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Elephant Ragout
Calamity Jane

± 2kgsskinned elephant trunk (sliced into 6 cutlets ± 3cm across.)
250gstreaky bacon plus additional
2green peppers (sliced)
2red peppers (sliced)
4sticks of celery (sliced)
6cloves of garlic (peeled and chopped)
2 - 4chillies (de-seeded and chopped)
2x450g tinsof tomatoes or 10 fresh tomatoes (peeled)
1small can of tomato puree
1/4 cuporange concentrate or juice of whole orange
1grated orange rind (fine)

Considering our focus on the elephant, it is appropriate to consider how to cook one. Anybody who has ever tried will know that it's not easy to produce anything that doesn’t have the taste and texture of a DunlopTM truck tyre. The trunk though is different. It is the ‘Chiefs Portion’ in almost all African cultures, and can, in fact form the basis of a meal ‘fit for a king’. Step one in preparing this meal is covered earlier in the issue :- first shoot one large elephant, Loxodonta africana, the rest is given below.

Serves up to six people. Use a cast iron pot if you have one.

  1. Heat the pot until very hot, and add ± 1/2 cup of cooking oil (olive oil is great).
  2. Allow the oil to heat up, and become very hot.
  3. Lightly flour the cutlets and season with pepper.
  4. Lightly brown the trunk "cutlets" very quickly, then place them to one side.
  5. Fry half the onions, celery, peppers, garlic and chillies until golden.
  6. Add the remaining onions, celery, garlic and chillies. Place meat in the pot.
  7. Add tomatoes, orange juice and rind. Season with herbs to taste. (Recommended herbs - basil, thyme, oreganum, mixed herbs).
  8. Add sufficient water/stock or wine to just cover.
  9. Bring back to the boil - slow it down to a very gentle simmer. Leave to cook ± 2 hours. Meat should just be getting tender - check seasoning.
  10. Take off the heat and leave to cool down. Skim off any fat.
  11. Reheat very gently - often best to wash or change the pot before reheating.
Serve with potatoes, rice, pasta or sadza.

Bon Appetit!

African Hunter Vol.5 No.2 April 1999
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