Grilled Wild Mushroom with Polenta Style Sadza (pap) and Beef Crackling
At this time of the year in Zimbabwe you will notice a myriad of locals selling a beautiful variety of wild mushrooms including the highly praised chanterelle mushrooms.I came across such a bounty and since I was experiencing a power outage I decided to cook everything on my braai stand.Mushrooms are high protein veggies that I absolutely adore for their versatility. You can safely include them in most Zimbabwean main dishes. Make the most of mushrooms this season and cook your family a hearty mushroom dish. Who says you can’t have Sadza with fungi?
NB: Be sure to only pick mushrooms in the company of someone with experience in picking mushrooms or better still buy from a reputable shop. Use them within 2 days of purchasing them. Don’t wash the mushrooms as they absorb water so if you must, lightly rinse or simply brush off any particles.
1 ½ cup Mealie-meal
2 ½ cup Vegetable stock
3 cups of a variety of edible wild mushrooms locally available (tsvuketsvuke/ nhedzi/ chihombiro)
2 Tomatoes, deseeded and diced
25g Parmesan cheese, grated
2 Garlic cloves, minced
½ cup Fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano)
Beef crackling (i.e. beef fat rendered of fat leaving crunchy crackling)
2 Spring onion stalks, chopped
100 ml Olive oil
¼ cup White wine or vinegar
To MakeSadza (pap):
- Bring vegetable stock to a boil then whisk in mealie meal.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook until there is no raw mealie meal taste and sadza(pap) has texture of thick porridge but fully cooked.
- Whisk in grated parmesan cheese and a nob of butter.
- Keep warm off direct heat.
To Make Mushrooms:
- Take a portion of the mushrooms and marinate in half the herbs with a drizzle of olive oil for 15 minutes. Then grill mushrooms on direct heat for 3 mins per side.
- For the remaining mushrooms place in a cast iron skillet on the braai stand and sauté till smokey hot. Add a drizzle of olive oil and half of the chopped spring onions and fry for 1 minute.
- Then add garlic and the marinated grilled mushrooms to this mixture. Cook for a further 5 minutes then add diced tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes before adding white wine vinegar and a knob of butter.
Serve the Dish:
- For presentation I decided to plate everything in the shallow pan I used for cooking the sadza (pap). Top the pap with the grilled and sautéed mushrooms and a knob of butter. Sprinkle with beef fat (or pork crackling), the rest of the spring onion and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
About De Ankarra Chef– “I would have to say I’m fanatically curious about food and I think my curiosity in African food principally sets me apart. I am a private chef,winner and now judge of Battle of the Chef’s Harare. Above all De Ankarra Chef sells food experiences, he endeavours to challenge notions about food and why it is enjoyed. You may not like my food but you will talk about it! And that is a great compliment.Let’s connect:“