Thursday, April 30, 2015

This Week's MENU - Glen Carlou Curator’s Collection, TVM Trade Tasting never disappoints, Graham Beck 25 years, Gold Restaurant, The Wine Cellar tasting room, Long weekend activities, Beef Chasseur

A flight of Quelea at Elandsberg Reserve
In this week’s MENU:
* What are you doing this (long) weekend?
* Beef Chasseur
* Learn about wine and cooking
We write about our experiences in MENU, not only to entertain you, but to encourage you to visit the places and events that we do. We know you will enjoy them and we try to make each write up as graphic as we can, so you get a good picture of what is on offer at each place, restaurant, wine farm, festival we visit.
To get the whole story with photographs, please click on Read On..... at the end of each paragraph, which will lead you to the related blog, with pictures and more words. At the end of each blog, click on RETURN TO MENU to come back to the blog version of MENU.
It was a celebration week!      A time of rejoicing and partying with some of our friends in the wine industry, who have milestone events to celebrate. We had a ball and were completely overindulged. Then came the long weekend, in which we planned to go to De Kelders for four days to stay with friends and enjoy a lunch at Marianne’s. But the gastric flu that is going around struck Lynne, so we had to cancel. It’s over, John did not get it and we’ve had time to enjoy this week as well.
Glen Carlou Celebrates The Curator’s Collection Launch & Arco Laarman’s 20th year as a winemaker     Arco’s winemaking career started as a worker with Danie Steytler in the cellar at Kaapzicht. After a few years there, winemaker David Finlayson appointed him assistant winemaker at Glen Carlou and, when David left, Arco took over as Cellarmaster. Over the years, he has experimented with different barrels of the wines they make and has also made wines from grapes sourced elsewhere, often rare varieties. These are now being released as The Curator’s Collection and are available only on the farm. We were invited to lunch to celebrate his winemaking career and to taste these very interesting wines. Read On.....
TVM Trade Tasting never disappoints     Tracy van Maaren represents a small range of wine farms and, once a year, we are treated to a very good tasting of their wines. This year, again, it was held at Auslese, the function venue in Gardens owned by Chef Harald Bresselschmidt of Aubergine restaurant. He creates a food pairing for each of the wines on show. Read On.....
Graham Beck Celebrates 25 years     Graham Beck sells more than a million bottles of their MCC Bubbly every year and that figure is now rapidly on the rise. All the Graham Beck wines are part of our rich wine tapestry and most people know them well. None of us realised that winemaking on the farm was started by Graham Beck only 25 years ago. His purchase of the land followed the Laingsburg floods of 1981, when the existing farm was almost wiped off the face of the earth. The farm was perfect for horses, his great love, and they also began to plant grapes. In 1991 they had their maiden vintage and “the journey of discovery in pursuit of the perfect bubble” commenced, driven by winemaker Pieter (Bubbles) Ferreira, who is still the magician wielding his magic wand there. We celebrated with so much MCC from so many different years and in so many different guises. This was followed by an excellent lunch prepared by Chef Margot Janse of The Tasting room at Le Quartier Française in Franschhoek – what a treat and what an ebullient and joyous celebration! They totally spoiled us. Read On.....
The Gold Restaurant Experience      Where do you go to show visitors the African experience? There are now several places and they are all different. We were invited to experience Gold Restaurant’s newly launched Autumn-Winter set menu and enjoy all the other amusements. We took part in the drumming, which started at 6pm, along with a huge group of tourists, and then proceeded to dinner which comes with enthusiastic live, boisterous and loud entertainment throughout. Read On.....
Wine Cellar celebrates the opening of their new tasting room and above ground retail space. Wine Cellar is one of the premier outlets in the Cape at which one can buy fine local and international wines and also store your own wine collection perfectly, should you not have a cellar. We were invited to this newly finished function room (which is available for hire) for a tasting of David Trafford’s Sijnn wines, paired in a blind tasting, with some foreign wines. It was an excellent tasting of some very, very interesting wines and this was followed by an excellent Pork Chasseur dish accompanied great chewy artisanal bread, unsalted butter and good cheese. Read On.....
Game drive at Bartholomeus Klip    We totally ran out of time last week, getting MENU out on time, so this part of our visit comes to you this week. The Elandsberg Private Nature Reserve has some interesting animals, great birds and plants and has three very special animal projects. They breed virus free Buffalo in an enclosure, they are part of the Quagga restoration programme and they have a Tortoise rescue and breeding programme, with fenced reserves for these wonderful animals that are so badly affected by our fires. Read On..... to see the pictures of what we saw on our 1½ hour game drive. Oh and it was lambing time on the farm.
