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Festive Feasting with Pork 360: 8-Hour Pork Shoulder

7 Dec

The ultimate 80-hour spiced pork shoulder, falling from the bone, ready to feed a festive crowd (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

The ultimate 8-hour spiced pork shoulder, falling from the bone, ready to feed a festive crowd (photography by Tasha Seccombe).

Once or twice a year, when we gather friends and family for a really big festive occasion, I choose a special, huge cut of meat to bring to the table as a whole slow-roasted centre piece. Pork shoulder wins my vote every single time, because it’s inexpensive, it’s succulent and it cooks to a tenderness that cannot be replaced by boneless smoked gammon or a whole leg.

I had the privilege of recently developing 6 new recipes in collaboration with Pork 360 (this one’s number 3). It’s a quality assurance and traceability certification – a guarantee to both the consumer and retailing sector that the producer has a consistent production process that complies with minimum standards and ensures high-quality pork. The Pork 360 projects takes place under the guidance of the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO). Watch their video for more info.

In a nutshell: it’s pork you can trust!

I bought the meat (and other ingredients) from my friendly butcher at Food Lover’s Market. You can find the most beautiful, fresh, whole pork shoulders, necks, bellies and legs – great choices when entertaining a large crowd. They also have great spare ribs, chops and festive gammons.

For this recipe, you can start the process in the morning if you plan on serving it for dinner, or just before you go to bed when you plan on serving it for lunch. All you need is an oven and a large roasting tray with foil. Rub all over with your spices, add some aromatics like onions, garlic and sage, and top up the tray with some sparkling apple juice or apple cider. After 8 hours at 120 C you will find magic in your tray: “doeksak”, as we say in Afrikaans. Saucy. Moist. Falling from the bone.

The leftovers will reward you with the ultimate pulled pork buns (sloppy as hell) the next day. The cooked meat freezes exceptionally well in the pan juices, so don’t be afraid of choosing a bigger cut than you actually need.

Ingredients: (serves 10-12)

  • 4,5-5 kg whole pork shoulder (bone-in)
  • 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 ml salt flakes
  • 10 ml freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 ml smoked paprika
  • 30 ml fennel seeds
  • 10 ml dried chilli flakes
  • 3 onions, peeled & quartered
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • about 12 sage leaves
  • 500 ml Appletizer or apple cider
  • 30 ml butter
  • 30 ml flour
  • finely grated lemon rind, for serving (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 120 C.
  2. Carefully remove the skin from the shoulder using a sharp, small knife. Set the skin aside to make crackling later. Rub all over with olive oil, then place in a large roasting tray.
  3. Mix the salt, pepper, paprika, fennel, chilli together, then rub it all over the pork. Arrange the onions, garlic and sage all around the pork, then pour the apple juice/cider into the tray. Cover with foil, the place in the oven. Roast for 8 hours.
  4. To make gravy: Heat the butter in a small saucepan. When melted, add the flour and stir to create a roux. Carefully pour most (not all, but around 500-750 ml) of the pan juices into the sauce pan, stirring well to create a thickened smooth gravy. Season well with salt & pepper.
  5. Serve hot with sides of roasted potatoes or pan-fried spinach or caramelized sweet potato and a crisp green salad.

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A Portuguese Summer Feast with Poetry Stores

29 Nov

Portuguese feast

Piri-piri chicken, roasted sweet potato salad and fig ice cream from the book “My Portuguese Feast” by Mimi Jardim (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

portuguese-feastOne of the most beautiful recipe books on the shelves this festive season is Mimi Jardim’s My Portuguese Feast – Recipes From The Heart, available from Poetry stores. Mimi is a living legend when it comes to Portuguese cooking in SA: she has run her own cooking school for over 50 years and is also a representative of the Nando’s restaurant chain. Her book is a tribute to her years of cooking, teaching, loving, exploring and sharing. “It highlights the flavours and tastes of Portuguese food and showcases the way the Portuguese cook – with their hearts and their souls, and not always in exact proportions!”

