Cameroonian Peanut Sauce (pictured far right)
"This tasty sauce can be used with many types of meats," Maxey said in an email. "In Cameroon it is often used with chicken, beef, or smoked wild meats such as wild boar, antelope or water buffalo. This is our family’s favorite Cameroonian dish and it is requested for birthdays and special family gatherings.
1 round steak, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
1 10-ounce can RoTel (your choice of heat)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
2/3 cup peanut butter (more or less to taste)
1 sprig fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt (about 1 teaspoon) and pepper (about ½ teaspoon) to taste
Hot sauce, hot peppers or cracked red pepper flakes to desired taste or “heat”.
In a large 6-quart saucepan or pressure cooker, brown cubed steak, chopped onion and garlic in a little oil.
Once browned, add cans of tomatoes and RoTel. Add salt, pepper and basil to taste.
In a small bowl, mix the tomato paste and peanut butter until smooth. Add water until it creates a thick sauce.
Add gradually to pan with meat and tomatoes, stirring until completely mixed. Add more water, if needed to cover the meat.
The sauce can be cooked in a crockpot, simmered on the stove or cooked in a pressure cooker. I preferred the pressure cooker in Cameroon because the meat was extremely lean and tough. This gave us a nice tender meat sauce. I continue to use the pressure cooker method for a speedier completion. I cook the meat sauce for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker. Simmer on the stove for 45-60 minutes, if cooking in a saucepan.
Add hot sauce or pepper flakes for desired taste.
Ladle over white rice or eat with fried ripe plantains (our favorite!).
In Cameroon, we ate this sauce with “couscous of Cameroon”, a ball of cassava dough. It is sometimes referred to as “fou fou." Pieces of this dough is pinched off with fingers and used as an edible spoon with the sauce.