give it a whirl. It wasn’t the prettiest looking meal, but I figured any recipe with a cup of peanut butter had to be good. Obviously, the use of peanuts makes it not Paleo, but considering the rest of the recipe is good, I just couldn’t write it off. I guess we could have used almond butter, but I don’t think it would have been as good or authentic. We’ll live.


1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 pounds flank steak, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch chunks
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cups water (or stock, or a combination of both)
6 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 small hot peppers, sliced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chunky peanut butter
Kosher salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a Dutch oven or non-stick pan, coat the bottom with coconut oil and heat to medium-high, allowing the pan to get hot. Add beef chunks in a single layer, splitting the entire quantity into batches if necessary to avoid crowding. Cook beef until browned, around 2-3 minutes on each side. Once done, set beef chunks aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add additional coconut oil, and then the onions. Sauté until softened. Add garlic and ginger, and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  3. Return beef to pan, and add water (or stock, or both) to cover. Add tomatoes, hot peppers and spices and stir until thoroughly combined. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender, around 2 hours.
  4. Once the meat is tender, add peanut butter and continue to simmer until meat is very tender (it should somewhat flake with a fork) and the veggies have cooked down into a nice gravy. This could take anywhere from 30 minutes to an additional hour.
  5. Add additional spices or peanut butter to taste.

Serves 4-6.

African Beef and Peanut Stew

It was wonderful plain, but if you want to beef it up a bit or make it go further, it would be outstanding with cauliflower or brown rice. I imagine if you’re not Paleo, the addition of tortillas or naan would be especially good as well. The peanut butter makes it so creamy and smooth, and even though it doesn’t look pretty, it smells divine. Definitely one we’ll be making again soon, it was so easy to make.


  • This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing. I really want to try this.

    • Jessica says:

      We’ve made it twice now, and have varied the proportions of various things and it’s so forgiving. Let me know what you think or if you do anything differently.

  • Erin says:

    Step 5 where it says “add additional spices” is that the cumin, nutmeg, etc., or are those added in a previous step and the “additional” is just if it needs extra flavor at the end? (Sorry – I am not very experienced at cooking so I have a tendency to look into how recipes are written waaaaaaay too much before I make them and always wind up needing clarification! 😉

  • Erin says:

    Sorry – just read the recipe again and see where I am supposed to add spices, never mind my last comment!

  • What a lovely stew! The spices and crunchy peanuts sound delicious!