Peppered meats are a winner in every party. No party is complete without it. I mean, why simply fry the meats and serve when you can take it further by cooking it in a delicious tomato sauce which enhances the taste by like a million. Assorted meats can be served as a starter, popularly called small chops – i know right? Nigerians sure love our meats. While I was making this, I was just flashing back at the numerous parties where I have been served assorted meats and I swear I could almost smell it. I am one of those people who have olfactory memories. Lol. I kept remembering plates and plates of the stuff garnished with onions, green bell pepper, ata rodo (scotch bonnet/habanero pepper) and tatashe (red bell pepper). So I knew instantly how I was going to plate this dish and I was very pleased with the results. Thank you for all the Likes and comments from the “So you think you can cook Facebook Group”. All of you guys ROCK!!!!
Funny thing is this invention is quite recent, because I remember that growing up meats were simply served straight from being fried in hot oil. Lord bless whomever came up with this idea of adding the pepper to meats. I am sure it was one of the “Iya Alase” (english for hired commercial cooks) that came up with the idea. For my readers who are already caterers, I am sure that this recipe will be familiar to you, and I hope you will still be able to pick a few things from my method. For my other readers who probably haven’t tried this before or only do so when they entertain, I believe you should up your game. Don’t wait for a party before you treat yourself, your friends and your family.
You will need
An Assortment of boiled meats – I used roughly 1 – 1.5 kilos
Tomato Paste/puree – 2 small tins of the Derica brand
8 plum Tomatoes
3 cooking spoons of Olive oil
Seasoning cubes – knorr chicken cubes preferred
3 cups of Beef Stock
2 tablespoons of Curry Powder
2 tablespoons of Dried Thyme
2 1/2 Red Onions
4 Tatashe – red bell pepper
1 stump of Ginger
2 large cloves of Garlic
For Garnish – Red onions, Tatashe or red chilli, Green bell pepper or green chilli
1. Once all your meats have been boiled, deep fry or grill. If you are making this for a large party, the obvious choice is to deep fry, but for home cooks or mini parties, please take the healthy route and grill. Simply turn it over when one side has browned. Honestly the end result is the same and much much healthier.
You can see from the picture below
2. While the meats are grilling or frying, blend your pepper mixture. You can do this while the meats are boiling to save time. The pepper mixture comprises of tomatoes, ata rodo (scotch bonnet/habanero pepper), tatashe (red bell pepper), red onions and ginger. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: ginger is to serve as an accent taste so you need just a hint of it. Also, to make your pepper mixture a little sweeter and aromatic, lean heavily on the red onions.
3. Boil the pepper mixture to reduce the water content until you get a thick paste. Dice 1 red onion and 3 cloves of garlic. Heat up Olive oil in a big pot and sauté the onions and garlic till they soften and you can smell the aroma of onions and garlic.
4. Add the reduced pepper mixture to the oil, sprinkle in curry powder and thyme, and fry till it thickens. Then you add cups of beef stock, enough to dilute it but not to make it watery, followed by tomato paste/puree. Let this fry again till you get a medium consistency in terms of thickness.
Some may think to get peppered meats is just as simple as make a very thick stew, then toss in the fried meats, wait a few minutes to allow the stew coat the meats and then take it out. N-O. No. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: Here is the trick for yummy assorted meats. It is a 4 step process. Boil the meat, fry the meat till it toughens in consistency, then boil again and fry. I have been to some parties where the meat is so tough (though delicious) and it ruins the experience. Assorted peppered meats are supposed to be soft, that you can tear apart with your fingers and it will be oozing with delicious tomato sauce. For my readers that are caterers I hope this will help you. Trust me, your customers will love it and guests at the party will be asking for your number.
5. You add the meats and stir, then you lower the heat to allow the meat boil in the pepper sauce. This allows the meat to soften and absorb the stew that you made in Step 4.
Remember that frying has toughened the flesh of the meat, so boiling again in the stew infuses the flavour of the stew into it. You may wish to re-season again with curry powder and dried thyme.
6. Let the meats boil for at least 10 minutes, you will notice that the colour and texture of the meats have changed a bit from the dark brown of frying. Once you get to this point , crank up the heat and then the last step of the process which is another round of frying will begin. The intense heat will thicken the tomato sauce and fry it, which at the same time fries the meats again thereby transforming the plain boring fried/grilled meats into peppered meats.
7. You will notice you have gotten it right when the meats have an orange sheen to them, especially the Saki (tripe) and the cow leg. Even the meats have an orange look about them by observing the grains of the meat.
………and that’s it. Garnish with sliced red onions, thin slices of green pepper or roundly cut green chillies, tatashe (red bell pepper) or red chillies
Sorry you couldn’t have a taste of this. I know I made you salivate, so it is your turn to enact your revenge. Follow this recipe and post your results.
Okay, okay one last picture and I promise to stop tormenting you. Lol
You can also make peppered Chicken. recipe for the peper mix for Peppered Chicken, click HERE