In my recent trip to the Maasai Mara, I learnt a different way of preparing meat, which Chef Letati Burat of Rekero Camp by Asilia taught me. We made beef medallion, which by definition it’s just small round steaks. Meat and pastries are some of the things Chef Burat loves to prepare, and his passion for cooking oozes out in everything, even in how he speaks about food.
He has been cooking for ten years, something anyone would struggle to believe, owing to his youthful looks. Burat observed his friends working as chefs in major hotels, and that’s how his interest was born. He began learning and experimenting till he perfected his skills.
Rekero receives guests from all over the world, which makes them flexible in the type of dishes they prepare. The encouragement he gets when guests comment on how tasty his food is always motivates him to learn more recipes and get better at his work. Favourite herbs and spices that he cooks with often are pepper, paprika, chilli, coriander and of course salt. My self, on the other hand, can pass on chilli any time, as I find it exhausting having to drink water each time I take a bite to cool the heat.
Beef medallion is normally served with two sauces; the red wine sauce and the béarnaise sauce, which is made from spices (coriander, bay leaves, and red and white vinegar), butter, eggs, and red wine. The meat is marinated in spices for three to four hours to add juiciness. The salt mixed with herbs makes the meat tenderer, hence tastier. I also learn that it’s best to cook when the oven or pan is hot, as the meat will drip if these are not at the right temperature, which will destroy its taste.
I like the set-up at this camp; as Chef Burat prepares the meat, guests are in the dining area chatting while they gulp their starters. It’s a warm environment, more like a family, where everyone shares on their life experiences and how their day was, whether they managed to see the animals they hoped for during the game drive and how they find the place so far. Most of them love their meat medium-done, as that retains most nutrients.