Steelpan and Frying Pans
August is time for Caribbean Carnival, or Caribana as many people still call it. But you know what? Every month here at Sanagan’s is Caribana month thanks to our Caribbean-Canadian customers who include us on their shopping list when preparing the traditional dishes enjoyed throughout the year but especially during Caribana. Here are a few popular dishes for which we’re often asked to provide the meaty foundations. If these favourites aren’t already in your repertoire, maybe this list will serve as inspiration the next you’re looking to bring some tropical flavours to the table. And, as a business in Kensington Market discussing Caribbean Carnival, it would be an oversight not to acknowledge the historic Caribbean presence in the neighbourhood that continues to thrive with businesses such as Caribbean Corner, Tribal, The Jerk Spot, Rasta Pasta, Genesis One and We Are Radar. If you doubt the Islands’ influence on the Market, come help me close the Kensington shop some night. As we lock the front door you will hear the sounds of U-Roy, Big Youth and Dennis Brown echoing out across the intersection of Baldwin and Kensington and beyond. OXTAIL STEW Oxtail is the traditional name for this cut that would be more accurately called cow tail. An ox is just a cow or a bull that’s used for farm work instead of eating or milking. To the best of my knowledge, none of our beef is ever hitched up to anything except extreme tastiness. Our oxtail, like all the rest of our beef, is from small Ontario, family-owned farms and can be cut to order or we’ll just grab whatever you need right out of the window. Stew that up in water or stock with garlic, carrots, green onions, beans and any number of personal variations and you’ll be hauling a lot of Island goodness. Check out Peter's recipe for it here. GOAT CURRY We get a limited supply of our Ontario-raised goat every other week from Beverly Creek farms, so please call ahead. It’s available as leg, shoulder and rib cuts, all suitable for stewing. Scotch bonnet, curry leaves, onion, carrot and curry powder (prepared or homemade) will get your goat (curry). STEW PEAS Stew beef, salt beef or salted pig tails (not available at Sanagan’s), red peas (kidney beans), coconut milk, and Scotch bonnet peppers are the starting points to this classic. If you can’t find salt beef or salted pig tails, a smoked ham hock is a great cheat-substitute. But don’t forget the spinners (dumplings). COW FOOT SOUP You won’t see cow feet in our display case. Just ask a meat hawker and we’ll retreat to Antarctica, otherwise known as the basement freezer, to rustle up some hooves for you. After that you’ll be adding some combination of pumpkin, carrots or okra, lime juice and pimento berries (allspice) to the big pot. As of press time, I can’t confirm if cow foot soup contains any of its purported aphrodisiacal qualities but it will embody all the protein goodness you can obtain from long-simmered beef bones. JERK CHICKEN You’re secret’s safe with us. “Oh, I’ve been working on this for days. I put in the Scotch bonnet, green onions, allspice, clove, cinnamon and a few other, ah, secret ingredients. Oh, and you have to use the best chicken. You know I love to make it for you”. We sell marinated drums, thighs and discretion; you can rely on Sanagan’s for your jerk chicken reputation.
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