Winter arrived with a bang in Cape Town this week as it was left battered and bruised in a storm said to be the greatest storm the Cape has seen in 30 years. Thankfully it also meant plenty of rain which is desperately needed considering the drought and the fact that the city was officially declared a disaster area earlier this year. Now that we’re finally into the cold and wet season, if ever you needed an excuse to hibernate and delight in warm winter dishes, this is it. So whether you’re a restaurateur wanting to attract a winter clientele once the worst of the storm has passed, or simply a master chef in training at home, here are a few of our favourite halaal certified meat dishes to warm the heart and celebrate winter.
To start us off, nothing says winter more than a deliciously rich and aromatic oxtail stew. Considered affal, the tail of the bovine is skinned and cut into sections. Containing a piece of the tailbone with some marrow in the centre and meat surrounding the bone, this bony and fatty meat is gelatinous, best slow-cooked and perfect for braising. Whether you choose to do red wine and garlic braised oxtail, Jamie Oliver’s dark, sticky and super-tasty stew, or the more traditional Italian Coda alla Vaccarina, you can’t go wrong by including this hearty dish in your winter fare.
Next on the list, and although good at any time of the year, but giving us that extra boost of much-needed heat in winter is an aromatic Cape Malay curry. Known for combining sweet and savoury flavours, nothing beats succulent lamb neck or shanks infused in a rich Cape Malay curry sauce and wrapped in a warm roti. Cass Abrahams, doyenne of Cape Malay cuisine, says ‘the culture of the Malay community is inextricably couched in its recipes, some dating back 300 years.’ So, if you want to make a truly authentic dish, then follow her traditional Cape Malay curry for a masterful blend of spices and seasoning.
And then, what would winter be without a good soup? Brimming with seasonal goodness and considered the quintessential winter dish, it really is the best comfort food. And while there are hundreds of soups to choose from, according to The Culinary Cook, there are only seven basic types, regardless of what flavourings or ingredients you choose to add: clear soups, broth soups, consommé, cream soups, velouté-based soups (thickened exclusively with butter and/or cream), puree soups, bisques and chowders. Spoilt for choice you can opt for a traditional vegetable soup or the much-loved French onion soup, but if you want to try something a little different then consider a sweet potato vichyssoise topped with crispy smoked snoek and apple – South African winter cuisine at its best.
Whatever dishes work for you this winter, remember that N1 hold the core values of quality, service and delivery at the heart of everything they do, so whatever your halaal certified meat needs might be, contact N1 today for the best in high-quality meat, halaal fish and wholesale frozen vegetables.