Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nigerian Goat Stew

     Traditional Nigerian Comfort Food!
     The spices that are in this stew are not what you may picture as being stew spices.  Cloves, bay leaf, mild hot peppers, ginger, garlic, black pepper and lemon are used to flavor Nigerian Goat Stew.  This stew has an unusual exotic flavor that is truly delicious!
     Goat meat is a little bit stronger tasting than lamb or mutton.  The spices and lemon help to tame the flavor of the goat meat.  Some recipes for Nigerian Goat Stew do call for minced goat meat, while a chunky style goat stew has rustic appeal.  Goat stew meat from a butcher shop is cut into bite size pieces and the bones are usually attached.  The bones add a rich flavor to the stew.  It is enjoyable to nibble the meat off of the bones, just like nibbling on stewed oxtails.
     Peanuts are native to South America, but so many peanuts are grown in Africa that one would believe that peanuts are a native African plant.  Peanuts were one of the first plants introduced to Africa during the Columbian Exchange.  Peanuts are used in many African recipes and peanut butter is used to thicken a Nigerian Goat Stew.  Peanut butter also increases the nutritional value.
     I have a taste for the exotic in life, so I spent some time researching African cuisine in libraries.  I was amazed at the different styles and flavor combinations of African regional cuisines.  For those who yearn for something different, today's Nigerian Goat Stew recipe is a good place to start.

     Nigerian Goat Stew:
     This recipe yields 2 portions.  (About 4 cups)  
     Step 1:  Heat a wide sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 16 ounces of bite size goat stew meat that has some bones attached.
     Sauté till the goat meat is evenly browned on all sides.
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 cup of small chopped onion.
     Add 1/2 cup of sliced carrot.  (3/16" thick)
     Add 1 chopped green onion.
     Add 1 minced seeded jalapeño pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Sauté till the vegetables start to become aromatic.
     Step 3:  Add 2 cups of beef broth.
     Add enough water to cover the ingredients with 1" of extra liquid.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Skim off any excess grease that floats on the surface.
     Step 5:  Add 1 bay leaf.
     Add 7 spice cloves.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.  (to taste)
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.
     Step 6:  Gently simmer and reduce till the goat meat is tender and the level of broth is slightly less than the meat.  (Do not cover the pot with a lid!)
     Towards the end of stewing, stir the goat stew and try to remove all seven of the cloves and the bay leaf.  (Do not worry if you miss a few cloves.  They usually cook soft enough to be palatable.)
     Step 7:  Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons of organic peanut butter with 2 teaspoons of flour in a small bowl.
     Add peanut butter and flour to the stew while stirring.
     Stir till the peanut butter flour paste combines and the stewing sauce thickens to a medium thin consistency.
     Step 8:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce in a medium consistency that easily clings to the meat.  Stir occasionally, so the sauce does not stick to the pan.
     Step 9:  Keep the Nigerian Goat Stew warm over very low heat or in a 135ºF bain marie.
     Remove any bones that broke loose from the meat before serving.

     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Cook 2 portions of plain Basmati Rice before the stew finishes simmering.
     Step 2:  Use a ring mold to place 1 portion of Basmati Rice on the back half of a shallow plate.  (About 2/3 cup.)
     Ladle about 2 cups of the Nigerian Goat Stew on the front half of the plate around the rice.
     Step 3:  Garnish with an Italian Parsley Sprig and a lemon slice.

     The flavor of Nigerian Goat Stew is like no other stew.  The spice mixture sets this stew apart from the rest!

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