Here is a splendid Portuguese summer feast out of Mimi’s book, complete with the most beautiful, brand new Portuguese homeware available from Poetry stores. You will agree that the tableware and linen in the photographs are some of the most beautiful ranges that Poetry has ever stocked and a must for your festive table this season. Happy cooking!

Roasted sweet potato salad

Roasted sweet potato salad with goats cheese and pomegranate seeds (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Roasted sweet potato salad (serves 4)

  • 150 g whole blanched almonds
  • 125 ml olive oil
  • coarse salt
  • 1 kg sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 125 ml orange juice
  • salt & pepper
  • about 100 g baby spinach
  • about 100 g rocket
  • 250 g goats cheese
  • 250 ml pomegranate seeds
  • orange zest, to garnish

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the almonds in a roasting pan and drizzle with some of the olive oil and coarse salt. Roast for 5 minutes, turning then2-3 times. Remove from the oven and drain the almonds on paper towel. Reduce oven temp to 180 C. Place the sweet potato in a baking dish, add the red onions, garlic, cinnamon and orange juice and drizzle with a little more of the olive oil. Season to taste and salt and pepper and mix well. Bake for about 40 minutes, stirring twice. Line a salad bowl with baby spinach and rocket. Top with roasted sweet potatoes and pour over any juices from the baking dish. Crumble over the cheese, sprinkle with the roasted almonds and garnish with pomegranate jewels. Drizzle with the last of the olive oil, sprinkle with orange zest and serve.

Portuguese Feast chicken

Raymond’s Piri-piri chicken (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Raymond’s Travelling Piri-Piri Chicken (serves 4-6)

  • 1 medium-sized (1-1,2kg) chicken
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 100 G soft butter
  • whole piri-piri chillies, crushed (use 3-5 for medium and 5-10 for hot)
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 ml paprika
  • 12,5 ml olive oil
  • sprigs rosemay and thyme tied together to form a brush

For the sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 20 ml butter (plus 12,5 ml olive oil, optional)
  • piri-piri chillies (or peri-peri sauce) to taste
  • juice of hal a lemon
  • 5 ml chopped parsley

Method:

Rinse and dry the chicken and spatchcock it (cut open through the back and flatten it). Cut slashes into the flesh of the thick parts of the chicken. Make a paste of the remaining ingredients (other than the rosemary and thyme and the sauce ingredients) and rub it over the inside and outside of the chicken. Allow to marinate for 2 hours. Grill of braai the chicken, turning regularly and using the rosemary and thyme brush to baste it with the marinade/paste every time it is turned. Serve with the sauce.

To make the sauce, fry the garlic cloves in the butter. Add the piri-piri chillies or sauce, lemon juice and parsley. Remove the garlic and serve.

Portuguese Feast ice cream

Port, peri-peri & fig ice cream loaf cake with fresh figs and almond slivers (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Peri-Peri, Port & Fig Ice Cream (serves 6-8)

  • 10 moist dried figs
  • 40 g almonds, toasted
  • 60 ml honey, plus extra to garnish
  • 50 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 20 ml port
  • 15 ml Nando’s Hot Peri-Peri Sauce
  • 1 x 2 liter tub soft vanilla ice cream
  • 100 ml chocolate morsels or grated chocolate
  • toasted flaked almonds, to serve
  • ground cinnamon, to serve

Method:

Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and line with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer while you prepare the mixture. Pulse figs and almonds in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Dissolve the honey in the lemon juice, then add the port, peri-peri sauce, figs and almonds. Fold into the ice cream, working quickly so that it doesn’t melt. Fold into the chocolate, pour the mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 24 hours. Unmould the dessert onto a serving platter. Drizzle it with honey and sprinkle with almonds and cinnamon. Serve immediately.

