The holiday season brings excitement, envisioning leisurely days of cooking and sipping wine. Kevin Swart, part of Black Elephant Vintners' "Rebels," shares his holiday tradition of "slow-cooked Sundays," influenced by his love of braais.
Transitioning from Johannesburg's emphasis on larger grills to embracing wood-based braais in Franschhoek, Kevin became a Potjie, Pots, and Pan Braai aficionado, earning the local title "Soutie met Hout."
Kevin paired the Dark Side of The Vine Semillon with Jan Braai's Bloemfontein Lamb Curry, praising its compatibility with curries. The Semillon, from a resilient vine born in 1905, produces a unique wine, described as a red grape in white wine attire. It's recommended for passionate individuals and pairs well with "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, emphasising the unique and sophisticated nature of the wine.
The wine, matured for 24 months in a French oak barrel, exhibits intense aromas of lemon, lime, and perfume. It unfurls wave upon wave of lemon confit, fresh peach juice, dried herbs, crushed walnut, nutmeg, tangerine peel, wet stones and dry thatch nuances. The palate is full, fleshy, and balanced with mouth-watering acidity. Concentrated and textured, it finishes with citrus, black currant leaves, and tropical fruit notes. The suggested aging is 8 to 10+ years.
The whole cooking extravaganza took about three hours and turned Sunday into a relaxed delight filled with chatter and laughter.
Cheers to good times and even better food!
*hout - Afrikaans for wood
*Soutie met Hout - Afrikaans for Englishman with wood
FULL RECIPE: BLOEMFONTEIN LAMB CURRY
Shisanyama Braai Recipes from South Africa, R345, Bookstorm, is the latest book by South Africa’s king of the grill, Jan Braai and includes his fans’ favourites and a collection of his own tried and trusted recipes.
For the meat
2kg lamb knuckle or neck pieces
juice of 1 lemon
500ml amasi (fermented milk otherwise known as maas)
For the curry
2 tots olive oil
3 onions, chopped
3 cardamom pods
3 bay leaves
1 tot garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
Fresh ginger, equal in volume to the garlic, grated
2 fresh chillies,
2 potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, sliced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tots apricot jam
Rice or Roosterkoek
Put the lamb in a bowl and add the salt and pepper. Toss well and add the lemon juice, amasi and turmeric. Mix together and put aside. If for longer than a few hours, refrigerate it.
Place the oil and onions in your potjie on the hot fire and fry the onions until translucent.
Add all the spices, including the garlic, ginger and chilli, and fry for a minute or two until they’re fragrant and start to brown. Don’t let them burn.
Add the lamb including all the marinade. Mix it together and bring the meat to a simmer. Leave it to simmer for around 10 minutes.
Add the potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and apricot jam. Toss everything until evenly mixed, put the lid on the potjie and leave it to simmer for 2 hours.
Lift the lid occasionally during cooking, run your wooden spoon along the bottom of the potjie and check that it’s not burning. If the potjie is becoming dry and looks as if it’s going to burn, add a bit of water, or reduce the heat underneath so it simmers less aggressively. Never add too much extra water or it will turn into a soup.
After 2 hours, check that you’re happy with the consistency, and if not, let it simmer further without the lid. The meat should be tender and easily come off the bone with a fork.