Cooking Without the Cow

I have a dairy allergy. I digest it well enough but it gives me a headache, which is not fun. I do use a little butter, especially in baking, because margarine scares me. Cheese is such a prevalent ingredient in even vegetarian offerings that I have had to experiment with different dishes to come up with some staples that will work for my family. I hope you enjoy them, too!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Senegalese Stew

There's a hearty peanut butter-based stew recipe that I stumbled upon (yes, via and tried out a year or so ago, called Mafé (pronouced "mah-FAY"). It looked suitably simple for my schedule and was forgiving as to veggies. I've since tried it with varying combinations of spinach, sweet potato, white potato, carrot, cabbage and squash, and it's always been good. The Boy likes it because I also add habanero sauce and either chicken or some other meat and the whole combination of tastes is just different enough from anything else I make that it seems like a special dish. I have to start making some of those hot spice mixes they use in Africa but first I need to remember to buy a coffee grinder.

* Oil -- 2 tablespoons
* Stewing beef, cut into cubes -- 2 pounds
* Onion, minced -- 1
* Garlic, minced -- 3-6 cloves
* Ginger (optional), minced -- 1 tablespoon
* Tomato paste -- 2 tablespoons
* Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped -- 2 cups
* Water or stock -- 1-2 cups
* Natural, unsalted peanut butter -- 1 cup
* Salt and pepper -- to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Add the beef and sauté until lightly browned on all sides, 5-6 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
2. Add the onion to the oil in the pot and sauté until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
3. Return the beef to the pot, stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8-10 minutes to reduce the volume of the tomatoes somewhat.
4. Add enough water or stock to loosen the dish to a stewlike consistency. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
5. Stir in the peanut butter, salt and pepper and simmer for another 40 minutes, or until the beef is tender and oil rises to the surface of the dish. Add water as necessary to keep the dish stewlike.
6. Adjust seasoning and serve over rice or couscous.

6-8 servings


* Use goat instead of beef. Or use chicken pieces.
* When you add the water or stock, stir in some vegetables such as cabbage, yams, squash, okra, eggplant, potatoes, peppers or carrots if you like. Vegetarian versions are made with only vegetables.
* Some recipes call for cooking the peanut butter with the tomato paste, before adding the chopped tomatoes.


Blogger Quesse Lómë said...

That sounds soooo good! :)

7:43 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:14 PM  

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