Monday, July 22, 2013

Freshly Blogged: Challenge 3

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Uniquely South African ingredients are so exciting, and in this challenge Pinotage, ostrich meat, mealie meal, dried fruit, chutney & braai took center stage. I wanted to add a glamorous touch to your standard pap-and-wors braai by deconstructing, combining and plating the ingredients in an unexpected way.

Moroccan Ostrich on Fruity Mealie Meal in a Red Wine Jus
Serves 4
Time: 1.5 Hours

You will need
For the mealie meal:
1 Cup mealie meal
Pinch saffron
1 Cup Mixed dried fruit

For the Red Wine Jus:
6 Shallots, finely diced
Olive oil
2 Cups Drostdy Hof Pinotage
2 Cups Beef stock
Sprig fresh thyme
2 Tbls butter

For the Ostrich rounds:
500g Ostrich sausage
½ Tbls Cumin, powder
¼ tsp Cloves, powder
Fruit chutney for serving

How to make it
For the mealie meal:
Add a good pinch of saffron to the water you’re going to cook the mealie meal in.
Cook the mealie meal according to the packet instructions (make it smooth & stiff, not crumbly.)
Meanwhile, soak the dried fruit in boiling water for 20 minutes or until supple.
Chop the fruit into tiny cubes and mix into the cooked mealie meal.
Season to taste with salt.
Tip: If the mealie meal is too sloppy by the time you need to serve it, cook it some more, or mix in 2 eggs and bake it for a while.

For the Red Wine Jus:
Heat a splash of olive oil in a heavy based pan.
Fry the shallots over a low heat until translucent.
Add the Drostdy Hof Pinotage, beef stock and a sprig of thyme and reduce by half. (To a consistency that will coat a spoon.)
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and return to the pot until you are ready to serve.

For the Ostrich rounds:
Cut the casings off the ostrich sausage and remove the meat, discard the casing.
Using your hands, mix in the cumin and clove powder into the meat until well combined.
Ostrich meat can be quite sticky, brush some oil over your hands to prevent this.
Roll the ostrich mince into gholf-ball sized rounds (you should get 8-10).
Press each round flat to a 3cm thickness and make an indent in the center of the round (it helps to prevent it from curling up too much during cooking.)
Lightly brush the rounds with oil (if needed) and braai on an open fire for 3-5 minutes – don’t over-cook them, it’s best served medium rare.

For serving:
Re-heat the mealie meal and form a portion sized round to place in the center of a deep plate or bowl.
Heat the red wine jus and add 2 Tbls butter, stirring until the butter is melted and well combined.
Pour the jus around the mealie meal.
Place an ostrich round (or two) on top of the mealie meal.
Garnish with a drop of fruit chutney and fresh thyme.

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