Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tasty Minestrone Soupy Stew Mix Magic

Sarah and I coaxed Simphiwe Bam, a fixture at the Chiselhurst campus, into coming to our house on Sunday to share a slice of the Xhosa culinary world.  We did our usual weekend morning grocery trek and picked up all of the ingredients that the chef requested.

Ancient Xhosa secret ingredient
samp-dried corn kernels that
have been stamped and chopped

samp in its natural state


we hunted for duds

the building blocks

Master Chef Bam

We cleaned and rinsed the samp and beans and threw them in a big pot with lots of water on a rolling boil.  Then we sliced the potatoes, carrots, and mutton (using our big "white people" knives) and waited for the samp to reach a chewable consistency.  We added the other ingredients and stirred in some magic soup mix powder before letting the whole pot simmer away for a couple of hours.

bubbling samp and beans-3 hours on the stove formed an inch thick layer of
burnt bottom which required 4 days of soaking and elbow grease

all together now!

finishing touches

Once everything was in the giant pot, Sarah cracked open our bottle of Malawian gin and we exchanged our own cultural memento of mixing Simphiwe his first gin and tonic.  Out of respect for him, I opted to exclude the photos of him singing and dancing behind the counter!  Who knew gin could be so smooth on a Sunday at 2:30pm?

Everything tastes better with Malawian gin

When the whole pot was bubbling away, Bam decreed that it was time to dish out.  Even with the burnt pot bottom, it turned out very well and I plan to experiment more with beans, samp, and mutton!  My eyes have been opened to a whole new world of meat cuts!  
The final product


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