Friday, 23 April 2010

A South African Mingle

When I saw this month's monthly mingle at What's for Lunch Honey? I jumped for joy - South Africa! Since then I have had nothing else on my mind except : " What am I going to make?".

Trying to think of a dish which shows South Africa's diversity and treasures is not as easy as I thought it would be. It's like asking a rainbow which colour it likes best.

But when it really comes down to the most basic level, the meal will certainly have mealies (corn) in it. It could be mealie meal, beautifully explained by Nina or even samp mealies like mine.

Samp is dried whole white corn, known in the US as hominy. I was amazed to see that the earliest reports of it's use dates back to around 1500 -1200BC in current day Mexico and Guatemala.

Samp is not fast food, you have to wash it, boil it, rinse it and then boil it for a few hours until it's beautifully soft and fluffy. By adding the beans, you have a complete meal, which then only needs very little meat and gravy to ensure a completely satisfying meal.

I have chosen mutton to make the stew with which I served the samp and beans. Mutton is not a popular choice of meat any more, everyone wants lamb. Mutton is tougher, leaner and not as sweet as lamb, but it full of flavour and of course cheaper.

This stew is very simple, I have not allowed any "foreign" influences make this something other than what you would have expected before we all started reading food blogs and French cookbooks. This is food my Gran and her Gran would have made.

Samp and Beans
2 Cups of Samp
1 Cup Sugar Beans

Wash the samp well, until the water runs clear.
Place in a large pot, covered with hot water and bring to the boil for about 10 minutes.
Rinse the samp and then return to the stove, add about 4 cups of water and bring back to the boil.
Add the beans (no need to soak).
Reduce the heat and allow to slowly boil until both the beans and the samp are soft, checking regularly that there is enough water.
It is cooked when both the beans and the samp is soft.
You can then add the salt to taste.

Mutton Braise

1kg Mutton Stewing meat ( I used back chops cut in thirds)
1 Onion
1 Large Carrot cut into small dice
1 Beef or Lamb Stock cube
Salt and White Pepper

Fry the Mutton on high heat until sealed and browning.
Add the onion and the carrot and fry for another 2 minutes.
Add the stock cube, salt and white pepper.
Add a little water and de-glaze the pot, making sure to get any flavour bits which might be stuck to the pot into the sauce.
Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for about 2 hours, slowly adding a little water at a time - building up the gravy.
Continue to simmer until the meat is very tender, and falling off the bone.
Serve hot with the samp and beans.

This is my submission to Whats for Lunch Honey's monthly mingle.


Marisa said...

Great post! Didn't know hominy was another name for samp.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

oh how wonderful. i am really drooling here! the variety i am getting for this mingle is awesome. thanks so much for being a part of my mingle!

Kit said...

I'm revealed as not a real South African here - I've never cooked samp in my life and had no idea about all the rinsing involved. Looks like hearty winter fare and very nourishing.

Anonymous said...

I have never cooked with hominy or samp for that matter, but your post looks delicious. I am always looking to diversify my culinary palette. Thanks for sharing! My blog celebrated Africa Day with a collection of recipes from across the continent. I would love your thoughts.

Unknown said...

Nou lis ek

Jeremiah 17: 7-8

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water."

It is not your business to succeed, but to do what is right : when you have done so, the rest lies with God.
C.S. Lewis

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