Get Mimi Jardim’s My Portuguese Feast – Recipes From The Heart, available online from Poetry stores at R385.

All homeware, linen, cutlery, glassware and wooden boards available from Poetry Stores.

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Summer Feasting with Pork 360: BBQ pulled pork wraps with slaw, avo & sour cream

28 Nov

Easy BBQ pulled pork tortillas with sour cream, red cabbage slaw, avo and fresh coriander. So delicious! (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Easy BBQ pulled pork tortillas with sour cream, red cabbage slaw, avo and fresh coriander. So delicious! (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I had the privilege of recently developing 6 new recipes with my favourite type of meat: pork. As you might have seen, there’s a new stamp on some pork products in your favourite butcheries: Pork 360. It’s a quality assurance and traceability certification – a guarantee to both the consumer and retailing sector that the producer has a consistent production process that complies with minimum standards and ensures high-quality pork. The Pork 360 projects takes place under the guidance of the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO). Watch their video for more info.

In a nutshell: it’s pork you can trust!

Over the next couple of weeks you can expect to see six tasty, easy, mouthwatering recipes for summer feasting, festive feasting and fresh feasting. It was a huge pleasure to cook with such great quality pork. I bought the meat (and other ingredients) from my friendly butcher at Food Lover’s Market. You can find the most beautiful, fresh, whole pork shoulders, necks, bellies and legs – great choices when entertaining a large crowd. They also have great spare ribs, chops and festive gammons.

My first recipe stems from one of my favourite street food classics: BBQ pulled pork. I’ve chosen a whole pork neck, bone-in – it is a lean and tender cut of meat that cooks to perfection for flaking purposes. Serve the saucy meat on toasted flour tortillas with avocado, red slaw, sour cream and lots of coriander. The best meal for a hot summer’s evening!

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 2,5 kg pork neck, bone-in
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 250 ml BBQ sauce / spare rib sauce
  • 250 ml water
  • 6 large flour tortillas, toasted in a hot, dry pan
  • 2 ripe avocados, roughly chopped
  • 250 ml sour cream
  • 3 cups red cabbage slaw (shredded slaw mixed with mayo & a squirt of lemon juice)
  • a bunch of fresh coriander
  • fresh lemon wedges, to serve

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  2. Place the pork in a medium size roasting tray. Drizzle with oil, season generously with salt & pepper, then pour the BBQ sauce all over. Pour the water in the bottom of the tray, then cover with foil and roast for 3 hours.
  3. Remove the pork from the oven and use 2 forks to roughly shred the meat into strands. Remove any bones, then stir the meat to cover all over with the pan sauce.
  4. Serve hot on toasted flour tortillas with extra avo, sour cream, red cabbage slaw, fresh coriander and a squirt of lemon juice.

Tip: Add some freshly chopped chillies or jalapenos if you like it spicy!

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Best ever rare roast beef sandwich with mustard & aioli

18 May

Beef sandwichI’ve shared my favourite bread recipe of 2015 a few months ago, and this is a post to show you one of the best ways to enjoy it.

We had this sandwich on the menu at the demo KITCHEN last year and everybody loved it. We called it “The Bull” – a meaty, feisty sandwich with a strong mustard kick.

If you’re too lazy to bake, just use a good quality store-bought ciabatta or panini instead. And if you’re even more lazy, skip the roasting of the beef and just use a few slices of good quality pastrami (because sometimes we need shortcuts in life).

For the rare roast beef: (serves 6)

  • 30 ml olive oil
  • about 1 kg lean beef roast (silverside works well)
  • salt & black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180 C. In an iron skillet on the stove top, heat the oil over high heat. Sear the roast on all sides to get good colour, about 10 minutes in total. Season well with salt & pepper while searing. Place in the oven and roast for about 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Use a very sharp knife to cut the meat into thin slivers, then set aside (cut it as thin as you can).

