Peppered meat is a delicacy in various parts of Nigeria. As the name implies, it is simply meat tossed in pepper. The process of making it however isn’t that straightforward. I would reckon that each family has its own ways of preparing this delicacy which goes well with jollof rice or enjoyed on its own with a chilled drink. This post shows my take on peppered meat as prepared by my family. It involves the use of a thick pepper and tomato paste, fresh hot peppers and onions.
(1) Meat (See Note 1)
(2) 2 Cooking Spoons Pepper and Tomato Paste (See Note 2)
(3) 1 Medium Onions (Divided)
(4) 1-1/2 to 2 Seasoning Cubes
(5) 1-1/2 Teaspoons Thyme
(6) 2 – 4 Hot Peppers (Adjust according to taste)
(7) About 1/2 Cup of Oil (Try using Groundnut Oil)
(8) Salt to taste
(1) Any type of meat can be used. I have used goat meat in this recipe. You can make use of beef or chicken. It is preferable that you use “natural” or “hard” meat here as opposed to modified meats which would be too soft to withstand the cooking process.
(2) I have a HOW TO note here on how to make tomato and pepper paste.
(1) Cut and wash your meat. Place in a large pot along with half of the onions, 1 seasoning cube, 1 teaspoon of thyme,1 hot pepper (chopped) and salt to taste. Bring this to a boil without adding water. Add water only when the meat has cooked in its own juices. Ensure not to add too much water as you want the meat to be very flavorful. Cook the meat until it is soft.
(2) While the meat is cooking, make your pepper and tomato paste if you do not have some already.
(3) Pound the remaining hot peppers. You do not want a very smooth paste. Some bite into the peppers is always nice. Also slice the remaining onions into rings.
(4) When the meat is soft, take out the meat from the broth and strain in a sieve.
(5) Also strain the broth to collect the bits of meat, onions and thyme at the bottom of the pot. These will be used later on.
(6) Heat oil in large frying pan and fry meat for about a couple of minutes. Your aim here is not to fry the meat dry but to brown it. You want the inside of the meat to still be juicy.
NOTE: In my home, there is always the controversy as to how dry the meat should be. While certain members of my family like to fry it very dry, I prefer it juicier. The choice really is yours.
(7) Turn about 2 cooking spoons of the oil you used to fry the meat into a pot and fry half of the leftover onions in it. Fry until onions are soft.
(8) Add the tomato paste to the onions and fry for about 3 minutes.
(9) Next, add the fresh pepper and bits of meat and cooked onions you collected to the pot along with 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Taste and see if you will require more salt and seasoning cube. If you do, add as needed. Stir fry for about a minute.
(10) Finally add the fried meat to the pepper and mix to coat meat. Take off heat and serve with some fresh onion rings.
END NOTE: A mandoline is the perfect tool for cutting onion rings without sweating (or tearing)