MAFFE IS WONDERFUL. EAT IT. Unless you don’t like or are allergic to peanuts. Then don’t eat it. cause it’s a stew that is thickened with peanuts, so the stew-y sauce tastes kinda like thai peanut sauce. But not thai. AFRICAN STEWS ROCK. Cause they’re filled with groundnuts and tubers! This was the first source for it we found, and how we originally made it. Though Emiril has also made a variety that is good too.
The basic Mafé recipe calls for: meat; onion; oil; tomato paste; ground peanuts; a vegetable or two, chile pepper, salt, black pepper, and water. What else you want to put in it is really up to you. We enjoy it a lot when it’s filled with TUBERS! So here’s how we make it.
- A POUND OF MEAT! (we usually use chicken chunks. But ground beef would even work. And we enjoyed the stew beef chunks variety as well. Also, you can add more or less meat, it isn’t critical to the dish, it just adds some savoryness and meaty texture to it. You can make this entirely vegetarian and it’s still great.)
- Vegetable or Canola oil (approx 2 tbsps)
- ONIONS! (two medium yellow, AKA 2 cups cut into half moon slices)
- VEGETABLES! Choose your favorites from the following list: cabbage; carrot; eggplant; potato; squash; sweet potato; or turnips! We make it with Cabbage, sweet potatoes, turnips/rutabaga and carrots! You want the vegetables cut to stew sizes (remember to cut harder vegetables (like carrots) smaller than softer ones (like sweet potatoes and even more so, cabbage) so that they can cook evenly. As for quantity, you want at least 4 cups of vegetables, we always end up with a BIG BIG POT of them cause we like them. That’s okay. just keep it under 7 cups or you’ll need to double everything else.
- TOMATOES. Either about 2 cups chopped fresh or a fat can (which is the size of two regular cans) of chopped tomato chunks.
- TOMATO PASTE (you can forego this if you need to but having a nice tomato flavor really brings out maffe’s awesomeness. I keep a tube of double concentrate tomato paste. It looks like a metal toothpaste tube. You need two tablespoons of that or three or four of the tomato paste that comes in cans)
- NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER or TOASTED CRUSHED PEANUTS (we know you’ll do the lazy thing and get the butter, BUT YOU COULD TOAST AND CRUSH THEM YOURSELF IF YOU WERE FEELING UBER-HOMEMADE) you need about 1 cup, though if you have a ton of vegetables you might end up using more. You can use regular peanut butter, but it has sugars and stabilizers in it that are workable, but aren’t going to be as good and tasty as natural would turn out.
- BROTH! You can use any kind of canned broth (I’d match the meat with the broth: you know chicken with chicken, beef w/beef, veggie/w/veggie) or bullion if you’re on the cheap. Need 2 to 4 cups (enough to cover and cook however many vegetables you’ve got)
- SOMETHING WITH A BIT O KICK. I have some dried chilies I like to use (I throw them in while boiling and then take out when done, like you would a bay leaf). Sssargon likes cayenne pepper (about 1/4 tsp, add more if you want it a bit spicier). Dried red pepper flakes work to. So does Cock sauce. *Not* Tabasco, neither green nor red kinds.
- SALT AND PEPPER MOTHERFUCKERS. AS ALWAYS! Also optional spices that are good (pick one, not all!): a clove or two of garlic; 1/2 tsp of cumin; a teaspoon of curry powder. I go for the garlic, most times.
Sautee onions and MEAT in your oil till onions are soft and meat is at least half cooked (but not like, WAY DONE or else it’s gonna be some over-cooked-ass meat). THEN ADD THEM AND YOUR VEGGIES AND YOUR TOMATOES TO YOUR BIG ASS STEW/SOUP POT. Add enough broth to cover. Add your seasonings . Boil until vegetables are cooked and tender! If you need to add more broth at any time, DO SO! ADD YOUR PEANUTS to thicken into a stew consistency. TASTE IT. It probably needs more salt, because the peanut butter thickens in a way that sucks salt flavor away, plus tubers usually need a good bit of salt. SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE. If you want a bit more tang in the flavor, add more tomato paste. for more thinness and richness, more broth.
EAT IT. ENJOY THE RICH STEW GOODNESS OF MANY TASTY TUBERS AND GROUND GROUNDNUTS.
If you want to try it a bit creamy, you can add cream, milk, or coconut milk at the end. I would suggest making a small portion as a sample to the side to see if you like it that way before adding to the whole batch. I prefer it with a more earthy flavor and so forgo creamyness.