Lamb shank and oxtail and a bottle of smooth, luscious red. We’re loving winter
SLOW-BRAISED KAROO LAMB SHANK
(Serves 4 – 6)
Warm up with a hearty meal of slow-braised Karoo lamb shank … rich and delicious, cooked until the meat falls off the bone. The recipe was shared by Spier Hotel … it’s winter food at its best. Serve it with a bottle of Spier Creative Block 3. Subtle, perfumed notes of blackcurrant, blackberry, raspberry, pomegranate and mulberry are followed by spicy flavours of black pepper and coriander … it’s a silky, rich mouthful.
30 ml (2 Tblsps) vegetable oil; 4 medium-large lamb shanks, trimmed of excess fat; 1 large white onion, diced; 2 large carrots, peeled & finely chopped; 6 garlic cloves, finely grated; salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste; 500 ml (2 cups) beef stock; 375 ml (1.5 cups) good red wine; 4 large tomatoes, chopped; 30 ml (2 Tblsps) tomato paste; 4 sprigs rosemary; 4 sprigs thyme;
5 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 160 °C. Heat the oil in a large, wide oven-proof pot over medium-high heat. Brown the shanks on all sides, then remove from pot and set aside. Add the onions and carrots to the pot and fry over medium heat until softened, then add garlic and cook for one minute. Return the shanks to the pot and season generously with salt and pepper. Add stock, wine, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and herbs. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pot with a lid. Transfer to the oven and cook for 2 ½ – 3 hours, or until the meat starts falling off the bone.
Remove shanks from pot and set aside. Discard bay leaves and herbs from the sauce and place pot on stove. Simmer sauce over medium heat until thickened to your desired consistency. Add the shanks and serve warm with (optionally) herbed pap and vegetables.
You can order Spier Creative Block 3 online for R179 from shop.spier.co.za
OXTAIL WITH GREEN OLIVES AND ORANGE
Winter is the time to bring out full-bodied reds, best enjoyed by the fireside or with heart-warming comfort food. New Roodeberg Reserve, a blend of the finest wines in the cellar, is the perfect freezing-day food companion … think meaty casseroles, roasts and game dishes. An intense and richly textured wine, its intricate layers of red plum, blueberries, crushed herbs and tobacco leaf with hints of dark chocolate are rounded off by soft, silky tannins. The wine infuses rich flavour when added to hearty winter dishes like this one, from foodie Elmarie Berry.
2,5kg oxtail; olive oil; 2 onions, diced; 2 Tblsps soy sauce; a few sprigs fresh rosemary; 4 bay leaves; 1 glass Roodeberg Reserve; 1 cup beef stock; finely grated rind of 1 orange; 200g pitted green olives; 200g button mushrooms
Preheat oven to 200°C. Heat the olive oil and fry the onion until soft. Spoon it out and add oxtail to the hot pan. Fry until golden brown. Add the cooked onions, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, wine, stock and orange rind. Place in the oven and bake for 3 to 4 hours. Check on it and add extra liquid if necessary. Add the olives and mushrooms and bake for another 1 hour.
Roodeberg Reserve Red 2017 costs around R165 a bottle, and can be found at selected Pick n Pay stores, or ordered from kwvemporium.co.za
CHOCOLATE FONDANT WITH LINDOR
We’re fond of a good Pinotage … the FAT Bastard Pinotage is a great choice. This deep ruby red, medium bodied wine is all lush dark fruit with hints of chocolate and mocha. Perfect to serve with one of our favourite desserts … a rich chocolate fondant. This one, created for FAT Bastard by Sam Linsell, is a wonderful way to end a winter meal.
200g dark chocolate, chopped; 100g salted butter; 1 tsp good quality instant coffee granules or ½ tsp espresso powder; 2 free-range eggs; 2 free-range egg yolks; ½ cup (110g) caster sugar; ¼ cup flour; 4 white or milk chocolate Lindt Lindor balls or 3 x squares from a slab; cocoa for dusting
Preheat your oven to 200°C / 400°F and grease 4 dariole moulds or ramekins ( each with an approx capacity of 250ml / 1 cup). In a small pot melt the butter, coffee and chocolate until smooth. While it’s melting, using an electric beater, whisk the eggs, egg whites and sugar until pale and fluffy – about five minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and flour and briefly mix until well combined. Divide the mixture evenly between the four moulds and lightly press the Lindt Lindor balls/squares into the mixture in the middle. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes on a baking tray until they’ve puffed up and are firm on the top. Gently scrape a knife round the edges to loosen and tip out onto plates to serve hot.
