LISTEN: Chef Pierre Thiam joins Jesse Sparks to talk about his One on this episode of The One Recipe
Lisa’s first trip to Dakar was special for many reasons, not least of which was her introduction to my aunt Marie’s sauce feuille. This dish is a genuine representation of my roots—generous, heartwarming, and nourishing in all the right ways. It’s traditionally made with moringa, cassava or sweet potato leaves, and cabbage. Here, I use collard greens, which are easy to find and still create that homey green color and rich, textured flavor, but if you can source the more traditional cassava leaves, use them!
1½ cups kosher salt
1 small cabbage, cored and thinly sliced, about 4 cups
1 pound collard greens or cassava leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
2 pounds beef shoulder, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup chopped yellow onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
¼ cup tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock or water
1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chili (optional)
Rice or Simply Fonio, for serving
In a large pot, combine the kosher salt and 1 gallon of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Set a large bowl of ice water alongside. Blanch the cabbage by adding it to the boiling water for 3 minutes, then, using tongs, a slotted spoon, or a strainer, remove the cabbage and transfer it to the ice water to stop the cooking. When cool, drain the cabbage, squeezing out as much water as possible, and set aside. Repeat the blanching process with the collard greens, then finely chop them after draining.
In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over high heat. While the oil is heating, season the beef with 1 teaspoon of the sea salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Add the beef cubes to the pot and cook, stirring so that they brown evenly on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 more minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and with a light golden color, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, then stir in the tomato paste.
Continue to cook, stirring to make sure the tomato paste doesn’t scorch, until the tomato paste turns a dark brick color, 5 more minutes. Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the oil rises to the surface, about 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and the habanero (if using). Add the cabbage and collard greens and stir to incorporate, being careful not to burst the habanero while stirring. Simmer until the meat is tender, 40 to 50 more minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Remove the habanero and reserve on the side for those who want the stew extra spicy. Serve warm with rice or fonio.
Reprinted with permission from Simply West African by Pierre Thiam with Lisa Katamaya, copyright Pierre Thiam © 2023. Photographs by Evan Sung. Published by Clarkson Potter, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.
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