Cheap Eats:
  Guinean Stew

If, like me, you'd rather buy books than stocks, and you're more likely to be watching Nova than Wallstreet Week, you probably don't mind finding ways to save money. Of course, if you're like most Mensans (myself included) you like good food, too. So how does one eat well and still save money?

When I changed careers several years ago, I had the jarring experience of going from excellent income to virtually no income, and was forced to learn how to be rampantly frugal. It occurred to me early on that a major portion of the world has no money and yet continues to eat. So I put away my haute cuisine cookbooks and pursued the bon marché, concentrating on the cuisine of the Third World. It was fun, it was delicious, it was cheap, and most of it was actually good for you.

Anyway, I thought I would share with you, my fellow Mensans, the fruit of my labors. These recipes have been tested in my kitchen, and tasted by my family and friends, and they are good, wholesome and inexpensive. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

This recipe is from Guinea, West Africa.

Bon appétit!


1 pound beef or lamb, cut in 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, chopped

½ tsp. salt

⅛ tsp. black pepper

⅛ tsp. thyme

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 whole clove, ground

1 8-oz. can tomato sauce

2 cups water

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

cooked rice

Brown meat in oil in 10-inch frying pan.

Add onion, salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, parsley and clove. Combine tomato sauce and 1 cup water, add to meat mixture and stir well. Dilute peanut butter in remaining cup of water and add to mixture. Cook over medium heat for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Serve hot over the cooked rice.

Serves 4.


To make this recipe vegetarian, just substitute lentils for the meat. Eight to 10 ounces of lentils (dry) replace 1 pound of meat. Soak the lentils for an hour or so before using them in the recipe, and watch the stew while it's cooking, adding water if the lentils soak up too much of the sauce. You can add a little bouillon or miso to the stew, if you feel you need to boost the beef flavor, but I find that the meaty taste of the lentils alone is enough.

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