Cowboy Potatoes by Lake Tanganyika

Today (5 Feb. 2012) in the Sunday International Buffet, Chef Richard is making a very popular dish that I’ve blogged about before – Karen Resta’s Cowboy Potatoes!  Here is that blog:

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A couple of days ago Chef Richard, at the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika, prepared a buffet that featured several American dishes, including Spicy Meatloaf, Rocky Mountain rice and peas, and – the center piece – Karen Resta’s Cowboy Potatoes!

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The Cowboy Potatoes were inspired by a recipe that Karen Resta included in her blog entry entitledWhat Small Potatoes We All Are, Compared With What We Might Be!’ – and it is a great read.

In Karen’s blog, the recipe is described as ‘Hungarian’ – not Cowboy – but following a bit of back-and-forth it became ‘Cowboy’ instead of ‘Hungarian’ Potatoes. First, because the recipe called for paprika, which here in Burundi is awful. Second, since the hotel buys whole carcasses of beef and other meat – sort of ‘cowboy-style’ – and third, because the beef broth called for in the recipe was made from ‘fresh’ bones and leavings – down-to-earth Cowboy-style.


  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. oil
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb. floury potatoes, peeled, 1/4″ sliced rounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beef stock to cover
  • Parsley, finely chopped

Action Plan

  • Sauté onion in butter and oil over medium heat till soft – add paprika and tomato, cook till liquid evaporates.
  • Add potatoes, stir to blend. Cover just barely with beef broth, bring to simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or till potatoes are tender. If you have extra broth that has not been absorbed by the potatoes, raise heat to high and with cover off pan allow it to evaporate.
  • Toss a bit of parsley over it all and serve.

Note from Karen on the recipe:

Diana, it makes sense as ‘Hungarian’ only because of the paprika, which can be increased to taste. I often add more. Also, tell Richard that the tomato can be replaced by a touch of tomato paste in a pinch and also that diced green peppers make a nice addition too if there are extra ones around. Ground beef or sausage can also be added (browned ahead of time of course) if there is someone eating this as a main course who needs to see meat in the dish because if it is not there they refuse to believe that they are actually being fed. ;)

Richard insisted that the dish be named in honor of Karen, since she had put it in her blog.

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Half a beef, fresh from the abattoir

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Preparing beef broth for the recipe

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Preparing other good things

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Chef Richard and Sous-chef Calvert (left) showing off Karen Resta’s Cowboy Potatoes in the Buffet.

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The main buffet

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The salad bar

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Dessert table

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Happy diners

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Thanks, Karen! (Chef Richard in his Christmas hat…)

A view of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, from 'our' beach.  The white building above Bujumbura is the old Jesuit university.  To go upcountry, the road zig-zags up the quite steep hills.  Picture source: wikipedia

A view of Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, from ‘our’ beach. The white building above Bujumbura is the old Jesuit university. To go upcountry, the road zigzags up the quite steep hills. Picture source: Wikipedia


About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Africa-Central, Burundi, Cuisine, Food, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2, Living here, Recipes, USA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cowboy Potatoes by Lake Tanganyika

  1. Paula Lamphere says:

    Loved reading your blog and would like to receive others.Thank you


  2. Happy diners, happy chef and lovely food!
    Salute, Diana!


  3. Karen says:

    The menu looks enticing and the kitchen looks looks like a wonderful place to work!!!

    Richard, I will return the favor someday. 🙂

    I feel so famous! 😀


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