Winter comfort

A fire. Cosy one-pot comfort food. A glass or two of Roodeberg. This is our happy place!

No-fuss, one pot meals enriched with a splash of Roodeberg are easy to prepare and energy efficient. And with Roodeberg’s range of blends from the ever-popular Classic Red and Rosé to the more textured Roodeberg Reserve and Roodeberg 1949, there’s a perfect wine companion for every dish. Well-known food writer Ilse van der Merwe shares a few simple autumn recipe suggestions that allow you time to relax over a leisurely glass of your favourite wine rather than spending hours in the kitchen.

Meatballs in red wine tomato sauce with Roodeberg Classic Red


For the Roodeberg Classic Red Blend, Ilse suggests her crowd-pleasing baked meatballs in a tomato and red wine sauce. Incredibly tender and flavourful, this classic Italian-style meal is a winner with freshly cooked pasta. Adding half a cup of Roodeberg to the sauce enhances its heartiness and umami flavours. Serves four.

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You’ll need: For the meatballs … 1-and-a-half cups soft breadcrumbs; half a cup milk; 500 g lean beef mince; half a finely chopped or coarsely grated onion; 2 cloves finely chopped/grated garlic; 1 XL lightly whisked egg; a handful of finely chopped parsley; half a cup fine grated parmesan cheese; salt and pepper.

For the sauce … 30 ml olive oil; 1 clove finely grated garlic; 760 g tomato passata; 30 ml tomato paste; half a cup red wine; 1 teaspoon sugar; salt and pepper.

For serving … freshly cooked pasta (spaghetti/linguini/tagliatelle); more finely grated parmesan cheese; a few fresh basil leaves.

To make: Prepare the meatballs. Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a large mixing bowl and stir to moisten all over. Add the mince, onion, garlic, egg, parsley and parmesan, season generously with salt and pepper. Mix with a spoon/spatula until just incorporated, then gently shape into large balls using a serving spoon and clean hands (about 10 large or 14 medium). Arrange the meatballs in a casserole dish and set aside while you make the sauce. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C.

Prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and fry the garlic over medium heat for a minute, then add the passata, wine, sugar and season with salt and pepper. Stir, then bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for five minutes, then pour all over the prepared meatballs and bake at 200°C for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot with freshly cooked pasta, topped with grated parmesan and fresh basil.

 

Creamy mushroom & spinach risotto

Roodeberg Classic Rosé is also Ilse’s wine of choice for preparing creamy mushroom & spinach risotto that is best enjoyed with the bold and beautifully textured Roodeberg Reserve. Another comforting one pot meal, this quick and easy vegetarian recipe calls for a dash of cream and melds seamlessly with the soft, silky tannins of the wine. Serves four.

You’ll need: 30 ml butter; 15 ml olive oil; 250g chopped brown mushrooms; salt and pepper, to taste; 1 medium finely chopped onion; 2 cloves finely chopped garlic; 3 sprigs thyme (leaves only, stalks discarded); 1-and-a-half cups risotto rice; half a cup Roodeberg Classic Rosé (or dry white wine); 750 ml vegetable stock; 3 cups roughly chopped baby spinach; half a cup fresh cream; half to 1 cup parmesan cheese.

To make: In a wide heavy-based pot (about 26cm), heat the butter and oil, then fry the mushrooms until golden brown and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside, then turn down the heat to medium-low and add the onions, frying until soft and translucent but not brown. Add the garlic and thyme and fry for another 30 seconds, then add the rice. Stir, toasting the rice for about three to four minutes until lightly brown, then add the wine and stir to loosen any sticky bits on the bottom.

Reduce until the liquid has almost been absorbed completely, then add three-quarters of the fried mushrooms back to the pot as well as the stock, ladle by ladle, stirring in-between and only adding more once the previous liquid has almost been absorbed. Continue until the rice is al dente (tender with a slight bite in the centre – it will take about 10 to 12 minutes), then add the spinach, cream and half the parmesan and stir. Cook for one to two minutes, then remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover, let it stand for a few minutes before ladling into bowls, serving hot with the remaining mushrooms on top and more parmesan.

 

Classic red wine reduction jus

You can’t beat a rich and tangy jus to drizzle over roasts and grilled steak. For her delicious French-style red wine reduction, Ilse recommends the commemorative Roodeberg 1949 for its full bodied texture and flavours of cinnamon, sweet spice and ripe, juicy dark fruit. It is also the perfect wine to enjoy with a roast or juicy steak. This makes about three-quarters of a cup.

You’ll need: 3 tablespoons butter; half a cup finely chopped onion (white/red or shallot); 1 sprig thyme; 1 bay leaf; 180 ml Roodeberg 1949 (dry red wine); 500 ml beef stock.

To make: Add two tablespoons of the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat, then fry the onion for a few minutes until lightly brown. Add the thyme, bay leaf and wine, then bring to a simmer and reduce to half. Add the stock and turn up the heat, cooking and reducing until you are left with about one cup in total. Strain through a sieve, then return to the pot and bring to a slow simmer. Season with salt and pepper and reduce further until you have about three-quarters of a cup.

Remove from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter, stirring until it has melted and you are left with a glossy jus. Serve at once with your favourite cut of meat, or leave to cool and reheat when ready to serve, stirring well.

 

Easy chicken & prawn paella with Roodeberg Classic Rosé

Ilse’s easy, everyday chicken & prawn paella is the perfect choice for Roodeberg Classic Rosé. Prepared in any large deep pan, this simple all in one recipe makes a beautiful centrepiece for your table to wow family and friends. Serves five to six.

You’ll need: 30 ml olive oil; 1 finely chopped onion; 1 diced medium red pepper; 100g sliced chorizo; 10 ml (2 teaspoons) smoked paprika (or regular paprika); 2 cups paella rice (bomba/arborio); 1 liter (4 cups) warm chicken stock; 400 g boneless chicken, sliced into bite size chunks; 250 g prawn tails (peeled or unpeeled); 1 cup frozen peas; a handful chopped Italian parsley; lemon wedges, to serve

To make: In a large deep pan (at least 30cm) over medium heat, add the oil and fry the onion, red pepper and chorizo together until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the paprika and fry for another minute. Pour the rice evenly over the surface of the pan, then add 3 cups of the stock and bring to a simmer. Add and spread the chicken chunks and cook for about 10 minutes or until most (but not all) of the liquid has been absorbed (don’t stir). Add a little more stock, then arrange the prawn tails and peas over the surface.

Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan with a lid or with foil, and cook for another three to four minutes until the prawns are done, the rice is al dente, and most of the liquid has been absorbed. You can have some darkened toasty rice at the bottom – it is a highly prized part of a successful paella. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Serve hot topped with fresh parsley and a few lemon wedges.

Details: For more recipes and wine info, visit roodeberg.com.

Recipes: Ilse van der Merwe – www.thefoodfox.com or @The_FoodFox

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