Asun is a hugely popular dish. I mean what’s not to love about small, tender goat meat cubes, bathed in a fiery pepper sauce and sprinkled with sliced onions? It is a great little sharing dish and this is why so many bars and restaurants have it on their menus. My inspiration for these Mini Asun Tartlets was wanting to up the ante a little. How could we make it a)look better and b)feel more sophisticated?
I have been obsessed with nibbles and finger foods for the last year and a bit. I love the conciseness of them, and the way in which they require you to be creative. They are a different discipline to larger dishes because you have less room to maneuver and so you you’ve just got to nail it. But they also have to be simple, otherwise they loose their charm.
I have made these several times and they are always a hit. They are so great for when you are hosting. Watch out though because they go so fast. If you are a Nigerian in diaspora and have trouble finding goat meat, try using mutton from your butcher instead.
Mini Asun Tartlets
This is a sophisticated spin on a classic Nigerian sharing dish called Asun. Asun is made by tossing stewed goat meat or mutton in a peppery sauce. In this version, I serve it in buttery puff pastry and garnish with fresh oregano.
1 batch Puff Pastry buy or make
1 kg goat meat seasoned, boiled soft and cubed
1 onion sliced
2 tatase or red bell peppers
3 hot scotch bonnet peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
stock cubes to taste
fresh oregano to garnish
The goat meat takes a while to cook so get it out of the way. Wash, season and boil it in a pressure cooker for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Once the goat meat is cooked, drain of the stock and save it in a bowl. For this recipe, cut it into small cubes and shreds.
While the goat meat is cooking, make 1 batch of puff pastry. You can try this simple recipe from BBC Good Food http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2998685/puff-pastry
Roll the pastry out flat and use a glass or cookie cutter to cut out round shapes. Place these rounds carefully into each hole of yor mini cupcake tin, making sure not to tear the pastry. Then place the cut out rounds in the fridge while you get the rest of the filling ready.
Now, it is time to make the peppery sauce. To do this, place half the onion, the scotch bonnets, the tatase and tomato in a blender with a small splash of water and blitz until smooth. Then heat the oil in a frying pan, and pour in the blended ingredients.
When the water has evaporated and the sauce has thickened slightly, season it with salt or a stock cube. Cook for a little while longer, until the sauce is almost dry.
Now add the goat meat to the sauce and mix until all the pieces of meat are covered in sauce. You can add a splash of the goat stock for flavour but you don’t want a wet goat stew otherwise it will seep through the pasty in the next step. Cook for 2 more minutes to allow flavours to meld and then take off the heat to cool slightly.
When the goat and sauce combo is no longer piping hot, you can then spoon it into the pastry cases you made earlier.
Place the tray of filled tartlets into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes at 180*C or until the pastry is puffed up and golden.
Garnish with sliced onions and fresh oregano, and then serve.
Writer – Minjiba has always been fascinated by food. She was that child who was always mooching round the grown ups in the kitchen. Now she’s a grown up who is always mooching round the kitchen, thinking of what to make next and feeding everyone. She excited by everything to do with food, whether that’s eating out or eating in and she enjoys the celebratory atmosphere of enjoying good food with family and friends.
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