There are many archived recipes I would be publishing this month because school got in my way and I could not get to blogging about them and ayamase stew was one of them. This is a recipe that a lot of people asked me for especially our dear friend Vese at Dvees who does exceptional things with Nigerian food as well. I kept procrastinating on uploading the recipe but new year new resolutions (I hope). Not entirely sure of the origin of this stew but I first experience it at a buka (local restaurant) in Lagos and I absolutely loved it. They served it with all the kinds of protein available in the Nigerian cuisine, beef, tripe, cow skin, boiled egg, chicken etc. I asked different people for the recipe and I got different remarks and methods that were all contradicting and the more i tried each suggestion, the more I failed. Some people said the tomatoes and pepper need to be almost spoilt to get the taste, some said use red tomatoes, some said balance out the combination of the bell peppers or tatashe with the tomato. After much experimentation and better advice, I realized the secret is in the colour of the tomatoes and pepper you use and the way you bleach your palm oil. I would however say, this is not a meal you should indulge in all the time because of the health effects. Indulge once in a while, everything in moderation. I bring to you the Afrolems version of Ayamase stew.
Recipe for Ayamase Stew
Ingredients (Serves 2-3 people)
3 green tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper
2 green scotch bonnet peppers
2 small onions
6 medium pieces of beef
4 medium pieces of beef tripe
4 medium pieces of cow skin
4 pieces of cow foot
1.5 cooking spoons of palm oil
1 teaspoon of iru (fermented locust beans)
Season your meats with salt, pepper, stock cube and onions and bring to boil. I would suggest boiling the cow foot separately or in a pressure cooker as that takes longer to boil than the rest of your meats.
Once they are soft, cut into smaller pieces and fry and set aside. I would advise against frying the cow leg and skin as those don’t react well with the oil.
Blend your tomatoes and peppers and bring to boil till the excess water dries up.
Heat your palm oil on low heat till the redness of the oil disappears and it becomes clear or looks like groundnut oil. This may take several minutes as you may have to take it off the stove several times so as not to over smoke your house.
Once the oil is bleached, chop your onions and fry in the hot oil then add your blended tomatoes and fry for 10- 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium so as to allow it fry well. Add any left over stock if there was any and continue to cook. Let the mixture fry till it’s almost blackened then season with salt, pepper and stock cubes or whatever other seasoning you desire.
Add the iru (fermented locust beans) and stir in.
Lastly, add your meats and stir in. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and serve with White rice/ Ofada Rice/Wild rice or any carbohydrate of your choice.