For the aioli:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 45 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • about 250 ml canola oil

Place the yolks, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt & pepper in a food processor and mix well. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream through the feeding tube, creating a thick emulsion. When all the oil is incorporated, check and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Set aside.

For the sandwiches:

  • 6 paninis or small ciabattas (see the recipe for Scott’s bread)
  • aioli, for spreading
  • fresh lettuce leaves
  • sliced tomato (optional)
  • slices of rare roast beef
  • whole grain mustard, for topping (or a mixture of whole grain and Dijon)
  • salt & pepper

To assemble, start by slicing your paninis open horizontally, then spread generously with aioli. Top with lettuce leaves, tomato (optionally), slices of beef and then a generous drizzle of whole grain mustard. Season with salt & pepper, then place the top half of the panini in place. Enjoy!

Note: If you’re feeling luxurious, replace the silverside roast with a whole beef fillet. Roast it in the same way as above, or according to your taste and the size of the fillet.

Credits:

Recipe, food preparation, food styling & text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography, food styling & prop styling: Tasha Seccombe

This post has also been featured on The Pretty Blog.

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Quick braaied lamb shawarmas

14 Jan

Braaied lamb chops make the ultimate shawarma topping.

Braaied lamb chops make the ultimate shawarma topping (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Whenever I go to the Stellenbosch Slowmarket, I order a lamb shawarma for lunch. The guys at this stall make seriously awesome shawarmas, dripping with juicy marinated meat and tahini, their pitas stuffed with cucumber and red onion.

I don’t have a fabulous upright skewered shawarma grill at home – none of us do. So this is my take on an easier and quicker version, where you can marinate your lamb and give it a quick braai over hot coals. Use lamb steaks, or just cut the bone from your favourite lamb chops. The marinade is also great for a deboned leg of lamb.

Note: If you don’t have time to marinate your meat, just generously baste it with the marinade while braaing.

For the Middle-Eastern inspired shawarma marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • a knob of ginger, peeled & finely grated
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled & finely grated
  • 10 ml smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
  • 5 ml ground cumin
  • 5 ml ground cinnamon
  • 5 ml ground fennel / barishap
  • 2,5 ml ground nutmeg
  • 5 ml ground sumac (optional)
  • 5 ml salt flakes
  • freshly ground black pepper

Mix it all together (use a glass jar and shake it up!). Leave your meat to marinade in the sauce, covered, in the fridge for about 3 hours or overnight. Then remove from the fridge and braai until cooked to your desired liking.

To serve: (adjust quantities according to your needs)

  • marinated braaied lamb steaks (1 per person)
  • pita bread (1-2 per person)
  • sliced cucumber
  • sliced tomato (optional)
  • chopped mint leaves
  • sliced red onion
  • toasted pine nuts
  • Greek yoghurt
  • tahini (sesame paste)
  • lemon wedges (optional)

Cut meat into thin strips and serve in warm pita breads, stuffed with cucumber, chopped mint leaves, finely sliced red onion, pine nuts and creamy Greek yoghurt. Drizzle with tahini and a squirt of lemon juice.

Credits:

Recipe, food preparation, food styling & text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography, food styling & prop styling: Tasha Seccombe

This post has also been featured on The Pretty Blog.

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PEPPADEW® Pasta Sauce Recipe: BBQ marinade for meat

27 Oct

My versatile BBQ meat marinade, suitable for steak, chops, sosaties and much more (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

My versatile BBQ meat marinade, suitable for steak, chops, sosaties and much more (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I recently had the pleasure of creating two new recipes for Peppadew®, using their convenient pasta sauce range. This is my second recipe: a versatile and fragrant BBQ meat marinade.

There are few things as satisfying as making your own delicious BBQ sauce. This chunky sauce works on almost any meat, from beef steak to lamb chops/sosaties, pork ribs and even chicken. If you prefer a smooth sauce, give it a whizz with your stick blender. Be adventurous and play around with adding more of your own spice combinations, like chinese 5-spice, cumin, coriander or all-spice.

