The visit to South Africa by the British and Irish Lions is a highlight on the international sporting calendar. It only happens every 12 years, and right now the Lions are here, facing the Springboks in the 2nd test this weekend. Boschendal Estate in Groot Drakenstein, one of South Africa’s leading wineries, is the official wine sponsor for the British and Irish Lions tour this year, and for the occasion, they have brought out two special commemorative wines. There is the magnum bottle (1,5l) Shiraz 2019 and a 750ml red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the 2017 vintage. The Shiraz is an ideal winter wine due to its rich plummy red wine taste, smooth tannins and that exotic hit of spice. Ideal for two dishes, each representing one of the teams who are doing battle on the rugby field this Saturday. Go Bokke!
Looking in the region of Britain and Ireland, I have made classic roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with a delicious gravy. And for the Boks, what is more traditional as a winter dish than a lamb waterblommetjie potjie (which can also be made on the stovetop too).
These collector’s item wines are available at the Boschendal.
Lamb waterblommetjie potjie
Waterblommetjie bredie is an iconic South African dish from the Western Cape and cooking it in a potjie (cast iron pot) low and slow over the coals takes it to the next ‘local is lekker’ level. You can just as easily do this on the stovetop, and I give both instructions below. This is a very simple dish that relies on a good amount of time in the pot and the core ingredients to give it flavour. Waterblommetjies have a gentle and unique taste, so you don’t want to drown this out with strong herbs or spices. They are in season in early winter and if you find them, stash a bag in the freezer for later use.
Jan Braai (another local treasure) shared his recipe and method of making a waterblommetjie potjie with me. He would probably roll his eyes that I used lamb knuckles instead of a mix of stewing lamb pieces, but I’m a food stylist after all and the less fatty photogenic lamb knuckles appealed to me more. It was totally delicious.
I added an extra potato and used lamb stock instead of vegetable stock. I also used 800gms of waterblommetjies as this was the size of my bag but you could go up to a kg if you like more.
Recipe – feeds 6 – adapted from Jan Braai
Made in a no10 flat bottomed potjie pot with a lid (this has a 3-litre capacity). This can be used on the stove pot too alternatively use another cast iron pot with a lid.Print
Lamb waterblommetjie potjie
A traditional South African lamb waterblommetjie bredie made in a potjie
800gms waterblommetjies (cleaned)
1kg Lamb knuckles (or stewing lamb pieces)
3 Tbs vegetable oil (use a little less if you have fattier lamb pieces)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 onion (finely chopped)
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup lamb, chicken or vegetable stock
23potatoes (washed, and cut into cubes)
Juice from a small lemon
Ensure that the waterblommetjies are well rinsed in a large pot or bucket of salty water and cut off any stems. You can soak them overnight if they are dirty and freshly harvested.
Jan’s method to cook over the fire:
When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a potjie over a hot fire. Now add the meat and the salt and pepper, and fry until the pieces are slightly brown on most sides.
Add the chopped onion, stir and cook until soft. This takes about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and stock, put the lid on and bring to a simmer. Then continue to simmer on low heat (a few hot coals with the odd flicker of a flame only) for 1 hour. Check on your liquid level occasionally. If the pot runs dry, you have too much heat under it. Add a bit of water and scrape away some of the coals. The meat takes longer to cook soft than the waterblommetjies – that’s why the meat goes in first.
After 1 hour, stir the meat well, then add the potato cubes and stir them into the meat. Replace the lid and let simmer for another hour.
Two hours into the process, take off the lid and place the waterblommetjies on top of what is already in the potjie. Pour over half the lemon juice to top it off. Grind another bit of salt and pepper over everything, replace the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes until the waterblommetjies are cooked to your liking.
Don’t stir as the waterblommetjies are delicate and will break apart. We are making potjie, not soup. The pot should never cook dry. If you can’t hear any liquid bubbling and want to check the liquid levels at the bottom of the pot, gently wedge the spoon down the side between the food and the pot. Add a little more water but only if necessary.
When the meat is tender and the waterblommetjies cooked to your liking, remove the potjie from the fire and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve with white rice.
AND …For bonus points and a medal, swap the lemon juice for freshly chopped surings (wood sorrel) from the veld.
