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Wistfully West African-Ghanaian Beef & Groundnut (Peanut) Stew

As someone who has been lucky enough to have visited 21 countries (and hopes to visit many more), I’m always looking for dishes inspired by the places I’ve been or aspire to travel to.

I enjoyed my trip to South Africa so much in December and would love to explore more of the continent in the future when this unbelievable Armageddon is over. Positive thinking - you’ll note I said when not if.

Ethiopian and Ghanaian foods are currently fascinating me so I’ve been playing around quite a bit. I’m waiting to perfect my Ghanaian Fufu - darn sticky Cassava dumpling dough - but until then, I have a Ghanaian stew for you, with a few “American” liberties taken so as not to scare you away :)

INGREDIENTS

10 ounces bacon

1 3/4 pounds Chuck, cut in 1/2-3/4 inch cubes

Salt & pepper

2 tablespoons oil*

1 large onion, rough chopped

1 red bell pepper

2 cloves garlic

2-3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 Habanero chile, seeded and finely chopped **

2 zucchini, cut into chunks***

2 -3 large ripe tomatoes, rough chopped

4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

Chopped peanuts, scallions and lime wedges for garnish optional



METHOD

* Olive oil is not used in Ghanaian cooking, it’s typically vegetable or peanut oil. Your call.

** I’m loving hot peppers more and more these days - my garden is full of different varieties - but Habaneros can be a tough sell for many. You can substitute a jalapeno or serrano if you like.

*** Many African dishes have carrots and or sweet potatoes. I used the non-traditional zucchini because my garden forced me to. Fewer carbs too.

Chop the bacon into 1/4 inch pieces and start rendering in the oil. Move the bacon to one side of the pot.

Salt and pepper the beef and add it to the pot, searing it on all sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.

Cook the onion, peppers, garlic and garlic in the oil until soft.

Add the beef, cumin, tomatoes and half of the peanut butter.

Pour 4 cups water over the ingredients - it should just cover everything but not by too much.

Bring to a boil, then turn to medium-low and let it simmer, covered, until the beef gets tender - about an hour and a half.

Add the rest of the peanut butter and make sure it’s incorporated into the stew.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with sliced scallions and/or roughly chopped peanuts and a wedge of lime.

This would be great with some rice or crusty bread because the broth is really flavorful.

Of course, a nice fufu would have been nice too. Still working on that. Try the rice. Future fufu to come.

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