Nyama choma,one of kenya’s most adored and devoured food is an age old tradition that has stood the test of time where meat is directly grilled over open flames,the result is a charred outside an a moist,juicy and cooked inside.
Amongst ourselves there’s always that one person who is left in charge of the grill whenever a barbecue is going down.That person in our family has always been me and thus when I travelled back home to the village over December,I got busy on the grill with delicacies such as my Spicy Beef Mshkaki or my Mbuzi Choma to mention But a few that I keep sharing with you.
We all unanimously agree that Goat choma is the king of all choma but Beef choma comes a close second.Thats my personal opinion and it’s totally up to personal preferences.
I had a sizable piece of beef left over from my Beef Mshkaki and settled on the old Nyama Choma.I had quite a lot of meat and decided my Nyama Choma this time round is going to be different.
The cuts were lean and a bit tough,I thus went for a quick marinade that had rosemary and pineapple not only to flavor my beef,but tenderize it at the same time.
I have had some good Beef choma over the years and this one allow me to say is up there with the best.
Crisp charred outside with a tender moist pink inside just how I would imagine it.
The meat was perfectly juicy and one really doesn’t get to taste the pineapple in the beef.The beef turned out amazingly tender, especially cooked to an almost medium well.
The marinade really does wonders elevating the flavor profiles of the beef as it tenderizes.You can use this marinade on any cut of your beef choma.2 hours is enough to get the beef marinated and ready for the grill.
I went for locally sourced ingredients in my marinade.Everything was fresh off my mothers kitchen garden,well apart from the soy sauce.
The garlic and the rosemary really combine well here and are the standout flavors from my Beef choma.
The pineapple tenderizes the choma as well as ensuring it remains moist as it grills.
Everything is chopped up and mixed in a bowl.
The soy sauce is optional but I love the umami flavor and saltines in brings to the marinade.
Pour your marinade over the piece of beef.Cover with cling film and marinate in your refrigerator.
The pineapple juice has enzymes that helps intenderizing meats.This only applies for fresh pineapples as canned ones won’t have the same effect.
Always try and take off the silver linings on your beef before roasting to avoid them curling and toughening up.
garlic and rosemary did me justice as the aromatics in my marinade.feel free to add in some ginger,lemongrass,thyme and other herby aromatics you may fancy.
Everything is mixed up in the marinade including some oil as well.This is to help with keeping the meat moist as the cuts I was working with were lean and a bit tough.
Massage your beef with the marinade making sure in enters the nooks and crannies of the beef.
For beef as lean as mine.You don’t need lots of time.All you need is a quick sear and get the insides up to temperature.Time and temperatures for grilling choma will always depend on the cut of beef as well as the size of the cut.
make sure your grill is clean and doesn’t have remnants from the previous barbecue as this will blacken the beef rather unnaturally.
Always get the grill going placing meat on the grill when it’s hot enough.Also avoid flipping your beef before it completely detaches itself from the grill.
Never discard the marinade but rather use it as a basting sauce on your Nyama Choma.
- 3/4 kg Beef
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Remove the silver membrane alongside any excess fats from your Beef.
- Mix in all your marinade ingredients in one bowl.The garlic and rosemary chopped up so as to release the flavors and oils.
- Pour your marinade over your meat massaging the beef ensuring all areas of the beef are covered by the marinade.
- Cover and let this marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes but not more than 2 hours.
- Grill over hot coals until done.Time depends na the size of your beef.I had mine sliced into almost 3 inch thick slabs and around 5 minutes each side was enough to get me a nice and pink inside that’s still moist and juicy.If you prefer yours well done let it go for longer until it forms up.
- Make a brush out of rosemary sprigs and using the remaining marinade baste the Choma from time to time as it cooks.
- When your choma is done it’s advisable to let them rest for a few minutes before carving.