Prep time: about 20 minutes (makes about 3 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Peppadew® Piquanté Pepper & Garlic Pasta Sauce
  • 1 jar Peppadew® Tomato & Jalapeno Chilli Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcester sauce
  • 5-10 ml Tabasco sauce (adjust according to taste)
  • 45 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & finely grated
  • a knob of ginger, peeled & finely grated

Method
In a medium size pot, mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together. Place on high heat on the stove top, then bring to a boil, stirring often.
Reduce heat to a simmer, then cook for 10 minutes without a lid. Remove from the heat.
Use warm or at room temperature, coating your meat generously before cooking over a hot fire.

Tips:

  • This marinade will last in the fridge for at least 1 week in a plastic container or glass jar, covered with a tight lid. It also makes a great dipping sauce for fried potato chips.
  • Don’t be alarmed if the sauce turns quite dark when you braai your meat – the sugar content will make it caramelize and the smoky flavours are delicious. Just watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn.
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Sweet & sour pork

22 Oct

Deep fried pork in a batter, with sweet & sour sauce (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Deep fried pork in a batter, with sweet & sour sauce (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

In 2003 I started working in Belville with my friend Albert du Plessis, from his home. We started a partnership music booking agency for local rock ‘n roll artists. It was a very exciting time in my life and I enjoyed being part of this small and vibrant growing industry. During that time I also discovered a few take-away spots in the Northern Suburbs, one of which is Ho-Ho Take-Aways in Kenridge. It was run by a soft-spoken tiny Chinese woman, and she was a legend in the way that she stuffed your foamalite take-away container full of freshly cooked food. My favourite was always her sweet & sour pork – warm, crispy, golden nuggets with a small container of sweet and sour dipping sauce. I would stand in her shop, mesmerized, looking at the way she filled the containers with her scoop. More, more, always more. It was a value-for-money bonanza, and the best sweet & sour pork that I’ve ever tasted. She’s still there as far as I know, but sadly I don’t frequent that neck of the woods that often anymore.

This is the closest I could come to Ho-Ho’s legendary sweet & sour pork. Be sure to eat it straight from the fryer, as it becomes a bit softer on standing. If you’re feeling lazy, buy some sweet & sour sauce from your local speciality store instead of making your own.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) white vinegar
  • 10-15 ml soy sauce
  • 45 ml tomato sauce (I prefer All Gold)
  • 20 ml corn flour, mixed with 125 ml cold water

Mix the sugar, vinegar, soy and tomato sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the cornflour/water mixture, then turn down to a simmer and stir until thickened – it will happen quite quickly. Remove from the heat and set aside. Serve warm or cold as a dipping sauce.

Ingredients for the pork: (serves 2)

  • 2 XL eggs
  • 60 ml cake flour
  • 60 ml corn flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • canola oil for deep-frying
  • 250 g lean pork meat (like fillet or steak), trimmed and cubed (about 2 x 2 cm)
  1. Mix the eggs, cake flour, corn flour and salt together to a sticky batter.
  2. Heat the oil over medium high heat until it reaches around 180 C.
  3. Dip the cubes of pork into the batter and carefully drop into the hot oil, frying until golden on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve immediately with sweet & sour sauce.
Deep fried pork in a batter, with sweet & sour sauce (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Deep fried pork in a batter, with sweet & sour sauce (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Credits:

Recipe, food preparation & text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography: Tasha Seccombe

Assistant: Scott Armstrong

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PEPPADEW® Pasta Sauce Recipe: Chicken tikka masala marinade

7 Oct

Peppadew® chicken tikka masala marinade for super tender chicken sosaties (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

Peppadew® chicken tikka masala marinade for super tender chicken sosaties (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

I recently had the pleasure of creating a few new recipes for Peppadew®, using their convenient pasta sauce range. This first recipe is an easy tikka masala marinade for chicken, so fantastic for entertaining a crowd over the festive season – you just mix up all the ingredients and your marinade is ready to use.

