Sunday, 29 July 2012

Couscous de Timbuktu - Olympic Food Challenge : Mali

Today's country in The Olympic Food Challenge is Mali.  Mali have never won a medal in any of the games they have taken part in, but this year, they are sending 6 atheletes to take part in 4 sports, including Taekwondo, where they were apparently given a wild card.  Did they get it from Funky Pigeon I wonder?  Oh my sides... Anyway, see if Mali's atheletes are more succesful than my jokes by checking here

Another stew, and not at all what I was expecting with a name like that, as the couscous is pretty much an afterthought to a rich and hearty stew, with lots of spices and dates to give it a characteristic african taste and it's cooked for a long time, so the beef just falls apart.  It is rather wonderful...

In my personal opinon, it could have benefitted from the addition of dumplings, but then in my opinon, every dish should be served with dumplings...

Also, I do apologise for my presentation - I know that little towers of couscous are a bit passe, but it's the only way I can think of to make these things look pretty

400g Stewing Steak
2 Onions
1 Tin Tomatoes
175g Pitted Dates
2tsp Garlic Puree
2tsp Salt
1/2tsp Ground Black Pepper
1tsp Ground Fennel Seeds
1tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1tsp Cinnamon
1/2tsp Cardamom
1tsp Cumin
2tsp Ground Ginger
1tsp Ground Nutmeg

1. Cut the beef up into cubes and season well with salt and pepper

2.  Heat some oil in a large pan, and brown the beef.  Add the garlic near the end but be careful it doesn't burn

3.  Add the spices and fry these off for 2-3 minutes, again, being careful that things don't burn.  Add a little more oil if the pan starts to get too dry

4. Add the tomatoes and then some water - enough to cover the ingredients, cover and simmer gently for an hour, until the beef is starting to get nice and tender

5. Add the sliced onions, chopped dates and check seasoning.  Remove the lid form the pan and continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced and the ingredients have a nice consistency.

6.  Serve with couscous and garnish with fresh coriander.  Enjoy!

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