Hartford House

The Home of Good Conversation, Fine Wine and Classic Horses.

Award-winning hotel and restaurant situated at Summerhill Stud on the picturesque KwaZulu-Natal Midlands Meander, South Africa.

Filtering by Tag: Winter Recipes

WINTER MEANS 'VENISON SEASON'

Steaming Stews and Hot Pots / Winter Indulgence (p)

Steaming Stews and Hot Pots / Winter Indulgence (p)

"Winter calls for steaming stews and hot pots..."

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

Winter calls for steaming stews and hot pots - rich, juicy, heart-warming combinations to complement the Cape's finest full-bodied red wines. And, especially in Mooi River, many roaring log fires.

I enjoy winter for all these reasons and, as a chef, I get excited when winter approaches because it means it's 'venison season'. Top to toe/hoof is a chef's delight.

You can't get more South African than a spicy venison bobotie. We all know what to do with the top-end cut. Now try something different by taking the tougher but flavoursome sections; mincing them and making a juicy, aromatic venison bobotie. This must be accompanied with apricot 'blatjang' and yellow rice.

A venison consomme/soup with thyme, smoky campfire olives, and hot-roasted goats' cheese makes a savoury/umami combination to awaken anyone's palate.

A venison meat stew/pie - with a crispy, rough puff-pastry hat (on the side) loads of carrots, garlic and rosemary - is an ideal around-the-dining-room-table family meal Memories made around one pot!

When I'm unsure about a piece of meat, I draw the cooking process out as long as possible - even when it comes to good cuts and especially when the meat is very lean. I make a red-wine court bouillon (flavoured liquor or stock). I then pan sear the cut (all sinew removed) in a hot pan with a dash of butter, which is at the stage of releasing nutty aromas. This seared cut gets poached in the red wine court bouillon off of the heat and then is allowed to rest before serving. The result is a flavoursome, juicy piece of venison.

Springbok loin wrapped in a mushroom duxelle and then covered in puff pastry is an exciting dish. It's new-age beef Wellington with venison flair.

So here's to chilly evenings, bubbling hotpots and fun-filled home entertaining.

Supplier's list :

  • Places to try Lowland's butchery 033 2631886.
  • Another supplier of mine is Bim from Belcom's in Durban 031 5635875.
  • I have often seen Ostrich in various shops in KZN, which works beautifully too.

Take these recipes and try them.

venison

VENISON BOBOTIE
VENISON CONSOMMÉ
VENISON STEW
COURT BOUILLON
SPRINGBOK WELLINGTON

Send comments and food-related questions to jackie@hartford.co.za. I always look forward to hearing from you. For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK. Find me on Twitter - jackie_cameron.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
+27 33 263 2713

Assisted by Elaine Boshoff for recipe development and photography.

HEARTY ENGLISH DISHES TO WARM UP YOUR WINTER

"Father Time has place a gentle hand on England's grand old castles..." / Jackie Cameron (p)

"Father Time has place a gentle hand on England's grand old castles..." / Jackie Cameron (p)

A WEEK IN THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE

Jackie Cameron Head Chef

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef

A week in the English countryside sipping wine in the most distinguished luxury country houses is my kind of getaway. Father Time has placed a gentle hand on England’s grand old castles, ancient ruins and the many magnificent manors which stand as proudly as they did the day they were built. All are set in shrub-filled gardens surrounded by peaceful parklands dating back to as early as the 1600's.

And as I sit with a cup of tea and the creamiest of cream scones, I reflect on the fact that English food is not thought of as fondly as, let’s say, French and/or Italian cuisine. This seems crazy when you consider everything the English have brought to the table.

The first dish that springs to mind is roast beef served with pickled walnuts, electrifying fresh horseradish, outer-crispy and inner-spongy Yorkshire pudding and hot English Mustard. Delicious! Then there’s pork with applesauce and lamb or mutton with fresh mint sauce.  I have fond recollections of scrumptious Sunday lunches with the family tucking into typical “English” fare. 

Another firm favourite is fish and chips. Go to Brighton Pier/Beach where sidewalk eating is the norm and fish & chips the preferred dish. There you’ll find a selection to confuse any hungry fish lover. The simple pub food of bangers and mash, baked beans, bubble ‘n squeak (left over vegetables from dinner presented for breakfast in a stir up), Sheppard’s Pie and Cottage Pie are all must haves; so, too, is a full-house English breakfast.  Nothing sets the tone for a day of celebrations better than a good fry up.

On returning home I’m aware that the average person gives little credit to English cuisine. I was taken by surprise by the standard of every eatery I visited. Perhaps that was because I didn’t expect fine-dinning food in a pub. I believe appreciating one’s surroundings is the basis for an evening of enjoyment.

In my opinion the quality of food around the world is improving rapidly. This is as exciting for the diner as for the chef. Our jobs are becoming more challenging and much more interesting with the quality and variety available to us.

Focus on quality, buy the best you can afford and allow the hearty English dishes to warm up your winter.

Take these recipes and try them.

union jack chef hat

Hearty winter recipes for Fathers' Day

beef and corn pie

Beef-and-Corn Pie
(Photo : Jackie Cameron)

Head Chef Jackie Cameron

Head Chef
Jackie Cameron

Men are tricky to buy gifts for - especially fathers. They seem to have everything they need and what they don’t have is completely out of reach of my pocket. I’m reminded that a well-fed man is a happy man and I organise a selection of tasty treats that will illustrate my appreciation of all he’s done for me.

As the mornings get colder and the days shorter so hearty winter recipes come out. Your dad deserves a warm beef-and-corn pie with caramelised onions sitting on wilted, green vegetables. This is a combination of slightly sweet-and-savoury flavours with a crispy puff pastry topping. Tastes we all enjoy.

And if it’s a braai your father is wanting, no matter the weather, then add Thai marinated chicken skewers to your menu. Skewers are inexpensive to buy and with a little imagination you can create your own combinations. A smart way to use left-overs.

Males have a sweet tooth. This makes it easy, and the safest bet is lemon meringue tart. Men love it! The tart is made up of the intense, sweet-and-sour flavours of lemon curd; the light, spongy but crisp-textured meringue and the rich-flavoured biscuit base. A sugar high of note!

Over the years, I have cooked for a number of South African culinary events held abroad, and it has become apparent that South Africans are accustomed to eating rich, syrupy desserts. The best example of a proudly South African dessert is the koeksuster. This syrup-coated, plaited doughnut is fun to make and worth the effort. Your dad will never buy another koeksuster again!

Beef-and-corn pie, Thai marinated chicken skewers, lemon meringue tart and koeksusters... this will surely make him happy.

Take these recipes and try them.

BEEF-AND-CORN PIE
THAI GREEN CURRY CHICKEN SKEWERS
LEMON MERINQUE TART
KOEKSUSTERS

Post your comments and food-related questions below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Jackie Cameron
Head Chef
Hartford House
www.hartford.co.za
jackie@hartford.co.za
033 263 2713