Recipe: Peanut Stew with Beef & Spinach | Combo

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Combo. It’s one of South Sudan’s most popular dishes – a thick, wet combination of spinach, peanut butter, tomatoes, and (sometimes) meat.

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Peanut butter is a common meal component throughout Africa (like Ghana’s Groundnut Soup, Sierra Leone’s Gluten-free Peanut Bites, Senegal’s Cinq Centimes Cookies, and Malawi’s Peanut Balls), but Combo stands out as one of the more rustic dishes I’ve come across. Even still, South Sudanese no longer living in South Sudan make Combo to bring themselves back.

That’s how they taste home again.

Combo first came to my attention thanks to Brian Schwartz who kindly phoned the South Sudanese embassy to ask about popular dishes.

Thanks Brian!

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You can have it with or without beef (or perhaps goat is more to your fancy?). I’ve even seen it with sweet potatoes in the mix.

No matter what you do, just be sure to include the essentials: spinach and peanut butter.

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Adapted from the South Sudanese Cookbook.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 lb beef, cubed
vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups beef stock
3 bunches spinach, rinsed, dried, and shredded
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup unsweetened peanut butter

Method:

Find a pretty little spot to make your stew. Maybe travel back in time a few years?

Azande people. Photo by Richard Buchta (1845-1894)

Azande people. Photo by Richard Buchta (1845-1894)

Once you settle in, let’s get cooking.

Brown the meat in oil. Then, add the onions and garlic, cook several minutes, until the onions begin to soften and even color a bit.

Pour on the stock and simmer until liquid reduces by half.

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Now for the fun… stir in the peanut butter until well incorporated. The mixture will become very thick (see below). Add the tomatoes, spinach and cook until the spinach wilts and the peanut butter releases its oils, making the dish shiny.

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This only took a few minutes for me…

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Serve with a flatbread, like kisra, or rice.
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Enjoy with your eyes shut, dreaming of beautiful South Sudan on a sunny afternoon.

 Local boy fishing at Lake Kazana in Maridi area - Equatoria region of South Sudan. Lake Kazana and scenic beauty of Maridi area.  Photos by Akashp65. Boat on the White Nile, Photo by  Andreas  Benutzer.

Local boy fishing at Lake Kazana in Maridi area – Equatoria region of South Sudan. Lake Kazana and scenic beauty of Maridi area. Photos by Akashp65. Boat on the White Nile, Photo by Andreas Benutzer.

 

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Comments

  1. Brian S. says:

    WARNING: Don’t make this if you are on a diet! You won’t be able to stop eating until everything you made is gone.

  2. Not a combo that I would have thought of, but that looks really, really good. I wish I had a bowl of it on this cold and raining evening :)

  3. Not a combo that I would have thought of, but that looks really, really good. I wish I had a bowl of it on this cold and raining evening :)

    • They also make a delicious tamarind ( locally called ardep) and peanut butter porridge with millet , sorghum or maize flour.
      It tastes heavenly. I don’t have the recipe though :(

  4. What is a bunch of spinach? Have looked on google but cannot quite make out how much this is (volume or weightwise)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Ohhh, I’d say enough to fill two hands might be a bunch. I added a photo (not sure how I left it out), so you can see what we used. Hope that helps :)

  5. This recipe is really fantastic. It’s hearty and flavourful. I made it using thawed frozen spinach instead of fresh spinach and it turned out great.
    If I make it again I’ll stir in the tomatoes earlier so they cook down a bit. It’s not tomato season so the tomatoes I had would have been better cooked down.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Stew with Beef & Spinach | Combo [Recipe] A hearty mixture of browned beef, spinach, and peanut sauce. This one will comfort even the [...]

  2. [...] The Global Table Adventure is almost complete.  Global Table Adventure has been my favourite blog for years now. Sasha talks about regional foods and cooks meals from every country in the world from A-Z. I love the writing, the pictures, and the recipes and I love learning about cultural differences and similarities in our dining choices. I hope she continues to share global recipes because I’m going to keep making them. Some of my favourites? Irish Boxty, Grenadian Oil Down, Trini Stew Chicken, and Sudanese Peanut, Beef, and Spinach Stew [...]

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