African Peanut Stew


Okay, don’t get too excited.  Although we would love to say that TheshoeboxKitchen is coming out of retirement, well, we’re not quite ready for that.  But, while chasing around our 3 and almost 1 year olds tonight, we did manage to whip up a delicious stew that we would be remiss not to share with you.


If you’re pretty much anywhere in the U.S. right now, well, IT’S COLD.  Around Atlanta fall has quickly blurred into winter, without much warning.  When the fire is crackling in the fireplace and you want to feel that same cozy warmth in your belly, this is the stew you want to make–trust us.  Hearty and savory with a thick, stick-to-your-soul sauce, at first glance this may seem like an old favorite from your childhood.  But this ain’t your momma’s winter stew–the ginger and peanut butter combination are sure to get your taste buds singing a new tune, while the hearty potatoes, mushrooms, and beef make you feel like you never left home sweet home.

African Peanut Stew (adapted from The Joy of Cooking cookbook)

  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 2 16 oz cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 pound ground beef (or stew meat, if you just finished splitting firewood)
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-size cubes
  • 1 carton sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bellpepper, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, diced (keep the seeds if you want an extra kick)
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs fresh ginger, finely grated with microplane
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter

In a pan, brown the meat and drain; set aside.

In a large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion and peppers in the olive oil.  Add garlic and ginger, saute for 2 more minutes.  Incorporate the spices and tomato sauce/paste, then add the sweet potatoes and mushrooms.  Add enough water to cover the vegetables.  Simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

After simmering, ladle out about 1/2 cup of the broth and whisk with the peanut butter until fully combined, then add the peanut butter mixture and beef to the stew.  Simmer for 10 more minutes or so, or until the beef is cooked through and the potatoes are soft (if you’re using stew meat, you may want to add the beef earlier).  We like to add the kale about 10 minutes prior to serving so that it still has some crunch to it, adding texture and interest to the stew.


This stew is great served over brown rice or just ladled straight into a tall bowl.  We like to sprinkle red pepper flakes over the plated stew for an extra pop on the tongue.  You’re gonna want seconds for sure.

Happy stewing!

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2 Responses to African Peanut Stew

  1. cajuncart says:

    Holy Mother of Mouth-watering Miracles in a stew pot! Oh, buddies…I hope this one is bringing y’all out of retirement, and what a perfect accompaniment to our chilly weather. Love it. Taste it. Hmm.

  2. nibblemethis says:

    Ahhh maffe! My son in law and his family is from Somalia and when they visited, I made a version of this. They liked it but had a word for it and they laughed. Djiby informed me that it translates to “white man’s maffe” because I didn’t make it spicy enough. Good times… I’ll give yours a shot and “spill” a bit of ghost pepper dust in it the next time they come 🙂

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