Many South African chefs and foodies will agree that the most perfect meat produced on local soil comes from South African sheep. With its unique flavour and succulent texture it’s often the most luxurious item on a good restaurant or dinner host’s menu. Lamb and Mutton South Africa’s main mission is give South African lamb and mutton meat the recognition and exposure it deserves, to show everyone out there whatfoodies around South Africa are doing with our beloved meat of origin.
Our Lambassadors for 2016, who will be sniffing out the best lamb dishes the SA food scene has to offer, is the Hall family from a farm in Cullinan just outside Pretoria in South Africa. John, Nicolette and Emma Hall is a true “plaas-yuppie” family, living the best of both the farm and city life. John, the bearded chef and family man, is married to super foodie Nicolette who is researcher by day with a Doctorate degree in Human Nutrition. Their little lamb, Emma, adventurous eater herself, has been to more food markets and festivals than your average food fanatic!
While on holiday in Cape Town, the Three Little Lambs (TLL) visited one of the oldest wine estates in Somerset West, Western Cape to find what delicious South African lamb and mutton secrets these Capetonians had to share.
The Lourensford Harvest Market has 77 stalls with fresh produce, food and trendy hand-made art, and the TLL had big expectations!
Fresh foodie-offerings in abundance!
Even an array of wild mushrooms, and we just couldn’t resist! Delicious home cooking seems to be in the pipeline. (Thinking we’ll be trying these simple lamb chops with a mushroom wine sauce).
TLL patrolled the market, and spotted a bounty of mouth-watering sheep meat creations. From Tunisian lamb Kleftiko (shank), roasted shoulder wraps, and lamb quiche, to Greek inspired dishes.
We tried some authentic lamb croquette prepared by the blue-eyed Dutch team at a stall they call Krokette.
But the greatest discovery had to be Ghenwa’s Lebanese Cooking Club. Ghenwa is a first generation Lebanese, married to an Austrian wine connoisseur, now calling the town of Somerset West her home. Ghenwa was recently inducted as professional chef in the order of The Chaine Des Rotisseurs, and she specializes in Mediterranean, North African and Levantine cuisine. The interactive chef offers cooking courses during the week, and serves her delicious favourites at the Harvest Market every weekend.
She grows most of her own herbs and vegetables, and when she chooses meat, she chooses sheep meat!
She’s dedicated to healthy foods, sourcing (and producing) organic ingredients and preparing dishes with fresh and seasonal products. Her stall offers an array of mezze, salads, dips and mouth-watering lamb offerings.
Ghenwa’s Mediterranean culture describes lamb and mutton as one of the healthiest, most flavourful meat choices – and most of her non-vegetarian dishes contain our favourite ingredient.
Choices on offer include traditional Lebanese Fatayer (triangular pies filled with lamb mince and pine nuts) to lamb Kofta (mince roll) served with home-made hummus (chickpea puree) and the best baba ghanoush (roasted aubergine dip) TLL had ever tasted.
Ghenwa’s ultimate (and most unusual) lamb dish has to be her Kibbeh Nayeh (lamb steak tartare –or raw spiced lambs mince) made from Karoo lamb. We all know how difficult it can be to find lamb mince, so she minces her own meat, from leg of lamb, and mixes it with a special selection of home-grown herbs and spices.
Unfortunately, as Kibbeh Nayeh is served raw, and needs to be eaten very fresh, she does not serve it at the market. Until we have a chance to taste this at one of her future events (which we’ll now be watching out for!), she shared one of her favourite lamb recipes with us to try at home - Gently Baked Lamb Shanks with pomegranate paste and chili bulgur.
The offering at the sweet, kid- and pet-friendly Lourensford Harvest Market, hosted within an impressive wine estate, left a feeling of wholesomeness and a delicious taste of lamb in our mouths!
…after all the good food the TLL were ready to head off to the neighbouring wine estate, Vergelegen, this time for some award-winning vino (and a suckle of warm milk!)
John, Nicolette and Emma Hall is a true “plaas-yuppie” family, living the best of both the farm and city life. John, the bearded chef, and family man, is married to super foodie Nicolette who is researcher by day with a Phd degree in nutrition. Their little lamb Emma, adventurous eater herself, has been to more food markets and festivals than your average food fanatic! These three little lambs will give you a sneak peak into their kitchen where the magic happens and will also be sniffing out the best lamb dishes the SA food market scene has to offer.