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Seswaa - Stewed Beef from Botswana

What's The Big Idea?

This is seen by many as the national dish of Botswana, and is often served on special occasions. I have seen it written that it is not the most attractive-looking dish, but it is certainly full of flavour. Traditionally the beef would be cooked on the bone, then the bones removed and the meat cooked some more until it is ready for "shredding"/pounding/blending. This would have traditionally been done with a large wooden mallet. Using cubed meat off the bone and a hand-held blender makes the job much easier!

I have reduced the amount of salt in this recipe, as the traditional one called for a lot of salt! Add more if you like.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1½lbs beef, cubed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • Plenty of black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour

What To Do

  • Place the beef, onion, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the beef
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 hours. Skim off any fat from the surface as it cooks
  • After 2 hours, remove from the heat. Use a hand-held blender to break up some of the meat into smaller pieces
  • Blend the cornflour with a little cold water. Stir this into the saucepan and return to the heat
  • Cook for a few more minutes, until the stew thickens. Serve immediately with cornmeal porridge or rice

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