January 22, 2007

Waiter, there´s peanuts in my stew

Today´s Swedish word: jordnöt. Means peanut.

At the last minute I am participating in the brand new food blog event "Waiter, there´s something in my..." which will be held every month with a new theme. For January it is stews, very convenient for this - at last! - winter weather. We have -5 and loads of snow!

I decided to turn to my cookbooks and find something completely new, something to warm me up. In Astrids kök by Astrid Nilson, one of my favourite cookbooks, I found a recipe for an "African" stew which caught my eye. Apparently the lady who gave her the recipe comes from Gambia, so it might be Gambian then. Anyway.

The recipe called for peanut butter, something I never have in the house, but I had some peanuts and remembered reading about making your own nut butter at Chocolate and Zucchini and used that method. You simply blitz the peanuts in your blender for some minutes (be patient!) and suddenly oil comes out from the nuts, binding it all together and making butter out of itself. Fascinating! I used 200 grams of unsalted peanuts (I wanted to salt it myself) and used half of it for the stew.

The stew was, I think, amazing. A real keeper! The peanut taste works really well with the meat and tomatoes, it is simple to make and satisfying to eat. Comfort food at its best!

Elizabeth´s African stew
500-600 gram beef, I used some well-hung brisket
2 medium yellow onions (I used one red I had on hand and it was fine)
1-2 cloves of garlic
oil for frying
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tin crushed tomatoes, 400 grams
1 tsp salt
pinch of white pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 cube meat stock
200 ml water
2 large carrots
about 150 ml peanut butter

Cut the meat in cubes with 2 cm side. Peel and chop the onions and garlic.
Brown the meat in a pot, and add the onions after a little while. Fry until a little soft. Add tomato paste, crushed tomato, bring to the boil and add the spices, stock and water. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 40-45 minutes under a lid. Never mind that it is a little runny, the peanut butter will thicken it perfectly later!
Peel the carrots and cut them in nice chunks. Put them in the pot together with the peanut butter and let it simmer without lid for about 30 minutes. Check that the meat is tender, spice to taste if needed and serve with bulgur or couscous.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Peanut butter seems an unusual ingredient in a stew unless you've had it. Then it's easy to understand. Very good indeed.

Andrew said...

Many thanks for the conribution - peanuts have been mentioned in a couple of other entries I think so not totally unique but certainly unusual!

Thanks for taking part.