Palaver Sauce

"Typically, Palaver Sauce includes fresh beef, smoked pork or fish, and dark green leaves. In West Africa, these leaves might be "platto", "bologi," or bitter leaf. A good substitute is spinach. African natives coined "palaver" in the 19th century when European traders would parley or barter for goods. From "Classic International Recipes".**Although I rarely post recipes without trying them, in this case I did. I decided to make this today, and would like to suggest the following: I had 1 lb of stew meat, and 1 smoked pork hock was plenty...the smokey flavor was good with that, so I have reduced the pork hocks to 2 instead of 3. I used spinach, but really feel this could use a stronger green, like collards or kale. I'm adding this to the ingredient list. I've also added some garlic. I've tried to stay true to the African recipe, and feel I have done so..just made a few improvements. Add finishing salt if needed....depends on your pork hock and how salty it is!**"
photo by breezermom photo by breezermom
photo by breezermom
photo by breezermom photo by breezermom
Ready In:
1hr 45mins


  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 smoked pork hocks (only use one if it is large! Also, you could substitute some really great smoked bacon or salt pork )
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lbs fresh spinach, torn into pieces (if you can find platto or bologi, use that...I recommend that if you can't find platto or bologi, th)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon gingerroot, grated (may use 1 tsp ground ginger)
  • 1 -2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
  • hot cooked rice (optional)
  • finishing salt, to taste


  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine beef, pork hocks, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover; simmer about 50 minutes, or until the beef is just tender.
  • Remove pork hocks; cool slightly. Cut meat from the bones; discard the bones and return the meat to the Dutch oven.
  • In a large covered saucepan simmer the greens in a small amount of water for 5 minutes; drain well.
  • In a large skillet, cook onions, garlic, tomatoes, gingerroot, and ground red pepper in hot oil until the onion is tender but not brown.
  • Stir the onion mixture, drained spinach, and chopped eggs into the meat mixture. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • If desired, serve over hot cooked rice in soup bowls.

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