Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ayamase (ofada) Stew- The easy way

Hey guys happy weekend and hope everyone's having a fab sunny Saturday (a bit sunny & windy here in the UK)?
I remember when my Aunty used to make this stew, she'll heat the palm oil for days, and when I mean days, she'll literally heat the oil for a whole day and then continue the process for days until the oil is black in colour. I thought to myself is food this hard? It tasted good don't get me wrong but jeez 3 days cooking time all in the name of eating stew! Trust me that didn't motivate me into wanting to cook or learning new recipes. So I finally found an easy way of cooking the stew by narrowing it down to an hour cooking time (not bad ey lol), its not that hard after all. And I must say, I prefer my method 100%; and it tastes better than my aunty's did back then (sorry aunty lol). So here's to all you men & women out there who prefer easy and quick meals like me. Pictures below (now i'm not very good at food presentation but I can guarantee you that I'm currently working on it, any tips will be greatly appreciated)..O'toodles..xxxx

Cooking time:- 1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins

Ingredients (to feed 4)
Assorted meat/beef (this includes beef, cow foot, tripe, goat meat, kidney)
Palm oil (about 250ml:- if you're not great at measuring, half a cup would do)
locust beans (iru)
4 green bell pepper
yellow/green or red scotch bonnet
ground crayfish
salt to taste
stock cubes x 2
boiled eggs (optional)

Step by step Instructions
Place a pot on fire and add the palm oil, leave to heat up for at least 20-30mins, while this is heating up, cook your assorted meat until soft, now here's where its kinda tricky. You need the beef crunchy in your stew as that's the whole purpose of the stew. You don't want your beef extra soft and falling off into pieces in your stew so you've got to be very careful here. Whilst your beef is cooking, place your green bell pepper in the blender, add the onions, scotch bonnet and a little bit of water and blend roughly not smooth as this is the beauty of the Ofada stew. After blending, place in a pot and cook the blended papper until the water is dried out (this usually takes roughly about 20 to 30mins) & should be completely dry by the time your beef is finished cooking.
Once your beef is done to your standard, grill in the oven for a few minutes or fry if you prefer frying. You need it a bit crunchy so don't fry or oven grill it for too long; I did mine for 10mins in the oven using  moderately hot 375-400°♎ 190- 200°C. 
By the time the above process is done, you're looking at about 45mins from when you started, so you're not doing bad at all. Now add your blended pepper into the palm oil (be careful as the palm oil will be extremely hot now & avoid it splashing everywhere). Mix together, add your stock cubes, salt and ground crayfish, boiled eggs and leave to cook for about 7mins. (taste for salt/stock cubes as you go as a first timer) Boiled eggs is optional, but trust me there's no ofada stew without boiled eggs (ask our elderly lol) Now add your beef, stir and add the locust beans, (Note:- Wash the locust beans thoroughly as its mostly filled with dirt) leave to cook until you can see the oil residue at the top of the pot (10mins on medium heat). & Voila you're done. Serve with Rice & a nice glass of wine, juice or water lol. Well done you have successfully been given a pass mark..xx

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