Seswaa is the national dish of Botswana, and is a perfect example of unique Botswana Cuisine. Seswaa is a simple meat stew served over thick polenta or “Bogobe” (also called, “Slap-Pap”) – a thick and stiff cornmeal porridge. The meat is boiled with onions and (optional) peppers, until falling-apart tender. That’s all there is to it. To add anything more is frowned upon as an invasive violation.
- 16 oz. stewing beef (chuck roast works well), chopped into 1″ cubes
- 1 large onion, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded, and diced small (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Place the beef, onion, bell pepper (if using) and salt, into a large cooking pot.
- Pour in water to a height of 2″ inches above the meat.
- Turn burner to medium flame, and cook until the meat is soft – about 2-2½ hours should do it. (Note: Add more water, as needed, when it cooks down, just enough to cover the meat during the last 15-20 minutes so it will cook even further down)
- Remove meat from fire and drain; reserve the juices to use for gravy. Remove the bones, if there are any.
- Put the meat into a heavy-duty, clean plastic bag, and place bag on a clean wooden board, or clean flat working surface.
- Pound the meat with a meat mallet or heavy-duty wooden spoon until it is flaky and flattened.
- Put the meat back into the cooking pot and simmer to further reduce the liquid. Add about 1 tablespoon of flour, mixed in well, to further thicken the liquid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve Seswaa with cooked vegetables and Bogobe.
For those who are visual learners, here is a well-done video presentation on how Seswaa is prepared.
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