There is something about covers that make you fall in love even more with a song you already. Sometimes even, it makes you like a song you never initially really liked. Sometimes, song covers bring forth the beauty of a song that was already there but we just never noticed. That is what I love about Coke Studio Africa! This past Sunday, my favorite cover was ‘Mungu Pekee’ by gorgeous and very talented Yemi Alade. Was it better than the original song? In my opinion, it was! And my favorite this season so far. My sister lover Marry me by Nyashinsky. Which song won you over? While you are still deciding that, please have a listen to the ‘Mungu Pekee’ cover here.
This season’s theme is all about discovery; and you know we have to put a food twist to it! This is the second part of a food discovery series based on the countries participating in Coke Studio Africa, where we discover cooking methods/ flavors/ ingredients from other countries and make one fusion dish with qualities from each country. Last time we did a fusion dish of Kenya+Uganda+Tanzania (check it out here #slurp). Today, we are discovering Ethiopian + Nigeria + Ghanaian + Mozambican flavors. Are you ready to go down a path of discovery with me? Buckle up!!
PREP TIME: 30 MIN MARINATION TIME: 24 HRS COOK TIME: 40 MIN SERVES: 2
1/4 kg of beef
1/2 a teaspoon of chili paste
1 tablespoon of coffee
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 a teaspoon of minced garlic
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 dried bay leaf, crushed
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary leaves
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, minced
1 cup of hot water
1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 a teaspoon of mixed spices
Coriander for garnish
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
Cut your beef into small cubes and place them in a container. Remember to always cut your beef against the grain. That means, if the protein strands are running from left to right, you need to cut the meat from top to bottom. This shortens the protein strand in each bite making the beat soft with each bite.
To this, add your minced garlic and ginger, red wine vinegar, coffee, crushed bay leaves, chili, sugar, pepper and rosemary leaves. I bought my red wine vinegar from Tuskys and you can some from there or any other supermarket. I know someone will ask this: Red wine vinegar is VINEGAR not wine, it is the best for beef marinades.
Coffee makes a fantastic marinade ingredient/ dry spice rub for meats. It adds depth of flavor and with the right combination, it makes your meat so delicious! Coffee is one of the native crops of Ethiopia, and they have been enjoying this crop for centuries; long before the white man “discovered” it. For this dish,using coffee as part of my marinade was my touch of Ethiopia.
I also used some chili in my marinade, since beef and chili is Always a match made in heaven. I used Kez organics chili paste. Nigerians and Ghanaians are huge on hot food! They love their peppers and chillies in their food, and consider flavors almost incomplete without some heat. To add a touch of these west African countries, a good dose of some potent chili was a must!
As for mozambique, I discovered that bay leaves is quite a popular ingredient there. In Kenya, bay leaves are hardly found fresh but you will always get some in their dried form, and that is what I used. A bottle goes for about 60 shillings in major supermarket spice section. BesideS beef dry fry, you can use them in your veg & meat stews, pilau, fried rice dishes. A touch of Mozambique you will get to appreciate.
Mix this in and once thoroughly and evenly mixed, cover with a lid and allow this to marinate for 24 hours or more. Remember, the longer the marination period, the more intense your flavors will be.
After the marination time has lapsed, remove from the fridge and prepare for frying. In a pan add you finely chopped red onion and some more garlic and finely chopped bay leaves. This ties the flavors of the marinade with the dry fry together.
Let this cook until fragrant. Add the beef and let it cook until browned. If you please, you can boil the beef before adding it to the onions. I skipped this since my beef was cut into small pieces and would cook through fast enough. Boiling it before frying will however water down the marinade flavors significantly.
add the tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/4 cup of hot water. Let it cook down for about 5 minutes. Add some more water or beef stock if needed and let this cook down for 15 minutes until the water dries up. Because the meat is in thin strips, it will cook really fast.
Once done, remove from the heat and garnish with some onion chives or some fresh coriander.
A true fusion dish of fantastic flavors from four amazing African countries!. The marinade made the beef very tender and extremely flavorfu! The coffee and the chili really compliment each other and you can feel the kick of the bay leaves and garlic come through. Such a simple recipe, but with such explosive taste!!!
This would be absolutely fantastic with chapati, with ugali and some veggies, with any rice dish, potatoes and literally everything.
After you give my chili and coffee marinated beef dry fry, give my other fusion dish a go: my sweet chili mbuzi choma rolex. My third and final fusion dish will be up next week and I hope you include all three in your festive season banquet!
Get your downloadable recipe here :))