The Earth has a circumference of roughly 25,000 miles. And yet, my first three endeavors in cooking around the world kept me within 3,000 miles. So really, at this point, it’s more like cooking around southwest Asia and north Africa. Oh well. For the letter C, I drew Chad. Officially formed as a country in 1960, Chad is pretty much smack dab in the middle of northern Africa. Prior to gaining its independence, Chad was a French colony. Given my French ancestry, a large part of me hoped that a strong influence of French cooking would still be present in Chadian cuisine. I had no such luck.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the final product, it just means I was a little hesitant when I was reading recipes. First of all, Google didn’t give me much to work with when I searched “Chadian recipes.” Most of the results I found linked back to “Virtual Chad,” so that’s where I went. Eventually I chose a beef and peanut stew. Now, to me, those are not two ingredients that typically go together. Add in some tomatoes and onions and I was pretty dubious. But that’s the point of this experiment: get out of my comfort zone in the kitchen and try new things. So I broke out the stew meat and the Skippy and got to cooking.
Overall, I did like this. Even after I parsed down the onions from the original recipe, there still seemed to be a lot to me. The flavors of the sauce were great, though, and I really enjoyed it with the rice. Also, I garnished it with some fresh cilantro. Authentic? Who knows. But it brightened the dish, and I highly recommend it!
Southern Chad Beef with Peanut Sauce
Serves about 5, with a lot of extra sauce
Adapted from http://www.tchad.org/research/cook.html#peanutsauce
- Vegetable Oil
- 1 lb beef cubes (I used stew meet)
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 28 oz can tomato puree
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- Brown the beef cubes in vegetable oil over medium heat, adding the nutmeg and chili powder during cooking.
- Once the beef is browned, add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until they begin to get soft. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about a minute more. Add tomato puree, stir everything together, and bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, heat the peanut butter with two tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about five minutes, until it is melted and smooth. Stir regularly to prevent the peanut butter from burning to the bottom.
- Slowly add the peanut butter mixture into the beef, stir together, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
- Serve over hot rice.
Calories per Recipe: 1,722
Per Serving: 344 calories, 23 g carbs, 18 g fat, 26 g protein, 144 mg sodium, 11 g sugar