Peanut sauce is not uncommon in the Philippines. I grew up eating oxtail peanut stew, Kare-Kare, and one of our more traditional eggrolls topped with peanut sauce, Lumpiang Sariwa, so when I took on the challenge of cooking Malinese food, I didn’t think twice about Maffe.
Much like most other dishes I make, I read a few recipes (this one made me laugh) to get a feel for the usual ingredients and then I make a few changes to make it my own. The key to Maffe seems to be the thickening of the sauce so accidentally “puréeing” the vegetables because they cooked for a little longer than expected is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s also preferred that you use ground peanuts so if you can find some, all the better.
My ingredients were garlic, yellow onions, lots of tomatoes, carrots, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, bay leaf, cayenne, natural (unsweetened) peanut butter, tomato paste, beef stock, salt and pepper, and beef for stewing.
Cooking Maffe is pretty similar to most other stews you might make at home. All the ingredients sort of just sit in the same pot for a long time (at least until the beef is tender). The only difference is when the peanuts or (2 tbsp) peanut butter goes in – I’d suggest waiting until the last 15 minutes of cooking!
Serve it with a side of couscous (or bread) and some Alicha for din din. No sweat.
Third stop: Morocco.