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Useful recipes to try, with helpful tips.

Venison Potjiekos

Venison Potjiekos (with thanks to www.funkymunky.co.za)
2 kg (± 4½ pounds) deboned venison, cut into small blocks
(kudu, springbok or impala is excellent)
1 kg (± 2.2 pounds) beef shin (shank, knuckle-bone), cut into slices
75 ml (5 tablespoons) cake-flour
15 ml (1 tablespoon) salt
Freshly ground black pepper (to your taste)
3 ml (a pinch) graded nut
1 can (± 400 ml) mushroom soup
1 litre (4 cups) apple juice
250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
4 potatoes, cut into small blocks
5 carrots, sliced
4 onions, sliced
1 butternut squash, sliced
4 peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Dumplings:
360 g (750 ml/3 cups) self-raising flour
7 ml (½ tea spoon) salt
375 ml (1½ cups) milk

Method
Barbecue (braai) meat in a heated “potjie” until brown.
Add cake-flour, soup and flavouring substances .
Heat the apple juice and wine in a small pan and pour it over the meat.
Put on the lid and simmer for 3-4 hours,
put the vegetables in layers on top of the meat,
put on the lid and simmer for another half an hour.
In the mean time, mix all the ingredients for the dumplings together to form a soft dough, scoop the dough on top of the vegetables and simmer for another half an hour.

Warthog Recipe

Warthog Recipe (with thanks to www.funkymunky.co.za)

As warthog meat is quite dry, you have to find a way to moisten it and this recipe does it just right…

Seared medallion of warthog 
with peppered pineapples and Shiraz sauce

800g loin of warthog
crushed black pepper and salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
8 slices of pancetta or other quality bacon

Marinade
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
1 leek, white part only, diced
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme)
1 bay leaf, crushed
2 juniper berries
1/2 cup red wine
4 tablespoons olive oil

Shiraz sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup game or beef stock
1/2 cup Shiraz
berries, fresh or in liqueur, syrup or jam, to taste

Peppered pineapple
4 slices pineapple, cored
crushed black pepper
oil for frying.

Trim the loin of all gristle or silver lining. In an acid resistant tray add the chopped veggies and all the other marinade ingredients. Put the loin therein and marinade for 24 hours in the fridge, turning from time to time.
Make the Shiraz sauce first.
Brown the onions in the butter in a saucepan, then add sugar till melted. Splash in the stock and wine, lower the heat and reduce till syrupy.
Season the pineapple with pepper and fry in oil.
Remove venison from marinade and wipe excess bits away. Season with salt. pepper and mustard all over. Wrap pancetta or bacon strips around the venison securing with string or toothpicks. Fry gently on a ripple pan till bacon is crisp but the meat still rare at the core. When done, rest for five minutes in the warming drawer to let the red juices to cipher to the dry outside fibers.
Enjoy!!

P.S. You can buy warthog loins and fillet from our online shop

Tiger Prawn and Citrus Salad

Salad of tiger prawns and citrus wedges, with lettuce and avocado cubes, lightly dressed with tangy citrus, sweet honey and walnut oil.

This salad is served at room temperature and is a perfect way to start a summer meal. It is light and the flavours will not clash with the rest of your meal or leave any lingering after-taste.

Use large prawns, cleaned with only the tail remaining intact. We used tiger prawns from The Gourmet Shop and had the tails intact because those wishing to eat the prawns with their fingers can easily grab onto the tail while enjoying the tender, marinated meat.

The walnut oil is available at some stores and is not entirely necessary. It can be substituted with olive oil, but the nutty flavour does give an added layer of richness to the dish. You can quickly make your own walnut oil by finely chopping some walnuts, steeping them in extra virgin olive oil (this olive oil has a more delicate inherent flavour that happily absorbs some of the walnut flavours) for an hour or two and bingo! You have a suitable walnut oil subsititute.

