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Nigerian Beef Stew

1 pound good quality, lean beef cut into large chunks
2 to 4 teaspoons chili powder (we used 2)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
Salt to taste
6 ounces vegetable oil
4 medium onions, cut into thin strips
4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and puréed (we used 2 cups stewed tomatoes)
3/4 pint water
4 teaspoons tomato paste

Season the meat with half the chili powder, half the cornstarch and some salt. Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and sauté the meat until browned. Remove the meat and set aside in a large bowl. Pour off the oil and save. Do not wash the saucepan. Add a small amount of water to cover just the base of the saucepan and bring to the boil on low heat. The boiling water will blend with the meat juices from the base of the pan. Remove from the heat and add this juice to the fried meat.

Clean the saucepan and pour the oil used to fry the meat. Blend in the rest of the cornstarch and gently heat. When the flour starts to brown, add the onions and sauté until browned. Quickly stir in the tomatoes. Combine the water with the tomato paste and stir in. Return the meat and juices to the pan and stir well. Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning to your taste. Simmer slowly for 10 minutes until meat is tender and the sauce thickened. Serve with hot, long-grain white rice. Skim off any excess oil before serving.

Serves 4.

"A Taste of Africa" by Dorinda Hafner

Monday, December 20, 1999

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