Friday, 13 June 2014

World Cup Food Recipes - Cameroon

Cameroonian meat and potato hotpot

Last night's opening match of the World Cup Finals didn't throw up much of a shock, with hosts Brazil opening their campaign with what was in the end a moderately comfortable if largely uninspiring 3-1 win over Croatia. Back in 1990, however - when it was the holders who participated in the tournament's opening match - a Diego Maradona captained Argentina side took on the Africans of Cameroon, expecting and expected to secure a convincing win to kick off the defence of their trophy. It was not to be, however, with the Cameroonians pulling off a shock 1-0 win which is still remembered by many to this day.

Cameroonian Meat and Potato Hotpot Recipe

The colourful character that is Roger Milla may long since have finally retired but the present day Cameroonian side kick-off their 2014 World Cup campaign today against Mexico, perhaps once again as at least slight underdogs. When looking for a Cameroonian dish to prepare for this World Cup feature, the biggest problem I encountered was in the availability of authentic and traditional ingredients. That was until I found a fairly simple, spicy potato hotpot which seems to be regularly prepared with a variety of different meats. I came across it prepared with everything from beef to smoked turkey so just to be a little bit different, I've used pork shoulder.

Pork shoulder steaks


1/2 pound pork shoulder meat, chopped to 1 inch chunks
2 tablespoons peanut/groundnut oil (vegetable or sunflower oil will be fine)
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 medium white onion, peeled and sliced
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced or diced
3/4 pint fresh chicken stock
5 or 6 small to medium potatoes, peeled and halved
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
Handful of mixed sliced bell peppers (capsicums)
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped to a medium dice
2 ounces green beans, cut to 3/4 inch pieces
1 teaspoon medium chilli powder (or to taste)
Freshly chopped parsley to garnish

Browning and sealing chopped pork shoulder


Gently heat the oil in a large soup or stock pot. Add the pork, season with salt and pepper and brown and seal over a medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. This should take only two to three minutes.

Onion and garlic added to browned pork

Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sautee for a further minute or so until the onion is just softened. Pour in the chicken stock, stir well, bring to a simmer, cover and cook in this way for one hour.

Principal vegetables for meat and potato hotpot

When the pork meat has been simmering for an hour, it is time to add the remainder of the ingredients.

Diced tomato and green beans for Cameroonian hotpot

The potato, carrot, peppers, tomatoes and green beans can simply be tipped carefully in to the pot before being stirred through the meat and stock.

Vegetables added to part cooked pork in stock

The chilli powder should be added before the hotpot is given another thorough stir and brought back to a simmer for a further hour, this time uncovered.

Chilli powder adds a little bit of spice to the hotpot

Be sure to check on your hotpot ever ten minutes or so, giving it a bit of a stir and making sure it is not starting to boil dry. If you achieve a gentle enough simmer in the first instance, however, this shouldn't happen. If necessary, you can add a tiny bit of boiling water.

Cameroonian meat and potato hotpot is stirred and simmered

The hotpot is ready when the potatoes are just softened, the pork is tender and the remaining liquid has been reduced to a rich, thick sauce.

Cameroonian meat and potato hotpot is ready to serve

Give your hotpot a careful taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Spoon in to your chosen serving dish and garnish with the chopped parsley.

Meat and potato hotpot is spooned in to serving dish

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