from: Southern Africa | cooking method: drying
From the island nation of Madagascar comes Kitoza, which is simply strips of dried or smoked beef. Despite being very simple (though time-consuming) to make, it is delicious. If you want to dry the beef in the sun, start in the morning so as to have the maximum amount of sunlight. Kitoza is served at breakfast with a cornmeal porridge similar to Ugali, or at dinner with Rice and a main dish.
What you need
- lean beef (round steak, chuck roast, or flank steak), cut to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch (the thinner, the better)
What you do
- Make sure all work surfaces and tools are very clean. Remove any fat or membranes from the meat.
- Cut the meat into strips, one to two inches wide and four to six inches long. (The meat will be easier to cut if it is slightly frozen.)
- If it is a warm sunny day:
String the beef strips onto a clean cord, making sure the beef strips to not touch one another. (You might use a very large sewing needle.) Hang the threaded beef in a sunny location. Indoors in front of a sunny window is ideal. Make sure there is plenty of air circulation. After several hours the meat should be completely dry, and dark in color, but still pliable.
If sun drying is not possible:
Place the meat on lightly-oiled metal racks, making sure the meat strips do not overlap or touch one another. Place in an oven heated to 130 degree (F). (A smoker or dehydrator can also be used.) Leave the oven door open a crack. Turn strips after three or four hours. Oven dry for several hours, checking for doneness as described above. Remove from oven and allow to cool in a well ventilated area. (The oven method can be used to finish partially sun-dried meat.)
- Place the kitoza in a clean, dry, airtight jar or container until ready to serve. (For best results and safety, store in the refrigerator and serve within a day or two.)
- To serve: Briefly heat the kitoza over a very low fire on an outdoor grill or in a skillet, do not allow it to burn. Serve hot, with a cornmeal porridge (i.e., Ugali, thinned with water), or Rice. Can also be served as an appetizer.
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