Thursday, July 28, 2016

This Week's MENU. Angala, Tuk Tuk Brewery, Societi Bistro's Tour de France, Sunday lunch at Bertus Basson, The Sommeliers Selection Awards, Spanish Braised Pork Cheeks, Wine of the Week

The view across the valley from Spice Route in Paarl to the Simonsberg
July winter weather in the Cape can be violent. On Monday night and Tuesday we had one of our epic storms, storms that would have frightened the life out of sailors in centuries past. The gale force wind hits us full on, the sea roars and this is followed by pelting rain. The temperature drops fast and we are so thankful to be inside, warm and dry, and our hearts go out to those who are not. But we do welcome the rain as the dams are slowly filling up. Hopefully, this will ease our drought. Since Sunday, here in Sea Point, we have had nearly 100mm of rain, and Sea Point generally has lower rainfall than other parts of the Western Cape. Has El Nino stopped at last?
MENU has a new Facebook page 
Tuk Tuk Brewery in Franschhoek launches the beers brewed in house     Tuk Tuk Micro Brewery, which is part of the Leeu Collection, opened in February this year and is already a very popular venue on Main Street in Franschhoek, on the next corner above Quartier Français. They have been selling CBC beers on tap and, this week, they introduced their own beers, brewed in the in-house 250-litre capacity brewery which you can see as you walk into Tuk Tuk. The beers are a Pale Ale, a Weiss (or Weizenbier (wheat beer) beer and a Dunkel made by brew master Dewald Goosen. We enjoyed these with a rather good selection of classic Mexican street food served family style from the Tuk Tuk Taqueria
Another visit to the Place of Angels – Angala. We loved our first stay at this chic small Boutique hotel on the slopes of the Simonsberg in April last year and were delighted to be invited back to see the new Spa and have dinner and stay the night. We had a marvellous time in this peaceful and tranquil place. Angala is surrounded by Vrede and Lust and Rupert and Rothschild vineyards. You enter through Vrede and Lust gates and then drive 2 k up the mountain till you come to this lovely guest house with superb gardens and view. They have recently installed a spa and they also have a special Winter Spa package for two. http://www.angala.co.za/
Societi Bistro's Tour de France     Enjoying good French food at Societi Bistro with some well paired wines. Having had a successful 10 weeks of Italian food and wines Societi invited us to come and try their Culinary Tour Through France -10 Weeks. 10 Regions. 10 Exceptional Wines. A different region and wine every week. Despite a cold and miserable Saturday afternoon, we so enjoyed sampling the dishes from the menu with many great local French style wines. Now you can too. http://societi.co.za/france/ It's a lovely way to enjoy eating out in winter
Sunday lunch at Bertus Basson, The Spice Route, Paarl     Who doesn't enjoy Sunday lunch if someone else is cooking for you? And it appears, from the full restaurant with lots of large parties, that Bertus Basson's generous offering of a four course lunch for R290 is attracting lots of you. We were very impressed at the variety on the menu which is served family style. And, of course, the restaurant is up on the Paarl mountain with superb views across to Franschhoek on the left, then looking right across past the Simonsberg, Stellenbosch, Klapmuts and, in the distance, Table Mountain. Lions Head rides like a shark through the Durbanville Hills and beyond is the west coast
The Sommeliers Selection Awards at The Stack, Leinster Hall     This is the second year these accolades have been awarded. Suppliers can enter their wines and these are judged by professionally trained Sommeliers who chose their 'Wine list 2016' selection. Suppliers are asked to submit their wines in various categories, NOT by varietal or blend. The Sommeliers say they prefer to make listings this way rather than by cultivar as it makes wines easier to recommend to customers and pair with food. All wines are tasted blind and judged by taste alone. There were some surprises when the wines were revealed. We love it when these surprises appear. We so approve of blind tasting and no sight of labels which can lead to predictable expectations
We finally found some pork cheeks at Joostenberg this weekend. We have heard how good this cut of meat is (beef cheeks are supposed to be even better) and Lynne wanted to try out this recipe with the Spanish ingredients. They were succulent. Do use good stock and check halfway through the cooking that the liquid is not evaporating, add water if it is. You serve this with rice rather than potatoes, but the choice is up to you.
1 1/2 T olive oil - 2 large onions, finely chopped - 3 garlic cloves, chopped - 600g pork cheeks, excess fat trimmed and cut in half - 1 tbsp flour, seasoned with salt and pepper and mixed dried herbs - 1 tsp ground cumin - 2 tsp sweet smoked Spanish paprika - 300ml medium dry sherry - 500ml beef stock - 3 carrots, chopped in rings - 1 celery stick, finely chopped - 1 fennel bulb, sliced - 1 turnip cut into 2 cm cubes - 1 bay leaf. To finish, 1 T flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped and 1 T flaked almonds
Heat your oven to 170 ⁰C. In an ovenproof casserole with a lid, fry the onion in the oil till soft and beginning to take on some colour. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Dip the pork cheeks into the seasoned flour and, adding a little more oil, brown them on all sides. Add the spices and stir for one minute. Remove and set aside. Add the sherry to the pan and quickly stir to deglaze the pot, to incorporate all the good brown crusty bits. Put back the pork and onions and pour on the beef stock. Add all the vegetables and then add a lid to your pot and transfer to the oven. Cook slowly until the meat is tender. This should take an hour or two. Just before serving, scatter over the parsley and the almonds. Serves four
Wine of the week: De Krans Touriga Naçional 2014 
Current farm price is R65. Its a Platter four star wine
We had this with the Pork cheeks and it was a serendipitous match. This robust wine has mulled wine spices, black pepper and cranberries on the nose, luscious red and blue berries with brandy and milk chocolate notes and those lovely soft tannins one expects from the Portuguese and Spanish grapes





28th July 2016
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