Marinating boneless chicken in yoghurt and lemon juice is the secret to extra juicy, tender and delicious sosaties. This recipe contains all the right spices for a fragrant mild tikka sauce. Add extra chilli if you love things more spicy!

Prep time: marinating – minimum 3 hours, cooking – 10 minutes.

Serves: 6

You’ll need:

  • 1 jar Peppadew® Green Pepper & Garlic Pasta Sauce
  • 500 ml double cream unflavoured yoghurt
  • 60 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • a knob of fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & finely grated
  • 5 ml ground coriander
  • 2,5 ml ground cumin
  • 5 ml ground turmeric
  • 30 ml garam masala
  • 10 ml salt
  • 5 ml freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
  • 6 large or 12 medium sosatie sticks/skewers
  • a handful of fresh coriander, for garnish

Method:
In a large glass/ceramic/plastic bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together (except the chicken, sosatie sticks and fresh coriander).
Add the chicken cubes to the sauce and mix well to cover all over. Cover the bowl with a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Bring the meat to room temperature by leaving it on the kitchen counter for an hour. Place the marinated cubes on your sosatie sticks, taking care not to overcrowd the sticks.
Braai the sosaties on a hot fire/grill, turning frequently to prevent burning. Braai until just done (do not overcook), then scatter with fresh coriander and serve hot.

Tips:
This marinade will also work very well for bone-in chicken pieces. Make small slits in the chicken pieces through the skin, so that the marinade can penetrate the meat. Braai the marinated chicken pieces over a medium hot fire for at least 40 minutes, turning frequently until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.

The versatile Peppadew® pasta sauce range.

The versatile Peppadew® pasta sauce range.

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“Lekkerbek” bobotie

18 Sep

Fragrant spiced beef mince baked with raisins, bay leaves and a savoury custard topping (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Fragrant spiced beef mince baked with raisins, bay leaves and a savoury custard topping (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Bobotie is one of those South African dishes that most of us know and love. But I’ve had some pretty bland boboties in my life, ranging from under seasoned to just plain boring. I love a bobotie with lots of fruity flavours, fragrant spices, zesty with lemon juice, moist with all the right oils and sugars.
I found this recipe many years ago in the Huisgenoot Top 500 Wenresepte, published in 2006. It’s a compilation of Huisgenoot magazine’s most loved recipes over a couple of years, as compiled by their legendary food editor Carmen Niehaus. Carmen’s husband was my grade 5 teacher at Stellenbosch Primary school – blast from the past. She is one of my food icons in South Africa and I recently had the privilege of hosting her for lunch as part of a product showcase at The Demo Kitchen in Stellenbosch.
This recipe for traditional South African bobotie is the best I’ve come across. The list of ingredients seem endless, but each one on this list is essential and creates the most delicious and flavoursome bobotie, everytime. Don’t be alarmed by the large quantity of milk in the custard topping – it really works.
Serve with your choice of sambals (sliced banana, desiccated coconut, chopped tomatoes with red onion), chutney and yellow rice.

Ingredients: (serves 8)
TIP: Before your start, measure out the dry spices together in a small bowl, and the wet ingredients together in another small bowl.

