Most of the time, you get served peppered meats at parties. It is a Nigerian hosting staple. Even at joints, you have the choice of eating “stick meat” with a cold drink. We, Nigerians sure loooooove our meats, there is no denying. Lol I have already written about assorted peppered meats HERE. It is not often that you get to eat peppered gizzard, and we should eat more of it, as gizzard has its own charm and peculiar flavour. I call it meat that is not meat. That’s the carnivore in me talking.
Okay, okay maybe the biological function of the gizzard puts people off, but if you can eat Saki/tripe (cow stomach), cow leg, intestines, fuku (cow lung), gizzard should be on easy street, because on the yucky scale, it ranks quite low. Gizzards are normally sold in packets, quite expensive I know but it’s worth the price. Unlike with the flesh of meat, gizzards are quite small, and when it is seasoned properly, it becomes a powerhouse of flavour. Once you start eating it, you almost can’t stop. If you have a recipe like fried rice that calls for chopped liver, try chopped gizzard next time and watch your guest consume spoonfuls of your rice with delight. Haven’t thought of that before, have you? You can also make Giz-dodo (recipe HERE), and if you want to totally go outside the box, make a peppered gizzard omelette and serve with freshly boiled yam. Breakfast at your house will never be the same again, trust me. You’ve made corned beef omelette, sardine omelette, egg stew, western styled omelette etc YAWN!!!!. Lol. Try peppered gizzard omelette. Simply follow my recipe below, but cut the gizzard into bite sized chunks instead, and once the sauce is done, pour in beaten eggs and voila, you’ve got a fresh take on an omelette.
You will need
1 kilo of gizzard – or more
2 green chillies
2 red chillies
2 pieces of ata rodo – scotch bonnet/Habanero pepper
1 large tatashe – red bell pepper
1 small stick of ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 1/2 large red onions
1 red tomatoe
Seasoning cube – knorr chicken cubes preferred
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper – dry pepper
1. First you need to boil the gizzards. Give it a proper rinse and season with salt, seasoning
cubes, chopped onion (half an onion), curry powder, dried thyme and cayenne pepper.
Pour in enough water to cover the gizzards halfway, cover the pot and turn up the heat to high, to cook the gizzards. This should take around 30 minutes.
2. Next you need to blend your pepper mixture. To do this, blend the tatashe, ata rodo, half of the onion, tomato, ginger and a little water to achieve a smooth paste. The ginger should give an aromatic scent to the pepper, coupled with the onion.
Boil this pepper mixture, till most of the water content has evaporated. This should take roughly 10 minutes.
3. While the other bits are boiling, chop the garlic very finely, the rest of the onions, red and green chilli and set aside. Watch the pepper closely, lest it burns
4. Once the gizzards have cooked thoroughly, take them out of the pot and grill or fry till it browns. With grilling, you will have to flip it over midway, to allow both sides to get brown. Grilling is the healthier option though, same results. Don’t be lazy, lol, don’t skip this step. Boiled gizzards are not as tasty as the grilled/fried variety. Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on extra flavour. Lol.
Now you have your pepper boiled, and gizzards grilled, now it’s time to make the fried stew
5. In a pot, heat up 2 cooking spoons of Olive oil, throw in all the chopped ingredients from Step 3 and saute till the onions are soft and translucent. You should already begin to smell the onions, chilli and garlic flavouring the oil.
At this point, pour in the reduced pepper, you should hear it sizzle and start to fry immediately. This is why I mentioned boiling out the water content of the pepper.
6. Keep stirring and frying, till the colour of the oil gives off an orange hue, and the pepper has bubble dots of oil in it. This is when you know that the pepper has truly fried, then season with salt and seasoning cube.
You may be wondering why I did not just use the stock. Personal preference/pet peeve. I don’t cook with the stock of “offals”.
7. Once you are satisfied with the taste of the fried stew, add the grilled gizzards and stir. You are likely going to have a situation in your hands whereby the gizzards take over the stew. Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: not to worry, this is exactly what you want, because the pepper should coat the gizzards. This is not stew.
Turn the heat down to low, add a cooking spoonful or two of water, and let the grilled gizzard soften into the stew and absorb its flavour. If you read my Assorted Meats recipe (HERE), I wrote about boiling, grilling and boiling again, to really pack the flavour in.
8. Keep stirring, and stirring on low heat, and you will notice that your earlier worry of the gizzards being too much has dissipated and the gizzards are now combining well with the stew, you can’t separate one from the other.
To make it glisten a little more, I add a teeny bit of olive oil – this is optional. To be sure it’s ready, take out a piece to taste. You should taste the richness of the fried stew harmonising well with the gizzard, and it should also be soft to chew. If it is still hard from the grilling or frying, it is not yet ready, keep stirring on low heat till you get to this point.
……………..and here’s your peppered gizzard
To plate it all pretty for the festivities, chop red and green chilli into rings, skewer one or two pieces of gizzard with a toothpick and decorate with red and green chilli
To truly wow your guests, if you are making a very large batch, serve Giz-Moi Moi. Trust me, this combination is electric. Trust me, it just works.
Enjoy your party……………