We can’t think of anything more comforting than a soft, braised goat shoulder, especially one of the delicious, grass-fed ones we raise at Shepherd Song Farm. Here, Chef Benedicto Marinas shares his recipe with fonio and moringa leaves: two special West African ingredients.
West Africa has been cultivating fonio for thousands of years but very few people outside the region know this–or that it even exists. In terms of appearance and texture, fonio is a cross between couscous and quinoa.
For flavor, fonio is quite similar to the nuttiness of millet. And in terms of nutrition, fonio is vega, gluten-free, packed with vitamins and amino acids and has a whopping 12 grams of protein per cup. Combined with moringa it is a nutrient powerhouse.
This recipe that uses both fonio and moringa! Moringa leaves are also packed with nutrients, including B vitamins, vitamin C, provitamin A as betacarotene, vitamin K, and manganese. Add goat or lamb shoulder and serve a nutritional West African meal to family and friends. If needed, moringa can be substituted with other dark greens like but it is worth the effort to search it out in health and ethnic stores or online. Fresh moringa leaves can often be found in Asian markets.
This recipe is by chef Benedicto Marinas. Benedicto is a chef from the Philippines and worked professionally in Manila, Atlanta, New Orleans, France, Australia, West Africa and currently in New York. He will go to great lengths to find the perfect meal, stopping along the way to help those who struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition. He has just completed a book on utilizing moringa to improve diets in Mali, West Africa.
- Boil goat leg with salt, herb, black pepper and chopped onions in a medium pot until tender. Approximately 2 hours.
- Pour one cup of the goat broth into a saucepan. Stir in fonio and salt. Mix well.
- Reduce heat; simmer covered until broth has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
- Fluff fonio with a fork. Remove the sauce pan from the heat.
- Stir in the fresh moringa leaves gently. Cover for no more than a minute. The steam of the fonio will cook the leaves. If cooked to long they may become bitter.
- Serve the goat leg on a platter surrounded by steaming hot fonio.