To cook this on a stovetop:
Do everything as per above except first brown the meat then remove it from the pot. Then brown the onion in the fat before returning the meat back to the pot. Cook on the smallest gas burner at the lowest setting for the same amount of time (2.5 -3 hours in total).
Roast Beef & Yorkshire pudding
If you think of a meaty dish that would pair perfectly with the Boschendal 2019 Shiraz you immediately think of roast beef a delicious gravy and pillowy Yorkshire puddings. It’s the perfect comfort food to enjoy while watching the rugby.
For the roast beef, use either leaner topside (which is also more economical) or deboned rib roast, or whole sirloin. Choose the size cut you require and adjust your cooking time accordingly
Roast beef & gravy
A traditional British roast beef and gravy recipe
1.5kg – 2kg Beef topside, whole sirloin or deboned rib eye roast
A splash of olive oil (use a little more if using topside beef as this is very lean)
2 onions quartered
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 head of garlic, clove removed and bruised slightly (you can leave the skin on)
2 rosemary stalks
3 thymes stalks
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp flour
½ – ¾ cup red wine
750ml (3 cups) good quality beef stock
1 Tbsp berry jam
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
When the oven has reached temperature, heat a splash of sunflower oil in a large non-stick pan and sear the meat on all sides until just turning brown. If you are using sirloin or rig eye, you won’t need oil as you will start searing this meat on the fat cap.
Place all the vegetables and herbs onto the base of a sturdy roasting dish and drizzle with a little olive oil. This acts as trivet on which you place the meat to cook. Place the browned meat on top of the vegetables and herbs and roast in the oven until done to your liking. Work on 20 minutes per 500gms.
Rare: Out the oven @ 46°C/115°F – Final temp after resting – 49°C/120°F
- Medium rare: Out the oven @ 48°C / 118°F – Final temp after resting – 52°C / 125°F
- Medium: Out the oven @ 51°F/123°F – Final temp after resting – 55°F / 130°F
- Medium well-done: Out the oven @ 53°C / 127°F – Final temp after resting – 57°C / 135°F
Remove from the oven and ready and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
While the meat is resting crank up the heat to 230C for the Yorkshire puddings if you are making (the batter should have been made while the meat was roasting).
Carve the meat against the grain. If you’re using leaner topside, cut the slices very thinly. This is important when using slightly tougher cuts of meat. Watercress is a delicious garnish for roast beef.
To make the gravy, place the tray with all the cooked vegetables onto a burner on your stove and sprinkle over the flour. Allow this to cook a little and absorb all the fat. Then deglaze the pan with the red wine and once that has been absorbs, add the stock. Stir and scrape the pan down and allow this to bubble for around 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Use a potato masher to squash all the vegetables and garlic down to release more flavour. Add the jam to the gravy and season to taste. Add more hot water if you prefer the gravy thinner.
Once it’s ready, pass it through a coarse sieve and keep warm until serving. If necessary, put it in a small pot to keep warm.
Keywords: Roast beef, British, traditional roast beef, gravy
*You can roast potatoes in the roasting tray provided your piece of meat is at least 2 kgs ) to allow the required cooking time) alternatively, roast separately and I can highly recommend my best ever duck fat roast potatoes (use sunflower oil if you don’t have duck fat).
An easy and traditional Yorkshire pudding that is crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.
250gm cake flour
150ml whole milk
150ml cold water
4 free-range eggs
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sunflower oil
Put all the ingredients for the Yorkshire pudding batter into a blender and whizz until smooth. It should be the consistency of double cream. If making by hand, first beat the eggs, then add the milk and water and beat again. Sift the flour over and whisk until well combined and the consistency of double cream. Allow to rest for 15 – 30 minutes.
When the roast beef comes out of the oven and is resting, crank it up to 230C / 450F. Divide the oil between the holes of a 12-hole muffin tin. About ½ – ¾ of a teaspoon per hole and put it in the oven to preheat for at least 15 minutes. It needs to be smoking hot.
Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups (the batter should immediately start to bubble. If it doesn’t bubble it isn’t hot enough and needs to go back in the oven until it does. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and well puffed up. Serve immediately. Time this all so that the beef has rested and is carved. The gravy and sides have been made and take the tray of Yorkshire puddings directly from the oven to the table.
Keywords: Yorkshire pudding, traditional, British, English, crispy, roast beef
*This post is sponsored by Boschendal