In Before Times, I spent a lot of time in Africa in the line of duty. In particular, I visited Nigeria and one of the best parts of these trips was the food. In particular, the meat was delicious, cooked well and accompanied by incredible flavour combinations that I wouldn’t usually think of if I was cooking at home.

Now I am in the weird position of not having been on a plane for more than a year, which I must admit I still struggle with. It’s a serious first world pain, I know, not being able to fly off to foreign countries almost every month for work but I really miss it. Obviously, I had to do proper work on these trips, such as attend oil and gas conferences and conduct interviews with serious people, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the socialising, the buffets, the gala dinners, the cocktail parties…

For the foreseeable, I will have to console myself with creating African flavours at home. To this end, I invented a pork glaze that I used on roast gammon. It would work equally well on pork legs, ribs or steaks, as well as chicken or even fish. It’s quick, easy and packs a massive flavour punch – I would never accuse the food in Nigeria of being bland.


Easy Nigerian-style pork glaze


3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons crushed peanuts – I put them into a ziplock bag and beat with a meat tenderising hammer before finishing the job with a mortar and pestle

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons garlic granules or one crushed garlic clove

3 tablespoons tamarind paste

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon groundnut oil or coconut oil

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon ground ginger

Ground chilli to taste – I don’t like to be too prescriptive on chilli because everyone’s mileage varies

125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock


  1. Put all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and combine well. For larger cuts of meat, you may want to double or even triple the quantities. The above quantities are enough for a supermarket gammon.
  2. Cook your meat as usual but set the oven timer so it’s 10 minutes short of the suggested time.
  3. When the timer goes off, smooth the glaze onto the meat in an even layer.
  4. Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it as the high sugar content means it can burn easily. I found 10 minutes was enough time for the glaze to caramelise perfectly on gammon at 190 degrees Celsius.

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