Mali.  Any idea where that is?  It sounds like an island nation, but it is, in fact, a West African land-locked country.  Mali is the 8th largest country in Africa and has 6 athletes competing in track & field and swimming during the 2016 Olympiad.

Our last experience with an African recipe was okay, but none of us really enjoyed it so I knew going in I needed to find something traditional, different enough to be interesting, but still something we'd not mind trying.  After much searching, I came across Tigadèguèna.  

The Verdict:
I will admit that I went in to today thinking that I would not like this stew.  To me, peanut butter is its own entity and doesn't belong cooked with meat.  However, this was pretty good.  Everyone liked the flavor of the meat.  I didn't eat all the sauce (too much peanut flavor), but mixed with the rice, it was palatable and I am happy to admit that I was wrong.

Tigadèguèna (original recipe from Whats4Eats)


2 TBSP oil
2 lbs stewing beef, cut into cubes
1 onion, minced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBSP ginger, minced
2 TBSP tomato paste
2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1-2 cups of water or stock (I used chicken stock b/c we had some left over from a different day)
1 cup of natural, unsalted peanut butter
salt and pepper -- to taste
5 okra, chopped
1 yellow squash, quartered and chopped

Prepare all vegetables in advance.  Peeling and seeding the tomatoes takes longer than you think.  Chop the okra and soak it in white vinegar for 30 minutes to reduce the amount of sticky residue it produces.  Rinse it well and pat it dry.  (If you have never chopped okra before, it produces a mucousy goo that will stick to everything. Be prepared).

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Add the beef and saute until lightly browned on all sides, 5 or 6 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Add the onion to the oil in the pot and saute until translucent, about 3 or 4 minutes. The onion will turn slightly brown due to the reside from the beef.  That is normal!  Stir in the garlic and ginger and saute another 1 or 2 minutes.
Return the beef to the pot, stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes to reduce the volume of the tomatoes somewhat.

Add the okra, squash, and enough water or stock to loosen the dish to a stew-like consistency. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Stir in the peanut butter and salt and pepper to taste. Cover loosely with a lid and simmer for another 40 minutes, or until the beef is tender and oil rises to the surface of the dish. Add water as necessary to keep the dish stew-like.
Serve with rice.

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