  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 15 ml fresh ginger, finely grated
  • dry spices:
    • 15 ml mild curry powder
    • 5 ml ground turmeric
    • 5 ml ground coriander
    • 5 ml ground ginger
  • 2,5 ml ground cumin
  • 1 kg beef mince (lean)
  • salt & pepper
  • wet ingredients:
    • 30 ml lemon juice
    • 30 ml apricot jam
    • 60 ml fruit chutney
    • 30 ml Worcestershire sauce
    • 30 ml tomato paste
    • 2 slices white bread, soaked in water, pressed to a pulp
  • 30 ml soft brown sugar
  • 250 ml pitless raisins

For the custard:

  • 500 ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 4 bay leaves

Method:

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil and fry the onions until soft and starting to brown lightly.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger and dry spices and fry for another minute until the bottom of the pot goes dry and sticky.
  3. Add the beef bit by bit, breaking up any lumpy pieces. Fry, stirring, until it just starts to change colour from pink to light brown before adding more meat. The meat shouldn’t brown too much. Season generously with salt & pepper.
  4. Add the wet ingredients, sugar and raisins and give it a good stir. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often and taking care not to burn the bottom of the pot. Add a touch of water if the mixture is too dry.
  5. In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 180 C.
  6. Prepare the custard topping: mix the milk & eggs and season with salt & pepper. Set aside.
  7. When the bobotie is ready, transfer it to a large oven-proof baking dish and flatten the surface with a spatula. Press the bay leaves into the bobotie, then pour the custard mixture over the top. Carefully place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes until the custard is set. Remove from oven and let it stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Credits:

Food preparation & text: Ilse van der Merwe

Photography: Tasha Seccombe

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Lamb & feta burger with mint pesto & yoghurt

25 Mar

Lamb & feta burger with  mint pesto (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Lamb & feta burger with mint pesto (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

Being able to make a really good burger at home is one of the most satisfying things any meat-lover can do. Many of us grew up having take-away burgers as a special treat on weekends when we were children. My siblings and I loved almost any take-away burger, because the ones we tried to make at home just never tasted as good.

Well, the tables have turned. I now believe that anyone can make a burger at home that can beat the best gourmet burger in most restaurants. If you use care and source the best ingredients you can find, you can make a pretty amazing burger – so amazing that you might not want to get take-aways ever again.

Although I’m a huge fan of the classic beef burger with cheddar cheese and pickles, this juicy lamb burger is a total knock-out for a special occasion.

Here are my top 3 tips for creating an awesome burger:

  1. Buy fresh, soft burger buns, and always toast the sliced sides with butter before assembling your burger.
  2. Use coarsely ground great quality fresh meat for your pattie. That means 100% leg of lamb or 100% pure beef rump.
  3. Don’t overcook your meat – it should still be juicy in the middle.

Ingredients: (makes 4 large burgers)

  • 600 g boneless leg of lamb, minced (ask your butcher to do that for you)
  • 2 rounds (about 80g) of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 punnet fresh mint
  • 1 punnet fresh parsley
  • 50 g cashew nuts
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 round soft hamburger rolls, buttered and toasted in a pan
  • double cream yoghurt (the thickest you can find)
  • a handful of watercress
  • finely sliced cucumber

Method:

  1. Mix the lamb mince, crumbled feta, salt & pepper in a mixing bowl – using clean hands works best. Divide the mixture into 4 balls, then flatten them carefully, shaping the edges to form a round disk. Always make the pattie a bit wider and thinner than the end product that you have in mind, because they shrink back to a thicker, smaller pattie in the pan. Set aside.
  2. For the pesto: in a food processor, add the mint, parsley, cashews and olive oil. Season with salt & pepper, then process to a course paste. Scoop into a smaller serving bowl and set aside.
  3. In a non-stick pan, heat some olive oil over moderately high heat, then fry the patties about 3-4 minutes a side, taking care when you flip them over because the feta tends to stick (use a spatula). You are looking for a crisp outer layer and a juicy center. I prefer my center to still be pink. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate to rest.
  4. To assemble the burgers: Place the bottom half of a toasted bun on a plate, then add the watercress, burger pattie, some yoghurt, some pesto, some cucumber and then the top half of the bun. Enjoy!

Credits:

This post was originally written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe

Assistant: Elsebé Cronjé

Photography: Tasha Seccombe

Styling: Tasha Seccombe

Venue for shoot: the demo KITCHEN

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