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Friday, January 13, 2012

AZANEGRO WITH SLAVES' STEW FROM THE ALHAMBRA

“Señora Principal" with her black slave
Artist: Vicente Alban
Museo de América, Madrid
Photo from: sftrajan

a slave from the Congo. During Muslim occupation the Alhambra was staffed with many slaves from Aghmat, on the Saharan caravan route in Morocco, near Ghana. Reputedly these people were weak because they only ate fish but when their diet was changed to include bread they became more energetic. This is a curious point as it concurs with monastic culture, which regarded bread physically and psychologically fortifying. See pan. [Benavides–Barajas Alhambra. 1999:138-139; and Castro. Alimentación. 1996:121]

SLAVES' STEW ADAPTED FROM BENAVIDES-BARAJAS GUISO PARA ESCLAVOS, ALHAMBRA p 139
According to Benavides-Barajas this was a special recipe prepared for slaves to eat in the Alhambra
For 4 persons

Stew Meat Browning
Photo by: tsuacctnt
Ingredients

¼ c olive oil
1 lb meat and entrails cut into chunks
1 onion
1 tbsp fennel
1 tsp cilantro
1 bunch rue
1 garlic clove mashed
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
salt to taste

Preparation

Heat a pot. Add olive oil. When hot, add the meat to seal in the juices and brown the meat. Seal all sides. When browned, cover with water. Add the entrails, onion, fennel, cilantro and rue. Bring to a boil. Reduce to moderate heat boil gently until the meat starts to fall apart. Add garlic, pepper and salt to taste.  Serve over rice.

Variations included meatballs or intestines filled with bread and egg.

Within the Alhambra there was a slave class system. The more important the slave, the better he was fed.  A prize slave received the liver, for example, while a less important slave received part of the bread and egg sausage. The darker the skin of the slave the more prestige he had. The Arabs in Al-Andalus introduced caraway to the peninsula and applied caraway water to the skin of their black slaves to give it gold tonalities, see alcaravea.

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