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Easter lamb casserole with Culinaria Shiraz Grenache



Other than being a special time for family and friends to get together, Easter Weekend usually marks the change of season. Days are getting shorter, a light scarf is not out of place and opening a bottle of red wine seems like the natural next step.

And it is while opening a bottle of the Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Shiraz Grenache, that Chef Pieter was inspired to add some interesting touches to his favourite slow-cooked lamb casserole. With its vibrant plum, mulberry and black currant  flavours, backed by unmistakable black-pepper accents,  the full-bodied Culinaria Shiraz Grenache can stand up to even the most substantial dish. Try it with middle-Eastern flavours in a Maroccan-inspired dish, the smokiness of barbequed meat or the zing of Ethnic dishes such as chili con carne. It will work with traditional roasts and rich reductions, the intense flavours of beef bourguignonne and even the sweet suggestions of Japanese teriyaki!

But what makes this wine so exceptional with a variety of strong flavours? Shiraz and Grenache are two vigorous varieties and with the vineyards growing in clay soils and in a cooler area with strong winds, the yields are low and the bunches small, resulting in concentrated flavours, exceptional fruitiness and complexity. The 2012-vintage of this Rhône-style blend reveals elegance and subtle spices reminiscent of its Chateauneuf du Pape counterparts in France’s Rhône Valley, without sacrificing its distinct South African character of sumptuous fruit.

Try Chef Pieter’s recipe and add some exciting ingredients to your slow-cooked lamb. Then, pour a generous glass of the 2012 Culinaria Shiraz Grenache and relax to a wonderful Easter with your loved ones.

Recipe for slow-cooked lamb casserole with dried pears, almonds and pomegranate couscous

Ingredients

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon turmeric

Pinch ground cloves

2 kg lamb shoulder, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Remaining spice mixture

2 red onions, diced

1 red chili, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

400 ml tomato juice

800 g chopped fresh plum tomatoes (or tinned)

200 g dried pears

100 g pitted dates

50 g raisins

100 g whole/flaked almonds, lightly toasted

2 litres good lamb or beef stock

Salt to taste

Chopped parsley

Chopped coriander

Method

  1. Combine all the spices and divide the spice mixture into two. Sprinkle one half of the spice mixture over the lamb and massage the spices into the meat. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight. Keep the remaining half of the spice mixture in an airtight container.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160 °C.
  3. Heat a large casserole, add the olive oil, lamb, spices, onion, chili and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Fit with a lid and place the casserole in the oven for 4 to 5 hours, until the lamb is tender. Garnish with chopped parsley and coriander and serve with Basmati rice.

Pomegranate couscous

Serves 4

Ingredients

250 – 300 ml chicken stock

300 g couscous

½ teaspoon lamb spice mixture

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

Lemon juice

Chopped parsley

Chopped coriander

½ cup pomegranate pearls

Method

  1. Place the stock in a pot and bring to the boil.
  2. Place the couscous in a wide bowl and season with the spice mixture as well as salt and pepper.
  3. Using a ladle, pour the boiling stock onto the couscous, a ladle at a time, incorporating each ladle one by one. Move the couscous around with a slotted spoon.
  4. Once all the stock has been incorporated, leave to stand for 5 minutes.
  5. Using a fork, scrape the couscous loose.
  6. Add the chopped herbs, lemon juice, olive oil and pomegranate to the couscous and adjust seasoning.

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