This recipe serves 6 and makes a wonderful starter or first course in a multiple course meal. With the correct preparation, this salad is prepared in mere minutes!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon clear honey

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons walnut oil

2 tablespoons fresh snipped chives (the easiest way to cut chives is to just snip them with scissors)

450 grams large cooked prawns, deveined and shelled

1 avocado peeled, stoned and cut into small cubes (run your knife through the avo while the skin is on, lengthways and crossways though the flesh to the skin – see video here on how)

1 pink grapefruit, peeled and segmented (this grapefruit is sweeter than the yellow and ties in better with the salad)

1 large orange, peeled and segmented (if you want to really show off, then segment it like in this video here)

2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts (this is not essential and primarily gives varied texture to the salad by adding some crunch)

Salt and pepper, to taste (this essentially means that you just add a pinch, taste the food and add more if you think it is required)

Pre-Preparation:

If cooked prawns are not available, then boil them in water until flesh is opaque (white and not see-through.) Prawns must never be mushy and should still be firm to bite and touch.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon and lime juices, a pinch of salt and pepper, the honey in a small bowl.

Slowly add the olive oil while whisking and then add and whisk the walnut oil until the dressing becomes more creamy.

Add in the chives and mix.

Preparation (5 minutes):

Arrange the prawns, citrus segments and avocado on six small plates and drizzle with the dressing. Garnish with a sprinkle of pine nuts, if using.

Bon Appetit!

Mixed Wild Mushrooms with Sauteed Shallots on Bruschetta

Mixed Wild Mushrooms, sautéed with sweet onion, served on bruschetta with roasted baby tomatoes.

This dish can be served as a stand-alone course, or the mushrooms can be served as an accompaniment to most meat dishes (without the bruschetta and roasted baby tomatoes.)

It is served warm and the sweetness of the roasted baby tomatoes nicely contrasts the natural, earthiness of the mushrooms. This dish is also visually very appealing because the bright red adds colour to the many shapes of the brown mushrooms, while the crunchy bruschetta adds texture to each bite. Topped with some chopped parsley for colour to garnish and you will be sure to impress.

This recipe serves six and is very quick to prepare. This allows you to spend time with your guests and ensure that your guests’ drinks are topped up!

Ingredients:

600 grams mixed wild mushrooms (you can buy a mix like this from many fine stores and the mushrooms could include morels, porcini, chanterelles, button, oyster and shiitake)

2 tablespoons olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil if you prefer

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

3 smallish sweet onions (shallots) chopped finely

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mixed herbs or parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

One French Loaf

20 baby tomatoes

Pre-Preparation:

Wash and dry the mushrooms if they have dirt on them. Do not wash them too much if they look clean, because they will lose much of their flavour – you basically are just trying to remove any sand and dirt.

Trim the mushrooms of the end of their stems and then chop very roughly to about bite sized chunks. The different size and look of the mushrooms is part of the appeal of this course, so do not chop finely.

Preparation (10-15 minutes):

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Brush a baking tray with olive oil (you can use a small basting brush or just wipe it on with paper towel).

Cut slices of French Loaf and arrange on the baking tray. Lightly brush the bread with some olive oil. Place baby tomatoes on the same tray. Set timer for 5 minutes and check. Once bread is crunchy and golden, remove bread and tomatoes and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying-pan over a medium to high heat (about 6 or 7 if you have 9 or 10 heat settings) and add the butter. Mix in the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are just starting to brown.

Add garlic and onions and fry for another 4-5 minutes. The mushrooms should be tender and most of the liquid given off by them should have evaporated.

Place two pieces of crispy golden bread on each plate and then divide the mushroom evenly across six portions on top of the bread.

Artfully arrange 2 or 3 caramelised baby tomatoes on each plate around the bread and mushrooms and drizzle the whole affair with some chopped herbs or parsley.

Bon Appetit!

