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
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
250 – 300 ml chicken stock
300 g couscous
½ teaspoon lamb spice mixture
½ cup pomegranate pearls
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