Grilled Goat Illegal Zebra Barbecued Meat Isn't Pork Beef Chicken

We’re all more or less familiar with the concept of barbecue – at least in the western world. We get steak, pork and chicken, marinade and season them then dump them on the grill for 20 minutes or so. Alternatively, in the age of the vegetarian, we may roast up a few peppers, soya burgers and delicious husks of sweet corn.

So, it’d come as something of a shock to your average barbecue goer to be confronted with a slice of goats meat. Yet, this isn’t just a tradition in Kenya, it’s an absolute treat.

Barbecued goat is in fact the meal of celebrations. Few birthdays or graduations pass in Nairobi without the pleasures of sampling nyama choma (roasted meat). If you’re really lucky you may happen upon a plate of grilled zebra (though this is officially illegal) or even wildebeest (which isn’t illegal).

The goat is usually a kid and the whole of the animal finds its way towards the barbecue. It is then eaten with a rolled up ball of ugali (similar to polenta) and together the meat and ugali are dipped in a spicy tomato sauce.

As one local resident told Minnesota Public Radio: “So anytime there’s nyama choma everyone’s happy, I guess it’s like barbecue but you don’t barbecue for yourself, you call some friends, family over. It’s not something you do on your own. It’s considered to be a communal thing.”

barbecue chop

In a certain tribe in Nairobi if the bridegroom to be doesn’t manage to slice a roasted goat shoulder clean right through then he is considered bad husband material and the wedding in danger of being called off.

Although it’s regarded as a delight and popular everywhere in Kenya, only the wealthy can afford to eat goat on a regular basis. And because they do eat so much of it, they are prone to developing gout.

“Now that we’re living in modern times, people want to have meat as much as they can. It’s something very desirable, but it’s not that affordable,” added the resident. “It is suitably called ‘the rich man’s disease’ so it’s not that common.”

And talking of unusual foods to grill, here’s a rather tasty recipe for lettuce and chives (with lots of yummy butter and mayonnaise thrown in):

To make this you’ll need:

  • 4 large heads butter lettuce, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • salt

Once you have all your ingredients together whisk together the crème fraiche, mayonnaise, buttermilk and chives in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and some salt.

Next, get out the grill and light so that it’s hot enough for the lettuce to cook on a medium heat. Put some oil on the pan and grill the lettuce for a couple of minutes until it’s crispy. Take it off the grill and drizzle with that lovely dressing you made earlier. Add salt to taste and enjoy!

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