Seared Salmon, Bacon Lentils, Green Peppercorn Sauce

Quickly seared imported Norwegian Salmon, served on a warm bed of Lentils with Bacon with Green Peppercorn Sauce.

Fish is a wonderfully nutritious meal in summer or winter. Lentils are generally more of a winter-style dish in a similar vein to mashed potatoes, but in this instance, we served a very light and small portion of lentils with a moderate serving of salmon. This was particularly so because this meal consisted of four courses, but feel free to adjust the portions in line with your menu.

Always remember that your meal will lose some of its pizzaz (as will your party) if your guests are all stuffed to capacity early in the evening. They will happily nod off and comfortably digest their huge meals without contributing to the vibrancy of the evening – so try not to overfeed them.

If in doubt, you can always provide a small cheeseboard on the side after dessert for the hungry to nibble on.

Check your guests are all comfortable, top up wine and water glasses and tidy away clutter from starters.

Ingredients:

For the Salmon and Peppercorns

1 tablespoon butter

3 small sweet onions (shallots), finely chopped

1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

4 tablespoons dry white wine

6 tablespoons chicken stock (you can use fish stock too)

½ cup whipping cream

2-3 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine (rinsed – remove them from the brine and give them a quick rinse with tap water)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

6 pieces salmon fillet (150g to 200g each), no bone or skin

Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh chopped parsley to garnish

For the Lentils with Bacon

450 grams brown or green lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

150 grams bacon, diced

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf (this is not essential if you don’t have bay leaves, but consider getting them)

350ml chicken or beef stock

2 tablespoons double cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-Preparation (30 minutes):

The green peppercorn sauce can be prepared just before your guests arrive, as with the lentils. The cooking process of the lentils is quite lengthy and you should at least have them simmering on the stove before your guests eat their starters.

Put the lentils in a large saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring them to the boil over a high heat and then slightly reduce heat to boil gently for 15 minutes.

Drain and set lentils aside.

Heat tablespoon of olive oil in a frying-pan over a medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the bacon is crisp and transfer to a plate.

Using the same frying-pan, cook the onion for the lentils in the fat for 2 or 3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, before adding the tomatoes, thyme, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Return the lentils to the pan too. You can now leave them like that with the heat off while you prepare to welcome your guests. The remaining preparation can be done once your guests arrive.

For your green peppercorn sauce, melt the tablespoon of butter in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat. Add the sweet onions (shallots) and soften for 1-2 minutes. Then add the brandy and white wine, then add the 6 tablespoons of stock and boil to reduce the contents by three-quarters, stirring occasionally.

Now reduce the heat, adding the cream and half of the green peppercorns. Crush the peppercorns slightly with the back of a spoon to release their flavour – they are relatively soft.

Cook very gently for 4-5 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and then strain. This means you will pour the sauce through a sieve and effectively remove all the bits of peppercorn and onion. Place lid on and leave over the lowest heat setting.

Preparation (50 minutes):

After serving welcome drinks, return to the job of your lentils. Add the 350ml stock to the pan with the prepared lentils and cover. Cook over a low to medium heat, gently simmering for about 30 – 40 minutes until the lentils are just tender, stirring them occasionally (Set the timer so that you don’t forget about them and if they are getting tender before you are ready for the main course, then turn the heat down.)

If you need to add more stock because the liquid is drying out in the pan, then prepare some more and do so. Only add a little bit of stock at a time, just enough to keep them moist because otherwise your next step takes a bit longer.

Back to your lentils and it is almost time to serve them. The guests have completed their starters or second course and are now ready for mains. Uncover the pan and allow any excess liquid to evaporate.

Once most of the liquid has evaporated from the lentils, add the bacon that you fried earlier, as well as the cream, and increase the heat slightly to warm the lentils for serving. This should only take a minute and then you are ready to serve.

