Bushmeat and Vegetable
In Nigeria, the success of a party is judged by the quantity, variety and availability of food and drink. Variety is a key factor, most especially, variety in meat, fish and seafood dishes. Sometimes, the variety is so much that they are brought out in phases. This could include suya, nkwobi, isi-ewu, peppered chicken with various pepper dips, homework, pepper soup, peppered bush meat, cow head pomo (skin), oxtail, peppered snail or gizzard, Asun, slabs of dry fish or stockfish steamed in pepper sauce, tiger prawns, fried croaker fish etc. Bushmeat and vegetable will surely please and add variety to your party spread.
This dish features regularly at our family parties. In typical Nigerian custom, when I say family, it includes siblings on both sides. When one is hosting a party, everyone is hosting the party. So, a friend of the family, we call him Api-J, developed this recipe for a party we had a long time ago and it has since become somewhat of a staple. He is a connoisseur of sorts. It is different from the usual, an excellent way to cook bushmeat and is also easy, simple and healthy.
You can use any type of meat really to cook this dish, we mainly use Nchi (grass cutter) but for the kids, I use more mainstream types of animal, goat meat, chicken etc, I have never tried it with beef. Grasscutter is farmed in Nigeria so there is no fear of endangering the specie. For this post, I used both bush meat and goat meat, though I don’t have enough pictures of the bushmeat. Do not use a lot of water when cooking your meat, keep topping up as needed until meat is tender.
The vegetable of choice is ugu (fluted pumpkin leaf) though you can add a little nchanwu (scent leaf) or uziza leaf. Since the star of the dish is the meat, you don’t want anything overpowering the taste of the meat, not even the vegetable used. A little of the chlorophyll or the green colour of the ugu needs to be washed off to mellow the flavour down. We are not talking nutrition here but flavour. I have skipped this step before and it didn’t give me the same result. If you are really bothered, just reserve the juice and drink it later, a write up on that coming soon.
To prepare bushmeat and vegetable
500g meat 6 tablespoons Palm oil 150g Onions 50g Ugba (ukpaka) scotch bonnet (chopped) 2 seasoning cubes 150g washed ugu leaves salt
Wash meat and place in a pot.
Add salt, one seasoning cube and a little water, cook until meat is tender.
Chop Onions and scotch bonnet set aside.
Pick, wash and shred ugu leaves.
Drain ugu and set aside.
Drain stock out of the pot of meat, add palm oil, onions, ugba, scotch bonnet and seasoning cubes, stir well.
Place over medium-low heat to warm up palm oil.
Add prepared ugu vegetable, stir and cover.
Steam for 5 minutes, taste for salt and add as needed.
Serve with your favourite drink. You can try my
- If using goat meat, chicken etc., they can be cut into small bite size. Bushmeat is better left in large pieces.
- Do not overcook the vegetable.
- Be careful not to overcook your bushmeat, it is not meant to be fall-off-the-bone-soft.
- Grasscutter is farmed in Nigeria where they do not associate with the grass cutter in the wild and are vaccinated as at when due.
Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.
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