A DNA culinary connection to my African Roots by Michael W. Twitty: author of The Cooking Gene James Beard Award Winner for Best Food Writing and Book of the Year, 2018.

Because of AncestryDNA I was able to trace my ancestry back through West Africa to the people’s of Ghana. An old family story linked us to Ghana but Ancestry contributed to confirming that we had roots on what used to be called The Gold Coast. 32% of my pie chart represents affinities with people living today who are from Ghana. Because of this strong connection through oral history and historical research along with genetic genealogy I was inspired to help bring four other African American chefs with the help of Roots to Glory Tours to Ghana last March on a first ever culinary tour of West Africa. As an author and blogger here at Afroculinaria, I wrote about my journey in The Cooking Gene, now in paperback from HarperCollins. I’d like to share with you a recipe inspired by my visit to Ghana, Domedu. It’s usually made from pork but this is a beef version I hope you will enjoy. I encourage everyone to find out more about their roots and enjoy all the flavors of your heritage.

Ghanaian roasts produce a lovely jus and gravy that is awesome paired with a dark leafy green mixed salad with scallions and bell peppers and sesame and basmati rice, millet, couscous or mashed tropical yam.

Ghanaian Roast/Domedu:

Step 1:

4 pound boneless beef chuck roast.

1 large red onion, washed, peeled and quartered

6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

2 inch knob of ginger, skinned

1 very small fresh hot red pepper

1 ground up Maggi cube or two teaspoons of powdered broth.

1 tsp of seasoned salt of your choice

1 tsp of ground cardamom

1 tsp of coarse ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

Pat roast dry. Cover in tiny slits and set aside. Take all the above seasonings and place in a blender or chopper until liquefied/ well chopped. Place in a dish, spread over roast and marinade several hours to overnight. Turn frequently.

Step 2:

Heat the oven to 300 degrees.

(You’ll need a large oven-friendly (no plastic) Dutch oven.

2 tablespoons of palm or vegetable oil

1 cup of thinly sliced red onion

1 cup of orange, red and yellow bell peppers.

2 large chopped tomatoes or one 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 cups of low sodium vegetable or beef broth

2-3 bay leaves

2-3 sprigs of thyme

Sea salt and black pepper

Worcestershire sauce

In a large Dutch oven take two tablespoons of oil and add onions and bell peppers and sauté on a medium-low heat until soft, fragrant and translucent then add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Add a little liquid from the broth if it starts to brown too much.

Add the remainder of the vegetable or beef broth, a few sprigs of thyme and 2-3 bay leaves. Cook on a low and slow simmer for 15 minutes. Place marinated meat on top of vegetables, cover the top pot with aluminum foil and cover with lid and place in oven for 3.5 hours or until fork tender.

Gently remove the roast. Let it rest in one piece for ten minutes.

Separate the vegetables using a mesh strainer…do not throw them out. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Strain the liquid and separate the fat from the juices. Place the juices and the vegetables in a blender for two minutes. Place in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer and reduce for about ten minutes or a medium heat stirring frequently. Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper and add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to finish.

Serve with fufu or over cooked rice. Serves 4-6 or 2 Ghanaians.

Happy searching!

7 comments on “An AncestryDNA Inspired Dinner-Ghanaian Domedu

  1. Thanks so much for this recipe. I think often of you and your wonderful book, The Cooking Gene, when I am tending my guerilla garden.


  2. Thank you for your work. You are an inspiration!


  3. As an amateur food history blogger who just finished your book, thank you for your amazing work, and for this recipe! (Which I am in the process of making right now.)

    Do you know if the Haitian dish griot is influenced by Ghanaian domedo? It seems like there are similarities in both ingredients and technique.


  4. This looks delicious – I’m going to try to make it in the near future. “Serves 4-6 or 2 Ghanaians”😂


  5. This recipe looks great, and i’m going to search out your book and read it as it sounds fascinating.


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