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Ivorian Meat in Peanut Sauce: Mafé

What's the big idea?

Mafé is a famous and popular dish throughout much of West Africa - Gambia, Ghana, Senegal and Mali as well as the Ivory Coast. It is a stew made with meat - beef is used in this example, but goat is commonly used, or chicken - stewed in a rich sauce made with peanuts. It goes by many local names - Mafé, Maffé, Sauce d'Arachide, Sauce Z'ara, Tigadèguèna and Tigadene.
Serve with plain boiled rice or couscous.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 2 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1½lbs stewing beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 200g (½lb) peanut butter
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

What To Do

  • In a large frying pan - a wok is better - heat the oil and fry the beef until lightly browned all over
  • Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Continue frying for a further 5 minutes
  • Stir in the tomatoes and tomato purée
  • Turn down the heat, cover and simmer slowly for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly
  • Add sufficient stock to prevent the stew from becoming too dry. Simmer for a further 10 minutes
  • Stir in the peanut butter. Season to taste, and simmer for a further 40 minutes, continuing to stir regularly and adding more stock as needed
  • Adjust the seasoning if required, and serve with rice or couscous and fresh green vegetables

...or...

  • For a fuller meal, add chopped potatoes, yams or other root vegetables at the early stages of preparation
  • Entirely vegetarian versions - with aubergine, okra, squash, peppers etc - can be made

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