10 August 2007

Beef in Pinotage

Michael Olivier Michael Olivier (pictured right) is a food and wine writer, broadcaster and hospitality industry consultant -- and runs Noshnews which is South Africa's premier wine & food website.

He emails to say: "I made this dish today and thought of you and your pppppassion for PPPPPinotage and thought you would like to have this recipe - it comes with my love."

Michael Olivier's Beef in Pinotage

I attended a launch of a Pinot Noir recently at Caveau at the Josephine Mill in Newlands. If you live in Cape Town and have not visited there, hasten towards it at your earliest possible convenience. The main course was a traditional Burgundian dish Coq au Vin. I thought of Boeuf Bourguignon a traditional Burgundian beef dish made from a braising beef and Pinot Noir and a staple of every self respecting 1970’s Bistro. Further thought lead me to create a dish made with Pinotage, our native South African grape. Using the components of both the Coq au Vin and the Boeuf Bourguignon, and taking a bit of license with the cut of beef, perhaps more Osso Bucco than braising beef, I landed up with this dish which I think does credit to Pinotage and the men and women who make it.

You’ll need :

  • Seasoned flour [a dinner plate sprinkled with flour, well seasoned with sea salt, freshly milled black pepper and sweet smoked paprika]

  • 2.5kg beef shin on the bone cut into 20mm thick slices

  • sunflower oil

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 onions - sliced

  • 6 fat cloves garlic - chopped

  • 3 stalks celery - sliced

  • 1 bottle 750ml Beyerskloof Pinotage

  • 1½ tsp dried thyme

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 litres good beef stock

  • 1 tin 70g tomato paste

  • 250g chorizo sausage - sliced

  • 12 pickling onions - peeled and left whole with the root intact

  • sea salt and freshly milled black pepper


Preset the oven on 180C. Prepare the seasoned flour by sprinkling a thick layer of flour onto a dinner plate and seasoning it well with sea salt, freshly milled black pepper and sweet smoked paprika. Reserve any left over flour for later use should you decide to thicken the sauce. Have ready a large ovenproof cast iron casserole with a thin layer of sunflower oil in the base. Heat the oil, and two to three pieces at a time, dip the meat into the seasoned flour and brown slowly but well on both sides, setting aside on a large plate to catch any juices which might run off.

When all the meat has been browned, wipe the casserole out with kitchen paper and cover the base with the olive oil. Add the onions and braise over low heat until turning golden. Add the garlic and stir fry for a while, add the celery and stir fry again. Add the thyme and bay leaves then pour in the bottle of Pinotage and bring to the boil, and simmer to reduce the wine by at least half. Add the beef stock, the tomato paste, the chorizo and the pickling onions. Season well and add back the meat and the juices which have collected on the plate.

Cover and cook in the preset oven for 2½ hours at least, remove from the oven and skim off any fat on top which may have accumulated there. If the meat is tender, adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve. You may want to reduce the sauce a bit by taking it off and boiling it in a small saucepan to the right consistency.

Serves 6

Wine suggestion:

Pinotage is called for and Grangehurst, Landskroon, Onderkloof, Simonsig Redhill, Swartland or Mountain Oaks [Organic Pinotage no less] would do admirably.

Many thanks Michael for the recipe -- sounds delicious -- and that is an interesting selection of recommended wines including yet another one new to me. I must add Onderkloof to the list. Though since we're'cooking with Beyerskloof I would be tempted to have a Beyerskloof Reserve in my glass.

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