Ugandan goat meat stew depends on aromatic spices

goats meat

Joan Nyakairu Dolinshek lives in Rochester Hills with her husband, John, and their son, Elijah Kwezi but hails from Fort Portal, Uganda, where her father manages the family tea estate.

Joan comes by her cooking skills via her mother who used to own The Crocodile Café and Bar in Entebbe (Kampala Town), one of Uganda’s top continental restaurants. Her family grew tomatoes and various herbs and spices along with orange, lemon and pomegranate trees for use in the restaurant.

The family tea business started by her grandparents, Nyakairu Tea Estate, is 370 acres in the kingdom of Toro in western Uganda, at an altitude of 5,200 feet in the mountainous tea-growing region of Mwenge. The farm borders the Kibale National Park, a tropical-forest home to many rare species of monkeys and birds. Elephants stroll through the plantation daily in search of sweet potatoes, and the growing season is all year round thanks to the temperate climate.

Joan returns to Uganda each year to visit her parents, her three brothers and three sisters along with many other friends and relatives.

Ugandan cuisine is filled with aromatics and spices, and food is prepared fresh each day. Here, she shares with us a treasured recipe from her homeland, goat meat stew. Goat meat is a typical Ugandan ingredient that can be found at any halal market, but with this recipe any other type of meat may be substituted.

Ingredients

• 1 pound goat meat (tenderloin or leg) cut into cubes; or meat of your choice instead

• Pinch of salt

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

• 2 table spoons olive oil

• 1 red onion

• 2 cloves garlic

• 1 large tomato

• 1/2 teaspoon corn starch to thicken sauce (optional)

• 1-inch-by-1/4-inch piece of ginger root

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 2 cups chicken or beef stock

Steps

Peel the ginger root and pound it a little to release the juices.

Boil the cubed meat in 2 cups of water, lemon juice and the ginger until the liquid dissipates. This will eliminate the gamey taste of the meat.

Add the olive oil, onions and tomato. Fry the meat until golden brown.

Add the chicken or beef stock and stir to incorporate the brown bits.

Add salt, pepper, curry powder and cornstarch, if using.

Let the meat simmer for about 10 minutes.

Serve over a bed of rice — usually basmati — and with a favorite vegetable on the side.

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