This is a guide on how to choose and prep meat for Nigerian meals.
Some recipes you thought you would never see right? who doesn’t know how to boil meat you might ask yourself. Well, the truth is most people actually have issues boiling flavorful meat. It’s one request I get every so often . My apologies sincerely, this post is long overdue. I was going to put this up right after I did this post on How to fry fish, but life got in the way.
Things to Note
Don’t Add Water While Boiling
No matter the meat (beef or chicken), it’s best if you don’t add water while boiling. There is often enough water in the actual meat to cook it through. Not adding water makes for a more flavorful meat. Some exceptions to the rule :
- When you are trying to make stock, remember to adjust your seasonings accordingly.
- If you are using a pressure cooker ( there is a lot of steam and water loss with pressure cooker, you will need water).
- If it’s an excessively tough cut of beef that will require over an hour of cooking.
Choose Your Seasonings Wisely
Here is what I do:
- Salt, maggi, curry, thyme, rosemary, ginger, garlic, onion and pepper
- Salt, maggi, pepper and crayfish
- Salt, maggi, pepper and whatever other craziness I can get my hand on; I would typically add in bay leaf- a word of caution though, the impact is long lasting no matter what you put the meat in.
- I season with maggi, salt and pepper Only
The Cut of Meat Is VERY Important
Its better to get more tender cuts of beef and slice very thinly. This way you will not need to boil the meat before. It also helps to have something acidic in your marinade (lemon, vinegar, plain yoghurt etc) these items will help tenderize and lead to a more flavorful cook.
My choice cuts for this are : tenderloin, sirloin and ribeye
Aside from the special orishisrishi assorted meat (feet, tripe, roundabout, tail etc), the actual cut of meat should be one that is able to withstand the 3 step cooking without falling apart (boiling, grilling/frying then stewing or souping). The best choices are typically cuts from the part the animal uses the most. Foreshank, chuck and round.
If everything I said said sounds like gibberish and you are wondering how you will ask baba sule for foreshank, thou shall not freight. Here is a picture that details all the cuts. You describe the animal part you want to the seller, they KNOW!
Okay, that was a long lesson on meat wasn’t it. This is a rough recipe for boiled meat, add in things like shaki, oxtail etc as you need. Just remember to adjust the seasoning. I recommend 2 cubes of maggi and 2/3 teaspoon of salt for every 5 palm sizes of meat.
Oya on to the process:
- 5 lbs beef, goat, chicken, tripe, etc
- 4 maggi cubes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon each (curry, thyme)
- 2 sprigs rosemary (optional)
- 2 large onions (cleaned and cut)
- Thumb size fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves
- 4-6 fresh hot pepper ( Scotch Bonnet (rodo) or chili (shombo) )
- Combinemeat with spices and onions. Place on medium heat and boil until tender (~1hr)
- If you need to add water – add in enough to just cover the meat.
- Remove cooked meat pieces from broth and set aside. Strain broth through a colander to remove excess fluid (if available! collect this liquid for use in cooking things like fried rice)
Arrange meat pieces on lined oven tray and bake at 425F until browned on all sides (sprinkle the meat with a little oil for more even browning)
Alternatively, you can deep fry the boiled meat