African Pork & Peanut Stew
In Africa, this dish is traditionally made with chicken and can be as hot as the midday equatorial sun. There are as many variations of this dish as there are cooks in Africa, and it is a staple of most countries on the continent. This version tames the heat to a medium burn and uses the more pronounced flavor of pork, although you may also make it with chicken and more chiles. While this recipe may or may not be totally authentic, I prefer the deeper flavors in this dish to the ones more commonly used. Serve with steamed basmati or other rice.
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 pounds boneless pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2/3 cup roasted peanuts, unsalted
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
In a large heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil on high. When hot, add the pork cubes and brown on all sides.
Add the onion to the pork and cook until soft. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and crushed red chiles. Cook 1 minute. Add the ginger, cinnamon, bay leaf, salt, chicken broth and tomato paste. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover and simmer on low 45 minutes.
While the pork is cooking, crush the peanuts coarsely with the bottom of a jar or plate. Cook the peanuts in a heavy skillet until lightly toasted, being careful not to burn them. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the toasted nuts for use as garnish. Place the remaining nuts in a blender or food processor with the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Blend until a smooth paste is formed. If the mixture is too thick and grainy, add a spoonful or two of the liquid from the stew, then process again.
When the stew has cooked for 45 minutes, stir in the ground peanut paste. Cook the stew another 3 minutes, uncovered, for the flavors to blend. Stir in the chopped tomato and bell pepper. Simmer the vegetables with the pork for 2 or 3 more minutes, just until they soften but still retain their shape. Before serving, taste to correct the seasonings; you may wish to add a final splash of lemon juice to refresh the flavors. Serve with the chopped cilantro and reserved peanuts on top. If desired, pass additional red pepper flakes on the side.
This stew is ideal served atop some steamed nutty basmati rice and a simple green salad on the side.
©1994, Katherine Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
Global Gourmet Recipes
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007