Wednesday, June 27, 2012

day 197! Zimbabwe - Sosaties (Grilled Marinated Meat with Apricots)

At last, twenty-six months after starting this world-wide cooking journey, I have reached my final country, Zimbabwe. I can't begin to express what an amazing trip this has been, and none of it would have been possible without the love, support and generosity of my family and friends. Looking back, I could never have imagined all the incredible food, experiences and friendships I've had the privilege to try and experience. Special props go to my Mom, who taught me everything I know about food and love. To my sister and brother who can cook it up and throw it down like the bosses they are. To my husband and children, who sampled, critiqued and went along with all my crazy rambling, endless peanut stews and still love me (you guys are saints). And to very special friends: Beth, Merri, Lucy, Lisa, Ben and John (who gave me tonight's recipe and wants everyone to know he's an Irish-Italian stud). Lastly, to all my new friends from around the world who gave me recipes, advice and shared your cultures with me with such openness and generosity - I am honored to be in your company.

A landlocked country in the southern part of Africa, Zimbabwe is bordered by South Africa, Bostwana, Nambia and Mozambique. At one time a British colony, Zimbabwe declared its independence in 1980. The main languages spoken in this African country are English, Shona and Ndebele. Although most of the country is a savana, it also has mountains, a tropical climate as well as evergreen and hardwood forests. Home to the world's biggest and most spectacular waterfall, the Victoria Falls attracts tourist from around the globe to witness its raw and beautiful power. Rich in biodiversity, Zimbabwe boasts 500 species of birds, 350 species of mammals such as rhinos, baboons and giraffes as well as a huge range of reptiles such as snakes and lizards. Zimbabwe has one of the largest platinum and diamond resources in the world, but these vast and valuable resources have not been fully realized due to poor governmental oversite, corruption and mismanagement. Fortunately, this is beginning to change, making the promise of the country's future more optimistic.

Food in Zimbabwe is based on mealie meal, a cornmeal and water porridge that is eaten alone or with gravy, vegetables such as spinach, greens, beans, sour milk, dried fish or peanut butter. Peanut and tomato based stews are also a common staples. Due to British colonization, rice, pasta, melon, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and potato-based dishes along with porridge and tea are still eaten by many. For weddings and graduations, goat or cow might be enjoyed. Closer to the South African border, Afrikaner recipes using jerky, sausage, beef lamb and pork might also be cooked for special occasions.

Chop up some onions, saute and add spices, vinegar and jam - simmer until thickened
Apricot jam, garlic, salt and curry (not pictured, tamarind paste)
If using dried apricots, reconstitute in sherry overnight - otherwise, use right from the box as is
Grill and serve!

Sosaties (Grilled Marinated Meat with Apricots) - Adapted from Global Gourmet

2 pounds lamb, cut into 1" pieces
1 pound pork, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 garlic clove, peeled
Salt, pepper
4 tablespoons oil
1 cup onions, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 cups white vinegar
2 tablespoons apricot jam
2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in
2 tablespoons red wine
1/2 pound dried apricots
1/2 cup dry sherry

Place the lamb and pork pieces in a large bowl that has been rubbed with the clove of garlic. Season with salt and pepper, and toss.

In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes, then add the curry powder and garlic. sauté for another minute. Add the sugar, tamarind paste, vinegar, and jam and stir well. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add it to the onions, and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens. This should take about 3 minutes. Cool, then add to the meat and toss well. Marinate for 2-3 days.

One day before preparing the sosaties, combine the dried apricots and sherry in a small bowl, cover, and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Drain meat from sauce and reserve. Thread lamb, pork, and apricots on skewers. Grill over charcoal until browned on all sides. Serve with heated reserved sauce.

© 2010-2012, What's Cooking in Your World? Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

Looks and sounds delicious. Love to cook with fruit and meat combos!! Congratulations on completing your gastronomic journey around the ENTIRE WORLD!! Awesome feat!

Suzanne O'Neil said...

You probably missed it, but I literally just stood up and applauded you, and bowed, Namaste. You are such an inspiration and I enjoyed every bit of your blog. Can't wait to see what's next for you (but no pressure or anything). ;)

sadie said...

Suzanne - you are such a doll. Thank you, thank you! Going to spend some time in Italy (in my mind) next...stay tuned! xoxo

Kitt said...

Congratulations! What an amazing journey for you. It's been fun to follow along.

sadie said...

Thank you, Kitt!! I appreciate your kindness!

Astrid said...

Congratulations on reaching your final destination! I have enjoyed your journey tremendously - thank you for taking us around the world the culinaric way! Actually I asked myself after reading your previous post; what will she be doing next? Italy is not a bad destination! Keep in touch and let me know when there's something new from your side. :)

sadie said...

Thank you, Astrid! Your friendship means so much. I thought of you a few days ago when I bought some Dark Muscovado sugar Mauritius! It was the first (but now, not the last) time I'd had it...what have I been missing all these years. Looking forward to our continued chats. xoxo Sarah

Laraine said...

I feel as if I have taken this journey with you and will truly miss your posts.
When you are ready for another trip, please know that you have an eager follower.

EphemeralMe said...

What an Amazing journey! Congratulations! Thank you for taking us along on the ride with your amazing photography and wonderful blog posts.
Much love.L
P.s As Susanne O'Neil said, waiting to see what you do next :))

sadie said...

Thank you, Laraine! It has been so much fun and such a great experience to meet nice people like you! I'm going to be doing a little country hopping and spending some time in Italy (virtually, of course), so stay tuned!

sadie said...

Thank you, SM! I treasure our friendship. I'll be continuing on, as I can't imagine stopping now. Hoping you and your family are well! Summer is in full swing here in the US - beautiful warm days and sunshine :)


Nancy said...

This is my first post but I have adored reading your recipes and looking at your photos during your journey around the culinary world. I'm sad that it has come to a close. Is it crazy of me to suggest you start over from the beginning with Afghanistan?? :-D

sadie said...

Hi Nancy! Thanks so much for following and your kind words. Although I probably won't start over, there are a whole bunch of countries I'd like to explore more deeply, starting with Italy. So, stay tuned, because the journey continues (in more random order)!

Anna said...

Steery, if anyone could pull this off which such class and fun, I knew it would be you! It's been so cool watching the blog evolve, particularly your stunning photographs-salut, sente, and cheers to you! But....what the DEVIL will you do twice a week now?

sadie said...

Thanks, Anna! Love you to pieces.

Young Werther said...

Woo Hoo! Z the finish line. Congratulations!

sadie said...

Thanks, YW - Although divided by many continents and oceans, you have been one of my most encouraging supporters! I am continuing, but rather than hope around, I'm going to spend some time lingering in Italy...stay tuned!

Anonymous said...

Sarah, your dedication and your 360°curiosity are the keys of your blog. Your choices are always accurate and I have been learning as much about the countries as about their dishes. Merci !!! Take care, hugs from Latvia ( well, France for the Summer ). Sylvie.

sadie said...

Merci, Ma chere Sylvie! Now that I'm done, I'll have to time to explore some of the recipes YOU'VE sent me. Hope you and your family are having a wonderful vacation in France (I'm jealous!!) Hugs, Sarah

Sagacious said...

What an awesome idea and gift you've given us all to explore the world through food. I loved following along. Thank you !

sadie said...

Thank you, Thank you, Ms. Sagacious - It's been wonderful following your adventures as well! xoxo