For more than five years, my wife Molly has sponsored a child through global aid organization Compassion International. That means she sends money through Compassion each month to benefit the child’s family, corresponds by letter with the child and occasionally sends special gifts via the agency.
Molly’s child, who shares the same birthday in January, lives in the east-central African nation of Rwanda, a country ravaged by war and genocide, even decades after its most well-known time of tragedy. Compassion often shares information about life in Rwanda through its magazine and other materials we receive by mail and online.
In one of Compassion’s magazines, the organization shared a recipe for Rwandan Beef Stew, along with background information that children in Rwanda look forward to times when they can eat roasted goat or beef stew because they don’t often have meat available to eat.
I decided we should enjoy a Rwandan Beef Stew to think about Molly’s sponsored child, her family and all of the nation’s people who experience life so much differently than we do in the United States. We are blessed to be able to eat meat most every day, and we were especially blessed by Compassion sharing this meal with us as a thank you for our gifts to a child in need halfway around the world.
Here’s how you make the Rwandan Beef Stew.
What You Need:
2 pounds stewing beef (you can use a smaller package)
1 chopped onion
3 large green plantains, sliced
2 tablespoons peanut oil (you can use another oil)
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 beef bouillon cube
1 large peeled, de-seeded, coarsely chopped tomato
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
What You Do:
1. Brown the beef and onions in oil using a heavy, large pot over gentle heat.
2. Add plantain slices that have been rubbed or soaked in lemon juice.
3. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and enough water to cover.
5. Keep adding water where necessary, cooking until the meat is tender.
We cooked our stew for almost six hours, and it was delicious! We were amazed how much the plantains tasted just like potatoes after cooking that long! This particular recipe reminded us very much of beef stew we’ve eaten in the Southern United States throughout our lives. It’s amazing how we can find similarities with people and experiences in very different places! All we have to do is open our eyes and try.
Visit compassion.com/sponsor for more information about helping a child in need.