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12-hour barbecue beef brisket

"Texas is world-renowned for barbecuing a mean brisket, the flat and fatty slab of meat, cut from the cow's lower chest," says Stone. "Cooking a simply seasoned brisket low and slow on a smoker (or kettle barbecue when barbecuing at home), gradually rendering the gummy white fat while simultaneously infusing smoky flavour into the meat, is a labour of love. Although time-consuming, briskets are not difficult to cook. And while you'll note that this one takes a whopping 12 hours to cook, don't be alarmed if your brisket needs another hour or so - this timing is an approximation, and greatly depends on the size of your brisket and heat of your barbecue." The brisket can also be cooked in an oven (see note).

Prego rolls

"This is a Mozambican specialty and one of the foods that changed my life in terms of African cuisine," says Duncan Welgemoed. "The best spot to get a prego roll in South Africa is the Radium Beerhall. It's run by my godfather, Manny, and is the oldest pub in Jo'burg. The meats are grilled out the back by Mozambican staff and are still done the same way today as they were 30 years ago." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the beef.

Lebanese-style snapper

"This dish is Lebanese-peasant done fancy with all the peasant-style flavours you'll find in Lebanese cooking, but with a beautiful piece of fish added," says Bacash. "The trick to not overcooking fish is to be aware that it cooks from the outside inwards and the centre should only cook until it's warm, not hot. If it gets hot in the middle, it will become overcooked from the residual heat. It takes a little practise getting to know this - be conscious of the inside of the fish and not the outside. Until you get it right, you can always get a little paring knife and peek inside the flesh when you think it's ready; it won't damage it too much."

Coleslaw

"Store-bought and pre-cut coleslaws, and bottled dressings have given the humble slaw a lacklustre rep over the years," says Stone. "Taking a little time (just 10 minutes!) to whip one up yourself reminds us why this salad became popular in the first place. This creamy, crunchy coleslaw comes together in a pinch and can be piled atop a thick piece of brisket or served as a side."

Perfect match: baked chocolate cream and tokay


You'll need

170 gm unsalted butter, coarsely chopped 230 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 80 ml (1/3 cup) thickened cream 2 eggs, lightly beaten 60 gm caster sugar 15 gm (2 tbsp) crystallised ginger, finely chopped To serve: crème fraîche   Ginger-poached pears 500 gm caster sugar 250 ml Stone’s green ginger wine 4 ripe corella pears, halved, cores removed with a melon baller

Method

  • 01
  • For ginger-poached pears, combine sugar, wine and 750ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to very low, add pears, cover closely with baking paper and turn occasionally until tender and translucent (1-1½ hours). Cool in syrup and reserve.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Combine 120gm butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth (3-5 minutes), remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk cream, eggs and 20gm caster sugar in a separate bowl until just combined, stir in chocolate mixture, then add crystallised ginger. Pour mixture into four 150ml-capacity ovenproof dishes and bake until just set with a slight wobble in centre (10-12 minutes). Cool to room temperature.
  • 03
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, scatter remaining sugar in an even layer in base of pan and cook until starting to caramelise (3-4 minutes). Carefully add pears, cut-side down, and cook until golden (5-6 minutes). Add remaining butter and cook until melted (3-5 minutes). Remove pears with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Add 80ml poaching liquid to pan, stir to combine and simmer over medium heat until syrupy (3-5 minutes). Cool to room temperature. Serve baked chocolate cream with pears, caramel and crème fraîche.

Note This dessert is great served at room temperature, when it has a really fudgy texture. However, it's also good warm.


Chocolate desserts need really sweet, intensely flavoured wines that are able to cut through the tongue-coating qualities and bitterness of cocoa. Dense, molasses-like fortified sweet wines such as Pedro Ximénez and Australian tokay are perfect: they have just the right strength, weight and concentration. As any sweet tooth will tell you, too, chocolate goes wonderfully well with raisins, which is pretty much what the ultra-ripe pedro or tokay grapes look like before they're harvested. I have also discovered, after years of research, that tokay has a particular affinity for cooked pears. Unlike muscat, which can be almost raisin-like in its fruit sweetness, tokay wines tend to have a little more of a savoury edge that complements the graininess you find in the texture of pear. Incidentally, as a result of a trade agreement with Europe, Australian winemakers have agreed to stop using the name "tokay" and have dreamt up a very similar alternative: expect to see bottles of "topaque" appearing on your wine shop shelf during the next few years.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Apr 2009

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