While this is happening, grab your frying pan to prepare the salmon – it will only fry for 3-4 minutes before it is ready so there is no need to rush or panic. Slightly increase the heat on your green peppercorn sauce to warm it up and add the remaining whole peppercorns.

The salmon will be cooked quickly at high heat to just sear it. If you cook it too long, it will suddenly become rather dry.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan until very hot. Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes on each side. It will be ready faster than you think so be prepared. Remember that it continues cooking slightly even when you remove it from the pan. If you want to check that it is cooked, pierce the flesh with the tip of a sharp knife and the juices should run clear, but it is unlikely that you will serve it undercooked. Many modern diners prefer their salmon slightly undercooked in any event.

Serve a few tablespoons of lentils onto each plate and spread out slightly to accommodate the salmon; carefully place the salmon on top, spoon some sauce over and garnish with some chopped parsley.

Bon Appetit!

Pear and Almond Cream Tart

Pear and Almond Cream Tart

This tart has clean flavours that are enhanced with the richness of whipped cream, or in our case with the Mocha Cream Pot (find that recipe here.) You can serve it simply as is, for tea, but we chose this delicious recipe to form part of our combination dessert.

It serves 6-8 for tea but we served only very delicate slices with the Mocha Cream Pot, so it could easily serve 8-10 thinner slices.

Ingredients:

3 pears (not overly ripe, still firm)

Lemon juice

350 grams shortcrust pastry

1 tablespoon peach brandy or water

4 tablespoons peach preserve, strained

100 grams blanched whole almonds

¼ cup caster sugar

5 tablespoons butter

1 egg, plus 1 egg white

Almond essence

Pre-Preparation (1h20):

Roll out pastry thinly and use it to line a 23cm flan tin. Then chill that pastry case while you make the filling.

Blend the almonds and sugar together, pulsing in a food processor until finely ground – not pasty. Add butter and process the whole mixture until creamy, before adding the egg, extra egg white and a few drops of almond essence. Mix well.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius. Peel the pears, halve them and remove cores. Rub the pears with lemon juice and slice thinly.

Pour the almond filling into the chilled pastry casing and arrange the pear slices decoratively on top of the tart. Pop the tart into the oven and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the filling is set and well browned.

Cool the tart on a wire rack while making the glaze as follows.

Heat the peach brandy (or water) and the preserve in a small saucepan and once warm, brush over the tart to glaze.

Preparation (5 minutes):

Slice and serve and room temperature.

Bon Appetit!

Mocha Cream Pot

Mocha Cream Pot

This rich dessert is perfect on its own or served with tart or biscuits. It is essentially a baked custard and can be served in small portions, like espresso cups. This style of serving goes well with the coffee element of its flavouring.

Recipe serves 8.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon instant coffee powder (please do not use chicory based coffee for this)

2 cups milk

1/3 cup caster sugar

225 grams milk chocolate, chopped

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (optional)

7 egg yolks

Whipped cream to garnish

Pre-Preparation:

Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius and put 8 small ramekins (1/2 cup or 125 ml) or espresso cups in a roasting tin.

In a smallish saucepan, mix together the instant coffee and milk, add the sugar and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until the sugar and coffee have dissolved.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until it has all melted and the sauce is smooth and even in colour. Stir in vanilla essence and coffee liqueur.

In a glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks to blend lightly. Then slowly and incrementally add the warm chocolate mixture until well blended (do not add the chocolate too rapidly or the eggs will become scrambled.)

Strain the mixture into a large jug or bowl and divide into the eight ramekin portions. Put the ramekins back into the roasting tin and fill the tin with enough water to surround the ramekins up to halfway up their sides.

Finally, bake for 30-35 minutes until the custard is just set. You can test whether it is set by inserting the tip of a knife and it comes out clean. If custard coats the knife, it is not yet ready.

Once cooked, remove the ramekins from the water in the roasting dish, cover and cool completely.

Preparation:

Decorate with a small blob of whipped cream and serve.

Bon Appetit!

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