What are you doing this (long) weekend?     The choice of festivals continues and this weekend has the Elgin Cool Country wines and the Olive Festival in the Riebeek area. We can’t go to both, so we are heading for Elgin on Saturday. Enjoy whichever you choose, and may the weather not dampen your enthusiasm. We so need the rain.
Coming soon:
15th May                Burgundy Lover's Festival at The Vineyard
This week’s recipe might well be suitable for this wet weekend. It’s a one pot dish and it is one of our all time favourites. You can fry the mushrooms separately and just add them at the end, to the dishes of those who like mushrooms. It’s a hunter’s dish and you can use pork, game or even poultry should you wish to, but you will need to vary your cooking times accordingly. Poultry will take less time, game may take longer.
Beef Chasseur
1 kg beef or veal stewing steak – 125g medium mushrooms – 2 T canola oil – 30g butter - 2 small onions or 4 shallots, chopped – 1T plain flour - 2 wine glasses Verjuice or white wine - 425 ml good beef stock - 1 T tomato purée – a few baby carrots – salt and black pepper - a bouquet garni of celery, rosemary, thyme and a bay leaf
Cube the meat into 3 to 4cm pieces. Wipe and slice the mushrooms. In a heavy oven-proof casserole, heat the oil with the butter and quickly brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, till golden brown, then remove it and set aside to keep warm. Reduce the heat, add the mushrooms and sauté them till they begin to brown. Remove them too. Add the onions and the flour and mix well, then fry until they are a good russet brown colour. Add the wine or verjuice and the stock a little at a time and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the tomato purée, the bouquet garni and the carrots. Put back the beef and the mushrooms. Cover with a well fitting lid and put into the oven at 180ºC for at least 1 and a half hours. Before serving, remove the bouquet garni, dish up the meat into your serving dish and reduce the sauce; adjust the seasoning and then spoon it over the meat. Serve with small new baby potatoes or with mash and a good green vegetable like French beans, or broccoli. Superb with a rich Cabernet or classical Bordeaux blend.
Learn about wine and cooking We receive a lot of enquiries from people who want to learn more about wine. Cathy Marston and The Cape Wine Academy both run wine education courses, some very serious and others more geared to fun. You can see details of Cathy’s WSET and other courses here and here and the CWA courses here. Karen Glanfield has taken over the UnWined wine appreciation courses from Cathy. See the details here
The Hurst Campus, an accredited school for people who want to become professional chefs, has a variety of courses. See the details here
In addition to his Sense of Taste Culinary Arts School, Chef Peter Ayub runs a four module course for keen home cooks at his Maitland complex. Details here
Nadège Lepoittevin-Dasse has French cooking classes in Noordhoek and conducts cooking tours to Normandy. You can see more details here
Emma Freddi runs the Enrica Rocca cooking courses at her home in Constantia
Nicolette van Niekerk runs baking courses at La Petite Patisserie in Montague Gardens
George Jardine will be running a series of winter cooking courses and other activities at Jordan. Details here

30th April 2015
Remember - if you can’t find something, we’ll do our best to get it for you, and, if you’re in Cape Town or elsewhere in the country, we can send it to you! Check our online shop for details and prices.
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Phones: +27 21 439 3169 / 083 229 1172 / 083 656 4169
Postal address: 60 Arthurs Rd, Sea Point 8005
Our Adamastor & Bacchus© tailor-made Wine, Food and Photo tours take small groups (up to 6) to specialist wine producers who make the best of South Africa’s wines. Have fun while you learn more about wine and how it is made! Tours can be conducted in English, German, Norwegian and standard or Dutch-flavoured Afrikaans.
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Recommendations of products and outside events are not solicited or charged for, and are made at the authors’ pleasure. All photographs, recipes and text used in these newsletters and our blogs are ©John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus. Our restaurant reviews are usually unsolicited. We prefer to pay for our meals and not be paid in any way by anyone. Whether we are invited or go independently, we don’t feel bad if we say we didn’t like it. Honesty is indeed our best policy. While every effort is made to avoid mistakes, we are human and they do creep in occasionally, for which we apologise. Our Avast! ® Anti-Virus software is updated at least daily and our system is scanned continually for viruses.
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