"Ndolé traditionally uses morogo, a wild African spinach, and this dish has its variations from southern to western Africa," says Welgemoed. "A good example can be found at Melbourne's Belle's Hot Chicken - ask for a serve of Almost Arnold's Beans."
- 1.5 kg rib-eye rack of aged beef (with 4-5 ribs), halved, at room temperature
- For brushing: vegetable oil
- 1 ham-hock bone (about 300gm; see note)
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- Large handful of celery leaves
- 6 thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 birdseye chilli, finely chopped
- 100 gm kapenta or ikan bilis (see note)
- 2 tsp biryani spice mix (see note)
- 500 gm (1 large bunch) English spinach, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
- 250 gm (½ large bunch) silverbeet, washed, dried, stems and leaves coarsely chopped
- 1For ham-hock stock, place ingredients and 1 litre water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low-medium and simmer, topping up water as needed to keep ingredients covered, for around 2 hours until stock is well flavoured. Strain stock through a fine mesh sieve (discard solids) and reserve 125ml stock (freeze remaining stock for up to 3 months or refrigerate for up to 3 days).
- 2Light a hardwood or charcoal barbecue and burn it down to embers (about 1 hour for wood, and 30-40 minutes for charcoal).
- 3For ndolé, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic and chilli until onions are tender (5-6 minutes). Add kapenta and biryani spice mix, cook until fragrant (3-5 minutes), then add silverbeet and spinach, and cook until the liquid from the greens evaporates (5-7 minutes). Deglaze the pan with the ham stock and season to taste. This can also be cooked over a fire in a cast-iron pot.
- 4Brush ribs with oil, then grill until charred and the internal temperature reaches 55C on a meat thermometer for medium-rare (25-30 minutes). Rest covered with foil for 10 minutes, season to taste, carve and serve with ndolé.
Note Ham hock bones may need to be ordered from the butcher. Kapenta, an African version of ikan bilis, are dried Lake Tanganyika sardines and an important staple, providing refrigeration-free protein to people of Africa. Kapenta is available from selected African food stores, or substitute ikan bilis, available from Asian food stores. Biryani spice mix is available online from herbies.com.au.
Drink Suggestion: Ochota Barrels “Botanicals of the Basket Range”, a vermouth-like wine. Drink suggestion by Taras Ochota