For someone that loves to braai, to give a braai the title of “The Perfect Braai”, that braai had to be pretty special. Now imagine this. You get in your car and you drive for less than 5 minutes out of town, you light a fire in a place where no fire have been lit for 30 years, looking out on vineyards as far as the eye can see, with game grazing away no more than 50 metres from your fire, drinking excellent wine, all under the pretence that you are actually slaving over an open fire.
This is exactly what happened on Tuesday 21 May 2013, on the farm Hooggelegen, the home of Signal Gun Wines, just outside of Durbanville. The braai was build 35 years ago by people that use to rent a house on the farm in what is now part of the game camp on the farm, and the last time a braai was actually held there was 30 years ago.
All of this changed at 12H00 on Tuesday 21 May 2013, when MJ de Witt the owner and winemaker of Signal Gun Wines and I lit a fire on the 35 year old braai, each with a glass of wine in our hands to celebrate the re-opening of one of the best braai spots in the Cape, if not in the country.
MJ have a bit of a Keith Floyd attitude to his cooking, or more specific to his prawn recipe. In his introduction to his cookbook Flash Floyd, Floyd said “For heaven’s sakes. Having friends around is meant to be fun for everybody and especially you. After all, you have paid for it, and anyway, when you do eventually manage to get the food onto the table, all they are going to do is talk about a wonderful meal they had in their favourite restaurant or tell you that their particular favourite TV cook wouldn’t have done it like that.” And a bit further “And you can be a bit flash and take advantage of the good ready-made wine sauces, stocks, etc.”
MJ’s prawn recipe for both his peri-peri and his lemon and herb prawns make use of the ready-made sauces of Ina Paarman, and both are delicious. You can spend a lot of time in the kitchen, time that could have been spend on important stuff like enjoying a glass of wine with friends, and still not make a better sauce than any of these two sauces (I am not getting paid to say this) the recipe is as easy as: add the sauce to your “skottel braai” or pan, heat it up to boiling point, add the prawns, and cook until done while you are turning the prawns every now and then. When prawns change colour from grey / brownish to red it is done, do not overcook, as with most seafood it is the single biggest mistake that people make, over cooked seafood goes either dry or tough, or both.
The recipe for the lemon and herb is basically the same as for the peri-peri prawns, only you use the lemon and herb sauce, and add a bit of white wine to the skottel as well, delicious with a Signal Gun Sauvignon Blanc, and make sure you have a piece of bread to mop up the lovely sauce.
MJ showcased is baking skills with two different beer pot breads in one pot, the dough gets divided with some folded aluminium foil (see picture), the one a Mexican bear bread and the other a seed loaf.
To read further, please visit www.capecook.co.za