This makes 4 generous fondants, so you could quite easily make 6 to 8 much smaller ones. Just reduce the cooking time down to 12 minutes and halve the quantity of Lindor chocolate you add to the middle.
FAT Bastard Pinotage can be ordered for around R120 a bottle from shop.fatbastardwine.co.za
What was the worst thing about lockdown? Not getting our daily Starbucks fix. Even though we’re now able to pop down to our nearest Starbucks, we’re delighted that Starbucks At Home has just been launched. The same premium, instant coffee in a choice of medium and dark roast coffees we’re used to … as well as a variety of coffee beverages. An add-on to the existing range (we’re already fans of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto by Starbucks capsules), the new range is available in multi-serve tins and single-serve sachets. You’ll find them at stores including Checkers, Pick n Pay, Spar and Makro as well as convenient online platforms such as Pick n Pay Online and Takealot.
EVERY WINE TELLS A STORY
Every wine tells a story. This is the motto at Muratie, the historic estate tucked away in the beautiful Knorhoek Valley north of Stellenbosch. Established in 1685, Muratie is one of the oldest farms in South Africa, rich in history and heritage. And with this age comes a myriad fascinating tales of the many extraordinary characters from the farm’s colourful past, which have been proudly commemorated in the naming and labelling of Muratie’s wines. All the Muratie wines have been named after these remarkable characters, each wine with its own enchanting story described on the back label. Buy the wines, read the labels, enjoy the history.
The Muratie Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon Family Reserve 2016 (named after the great Martin Melck who was a major force in the wine and brandy industry for more than 20 years) boasts four-and-a-half stars in Platter’s 2020 SA Wine Guide. It has an intense ruby-red colour in the glass, opulent and polished, with the blackberries, currants and plums almost crème de cassis-like in their intensity. Even after the last sip, this red wine, with its lingering finish, will be remembered for a long time. It costs R460 a bottle and is only available at the estate or online.
Muratie Martin Melck Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 is classically styled and restrained. Aged for 20 months in French oak, it’s a full-bodied wine and will reward cellaring for at least another six years. Also a four-and-a-half star in the Platter 2020 guide, it costs R200 a bottle, and you’ll find it at wine merchants or online.
Muratie Ronnie Melck Syrah Family Selection 2015/2016 (named after Ronnie Melck who, when asked to single out his favourite wine, always answered, ‘the wine in my glass’, which was often a Shiraz). A robust statement wine produced in extremely limited quantities (only 2200 bottles, each individually numbered), it’s described as expressive, intriguing and unharnessed. Rich concentrated blackberries, red currants and cherries burst onto the palate, while hints of black olive, pepper, smoke and bacon add savoury appeal. It’s only available at the estate or online for R530 a bottle.
Ronnie described Muratie wines as ‘humble, honest and full of integrity, with quality being the only answer’, and the Muratie Ronnie Melck Shiraz 2016 certainly delivers on all those fronts. It’s an intensely red wine with a violet edge, offering rich floral and berry notes with hints of green peppercorns and gamey nuances, supported by a sweet spiciness with a vanilla, crème brûlée aftertaste. You can buy it at wine boutiques or online for R190 a bottle. Details: muratie.co.za/wine/buy-wine
Nothing beats finding that perfect Cabernet Sauvignon. One that’s structured and accessible enough to drink on its own, but also pairs perfectly with a weekend pizza, a posh pasta dish, or a good old braai.
Hello De Krans Basket Press Cabernet Sauvignon 2018. You’ll smell cassis, ripe berries, fresh prunes and cedar spice; you’ll taste soft plums, mulberries and dark cherries. Really well priced, it costs around R76 a bottle and you’ll find it at your local wine store or order online – dekrans.co.za.
Compiled by: KYM ARGO