Kenyan beef & cabbage

This dish is inspired by a meal I ate at a restaurant in Kijabe, Kenya, which included stewed kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, beef, cabbage and carrots, served along side collard greens, white rice, and chapati. I swapped out the beans for a refreshing kidney bean salad, but kept the beef, cabbage and carrots as is. Goes great with white rice and/or chapati, and a side of fried plantains as pictured, and/or avocado.

The ingredients:
– Ground beef
– Cabbage
– Carrots
– Onion
– Ginger
– Garlic
– Kenyan spice mix (equal parts ground coriander, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, fennel seed or thyme, paprika, black pepper)
– Cooking fat of your choice (I like to use West African red palm oil)
– Cilantro
– Can of prepared kidney beans (or beans/lentils of your choice)
– Bell pepper
– Tomato, cucumber, onion
– Vinaigrette (2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar)
– Rice, fried plantains, and avocado to serve

The prep:
– Thinly slice your cabbage and grate your carrots (I used a food processor to make quick work of it. You could also chop them, or use frozen diced.)
– Thinly slice your onion, ginger and garlic.
– Finely chop your cilantro. Put half with the cabbage, and half in a salad bowl.
– Mix your spices.

The technique:
– Brown your beef over medium-high heat with a good pinch of salt and a dash of your spice mix. If it renders a lot of fat, save that to cook the cabbage in. Set the beef aside in a covered bowl.
– This is a great time to get your rice going. I like to sautée basmati rice (washed and drained) in a good amount of butter on high heat, then add salt, a few drops of vinegar, and hot water, bring to a boil, then cover and turn to low for 15 min. Then turn off and let it sit off the heat, covered, til the rest of the meal is ready.
– Add a little palm oil to the pan that had the beef, and toss in the onions, ginger, and garlic with a pinch of salt. Sautée a minute til they’ve just started to soften, then add the cabbage, cilantro, carrot, remaining spice mix, and salt to taste. Stir and mix well for a couple minutes til everything starts to soften, add a little hot water, just enough to coat the base of the pan, cover the pan, turn down to medium-low and let simmer, stirring every once in a while.
– Prep your salad. Drain and rinse the can of beans, peel and finely dice the cucumber, finely dice the tomato and bell pepper, mince the onion, and mix all together with the cilantro in the salad bowl and a good dose of vinaigrette and garlic powder. Let chill in the fridge til the rest of the meal is ready.
– Finally stir the beef into the cabbage mixture which should be well-cooked by now, and add a little more water if it seems dry. Let that stew while you fry your plantains in a little olive oil. Salt them as soon as they come out of the oil. You’re done!

My favourite tools:
Calphalon Premier Anodized Nonstick 13″ Skillet With Lid
Hudson Essentials Olive Wood Cooking Utensils
Lamson 3-piece knife set
J.K. Adams 17″ Maple Cutting Board
Le Creuset 3.5 quart dutch oven
Kuhn Rikon Master 5-in-1 Opener
Pyrex Set of 3 Mixing Bowls with Lids

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