Assorted Meat Spicy Pepper Sauce


Funke Koleosho's Assorted Meat Spicy Pepper Sauce
Nigerians are primarily meat eaters so it is not uncommon to make sauces, soups and stews using a range of different meats, enjoyed for their different tastes and textures. All parts of the cow are edible and are adequately cooked and used in one form or another.

Virtually all Nigerian meals are accompanied by a rich stew, soup or sauce. One of such is the very popular "assorted meat stew". This dish is loosely referred to as stew but technically, it is a sauce. It is made by blending peppers, tomatoes and onions and cooking with spices and condiments.

This is a really versatile sauce which can be served with virtually anything! name it; rice, pasta, yams, bread, plantains etc. It is also ideally served with other soups and stews to enhance taste, or as part of a complete meal. It can also be used as a base sauce to cook many other dishes.

The Italians are known for their tomato based pasta sauce just as Nigerians are known for their tomatoes/red pepper based Spicy Pepper Sauce. While the Italians cook their sauce plain, Nigerians cook theirs with added meat, fish or vegetables all of which contribute immensely to flavour development in the sauce.

As one may expect, there are different preferences and versions of cooking this versatile sauce. Some like the sauce thick and bold while others like it thin and simple. The amounts of chilli, oil and other condiments added also vary with preference.

I personally like my sauce with less oil and quite rich with a thick texture as I feel it is a great opportunity for me to enjoy maximum nutritional benefits of eating tomatoes, red peppers and chilli (which are apparently all really good for you!)

Below I am sharing my recipe for making assorted meat spicy pepper sauce (or "meat stew" as it's often called back home), which I hope you enjoy. You can use any type of meat in this recipe, (chicken or fish) and for vegetarians, you can use mushrooms or quorn instead of meat.

Ingredients
  • 300g beef, trim & cut into bite size pieces,wash
  • 300g cow-foot, ask your butcher to cut into bite size pieces. wash (optional, alternatively use more beef)
  • 300g honeycomb tripe, cut into small bite size pieces, wash (optional, alternatively use more beef)
  • 1 large red sweet pepper, remove stalk & seeds. Cut into quarters, wash (you can use more or less. the more used the thicker your sauce)
  • 1 small (yellow) scotch bonnet, remove seeds (optional)
  • 6-8 medium fresh tomatoes (or 2 tins of peeled plum tomatoes)
  • 1 medium size onion, peel and cut into quarters 
  • 100m1-150ml vegetable or blended olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, crush
  • 1 stalk of spring onions, chop

What to do:
  1. Advance prepping: Cook all meat pieces in advance of cooking the sauce. 
  2. Place beef pieces in a bowl. Add some salt, thyme, curry powder and garlic. Work spices into meat and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Then add about two cups of water and boil until just tender, not too soft. Cool, remove meat pieces, sieve and retain stock for later use. 
  3. Place the cow-foot into a pressure cooker, add some water and salt and cook until very tender. Remove bones and further cut into small bite size pieces if required. Set aside for later use. 
  4. Season the tripe pieces with some salt, thyme and curry powder and in a separate pot, cook for about 30 minutes until just tender, not too soft. Set aside.
  5. Place the cooked beef and tripe pieces in a baking tray and grill for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, the meat pieces may be fried briskly if that is your preference. This process helps to dry out the meat pieces a little to give a slightly tough dry texture. Nothing to worry about as the meat pieces will become juicy again once introduced into the sauce!
  6. Place the tomatoes, peppers, onion and scotch bonnet (if using), in the blender and blend till smooth. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add the blend. Add the stock, stir. Add some water, (about 2 cups, depending on the amount of stock you have used.) Allow to cook for 10 minutes under high heat then turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  7. Add the meat and tripe pieces to the simmering sauce and stir. Also add the cow foot pieces. Stir gently, and check for salt. You may also add your preferred bouillon cubes to enhance taste. 
  8. Allow sauce to simmer for a further 10 minutes or until all the meat pieces become tender to your preference. Also add some hot water to adjust thickness. 
  9. Garnish with spring onions and serve with boiled rice. Can also be served with vegetable soups and pounded yam,  boiled yam, pasta or bread. 

Assorted Meat Spicy Pepper Sauce

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