Bobotie and Mulderbosch -- South African adventures

Stolpman Vineyards' Italian-Style Crackling Pork Roast:
2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
4 fresh bay leaves, whole
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
Fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
zest from 1 orange
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
3 tablespoons Stolpman Olive Oil
1 boned and rolled pork shoulder or leg, skin scored
olive oil
Kosher salt
*The key to “crackling” is to start roasting the pork in a very hot oven and
sprinkling the skin with lots of salt. The extra salt can be brushed off
before carving.

Mix together the chopped herbs, pepper, garlic, orange zest, crushed fennel seeds and
Stolpman Olive Oil. Rub mixture into the pink flesh of the pork, not on the skin.
Marinate overnight or for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 450º F. Remove pork from refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
Rub the skin with the extra olive oil and sprinkle very generously with
kosher salt*. Rub the salt into the skin, place in a roasting dish and put in oven to cook for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350º F. and continue to cook for 1 hour (or 30 minutes per pound). Pork is done when the internal temperature reaches 165º F. and
juices run clear.
To serve: Allow pork to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with rice pilaf, mixed green salad or fresh Spring peas with water chestnuts. This dish pairs nicely with the 2005 Stolpman Sangiovese for the perfect spring dinner.
I was MIA this week, missing the food of Germany and Scandanavia, to help pour wine for Touring & Tasting at the Lobero supper club. T&T is a sponsor for the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and it's a sweet deal for me--pour wine for the pre-concert dinner guests, then enjoy an evening of fine music. Santa Barbara is blessed with generous art patrons like the Towbes who bring world class music to our small burg of less than 90,000. Maestro Heiichiro Ohyama seemed genuinely touched by being called back three times to a standing ovation to take his bows and, in typically Japanese fashion, tried to give his orchestra full credit. But, deserving as they are, our applause was for his masterful conducting of Beethoven's Symphony #7. The intensity and precision of the lively allegro con brio movement was breath-taking! Supper was good, too: pasta and salad from the good chef Renato at Via Maestra 42.
The best meal this week was at my neighbors Catherine and Jean Francois' house. They are part of a wine and dinner club that meets once a month to wine and dine around a theme. This meal was South African and Catherine and JF prepared a feast of interesting dishes for us. Snoeck Pate (a smoked fish spread with a base of tomato paste and cream cheese), Curried Cashews and Sultanas (white grapes), Bobotie (national dish of South Africa dish, spiced minced beef with egg topping), Baked Chicken and Stampkoring (chicken with wheat berries, onion, tomato, mushroom, paprika, mustard powder and Worcestershire sauce) , Denninguleis (lamb stewed with garlic, allspice, cloves, tamarind, nutmeg, chili, rosemary) served with Fruit Chutney, Carrot Bredie (mashed carrots and potatoes), Yellow Rice (turmeric, raisins, sugar, and cinnamon, a staple of the South African diet), Green Bean Salad (with onions, vinegar and stuffed olives), and Soetkoedies (spiced wine cookies) served with Rooibus Tea  (which is Afrikaans for "red bush"). Wow. A lot of cooking for them and a taste treat for us!
Everyone brought a South African wine: Ken Forrester 2008 Petit Pinotage, Klein Constantia Vin de Constance and Chenin Blanc, 2008 Goats Do Roam (clever play on "Cotes du Rhone"), Graham Beck Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, Kanoncop Kadette 2008, Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose', Southern Right 2007 Pinotage and Ataraxia 2006 Serenity.
My impression was that South African food is nuanced, not heavily spiced, but delicately so. The South African red wines are more in the French tradition--softer, less alcoholic and less fruit-forward than California wines. The South African whites were sweet without being cloying with nice aromatics. I normally don't like rose' but the Mulderbosch was very nice. The reds had more of a herbaceous flavor to them than fruit-forward--I envisioned the veld as the terroir.
Here's one of the recipes, courtesy of Catherine Almo, contact me if you would like any of the others. In 1954 Bobotie was declared the National Dish of South Africa by the United Nations Women’s Organization and today still is one of the most popular South African food recipes.
BOBOTIE (hoenderpastei):
•    2 Lbs lean ground beef
•    2 -3 Medium onions – peeled and chopped finely or sliced
•    1 Tablespoon oil (preferably olive oil)
•    1 Teaspoon crushed garlic
•    1 Teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
•    ½ Tablespoon curry powder (try a medium-strength curry to start off with)
•    1 Teaspoon turmeric
•    Pinch garam masala (optional)
•    2-3 slices bread with the crust removed; and soak in a ½ cup of milk. Remove from milk, squeeze out excess, mash with a fork to separate, and set aside
•    ½ Cup milk
•    2 Tablespoons lemon juice or 2 T vinegar
•    2 Tablespoons sugar
•    1 Tablespoon Chutney  (optional)
•    ½ Cup seedless raisins
•    1 apple peeled and finely chopped
•    25 grams blanched almonds, chopped
•    30 grams apricots, finely chopped
•    2 T apricot jam (optional)
•    Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bobotie Ingredients – Topping
•    2 Eggs (medium) beaten
•    ½ Cup milk
•    Bay leaves (to garnish)
1.    Preheat the oven to 325°F
2.    Grease an oven-proof dish
3.    Heat the oil in deep frying pan; add the onions and sauté until clear
4.    Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and turmeric and mix quickly – don’t leave this on the heat for too long, as the garlic can burn. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5.    Saute the ground beef. keep stirring on med heat until brown. Drain fat, add back in the onion mixture.
6.    Add sugar, mashed bread (squeeze out excess milk), chutney, lemon juice and raisins to the mixture
7.    Season to taste with salt and pepper
8.    Spoon the mixture into the greased dish, and place into the oven for 35 minutes.
9.    Mix the eggs with ½ a cup of milk, and any milk that may remain from the bread
10.    Remove the dish from the oven, and spread the egg mixture evenly over the top
11.    Add the bay leaves as decoration, and put back into the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the topping has set
Serving Bobotie: Although South African winters are fairly mild, Bobotie is generally served with rice as comfort food in winter. The rice is generally cooked to be yellow in color (by adding a small amount of turmeric to it); and chutney and sliced bananas are often served as accompaniments. Alternatively, the Bobotie and rice can be served with a small side salad of tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce with a vinaigrette dressing.
COMING UP MARCH 20TH: A wine warehouse sale at Touring & Tasting! I've bought some great wine at these events at unbeatable prices. If you're in Southern California--make the drive to 125 Quarantina Street--there will also be complimentary Il Fustino olive oil and vinegar tastings.


  1. Congrates!

    Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly.

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  2. Thanks--have any recipes to share with us?


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