One of my favourite things to do on a cold day is to cook a delicious stew with a little help from my Wonderbag®. I do all the prep in the morning and leave the stew in the Wonderbag® for the day. When I get home… ta-daaaa… supper is ready!
If you don’t own a Wonderbag® as yet, enter our competition (be quick) or put it on your Christmas wish-list. A slow-cooker that doesn’t use any electricity. What a wonderful invention.
With love from all at the Palace
You will need
1.5 kg – 2 kg bone-in beef short ribs or stewing beef
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
4 tsp flour
2 large onions, cut into ½-inch wedges
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine – you can use beef stock or hot water instead, if you wish
1 cup port – as above, you can use beef stock or hot water instead
1 bay leaf
4 fresh thyme sprigs
10 small carrots, cut into large chunks
Thyme to garnish
For the zucchini pesto mash
1 kg potatoes, peeled and cubed
200 g zucchini, rinsed well and diced (for a chunky mash) or grated for a smoother mash
½ jar Pesto Princess Basil Pesto
1. Cut your beef into chunks and place in a bowl with salt, pepper and flour. Mix.
2. In a heavy-based cast iron pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil and brown the meat in batches on all sides. Remove the meat and set aside.
3. Add the onions to the pot and cook until soft. Add more olive oil or a little hot water if they start to stick.
4. Add the garlic and tomato paste, stir to combine, then add red wine and port (or stock/hot water). Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes before returning the beef to the same pot.
5. Add the bay leaf, thyme and carrots before placing the lid onto the pot and placing it into the Wonderbag® to cook for 8 hours.
Top Tip: If the sauce has not thickened enough to your liking by the end of cooking time, just place the pot back on the heat, add a slurry of one tablespoon cornstarch + one tablespoon cold water and cook until thickened.
6. To make the zucchini pesto mash, place the potatoes into a pot of cold water and bring to the boil. Cook them for about 10-15 minutes, checking if they are tender with a fork. Once tender, add the zucchini and cook for 1-2 minutes.
7. Strain and place in a stand mixer bowl. Beat with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes, adding pesto as you go, until fluffy. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a masher and some elbow grease should do the trick.
Serve your stew with the hot zucchini pesto mash and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.
Recipe and food styling by Michelle Parkin.
Michael Olivier’s Choice
Groot Constantia Shiraz 2015
A couple of years ago, Groot Constantia winemaker Boela Gerber, a member of the prestigious Cape Wine Makers Guild, told me that he held out a lot of hope for the Shiraz grown on the Estate. In the intervening time, Floricius Beukes, the viticulturist, carried out some cutting-edge work in the vineyards, providing even finer grapes to the cellar.
Looks like Bottled under a natural cork closure in a Bordeaux bottle with the glass embossed Constantia logo just beneath the neck. This indicates that the grapes were grown in Constantia. In the glass, it is a deep plum ruby at the core that pales out to garnet at the meniscus.
Smells like Rich dark berry fruits and plums, fynbos herbs, grinds of black pepper and violets.
It tastes like Full rich and round from entry to a long, well-integrated ending. Firm tannins and acidity in the tail indicate that the wine is a laster.