Author & Photographer: Georgia East
Just like sunscreen and soft serve, a proper braai is something that – for most South Africans – is synonymous with summer. Cooking outdoors and serving up dishes flavoured with smoke is how we all love to spend weekends. But when it comes to braai recipes – and especially those featuring red meat – what is the best wine to enjoy them with? The general rule of thumb is that red wine is the best partner to red meat and but for a few exceptions, this for the most part rings true.
However, when the forecast is in the mid-thirties, is it still acceptable to break out a good bottle of red?
The answer is a resounding yes. The good news is that most of our favourite wintery red wines can still be enjoyed during the warmer months and if served and paired correctly are often even more enjoyable to sip on a sunny day. According to decanter.com, a bottle with 30 minutes of chill time in the fridge before serving will be immediately more refreshing although one should take care not to over-chill the wine, as this will mute the aromas and flavours and make the tannins seem more astringent and drying.
Lighter reds such Pinot Noir, Grenache, Gamay Noir and Cinsault can be served icy, a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz need only to be chilled long enough to take the edge off without losing any of their perfume.
Speaking of perfume, the Shiraz from Pulpit Rock’s Brink Family Vineyards’ range is made for the braai – and specifically this recipe for paprika-spiced smoky Lamb Kebabs with sweet peppers.
Use lamb leg chops cut into cubes to make these skewers, as they require faster cooking and are thus perfect to grill. Smoky paprika and the sweet heat of bell pepper inspired by Iberian cuisine give this dish Mediterranean appeal.
- 300g lamb leg chops, deboned and cubed
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into cubes
- 1 red onion, cut into cubes
- 30ml olive oil
- 5ml smoked paprika
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, plus extra for basting
- 2 sprigs of thyme, plus extra for basting
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
Zest and juice the lemon and finely chop some of the rosemary. Combine the lemon and rosemary with the olive oil, paprika, thyme and garlic. Season to taste and pour over the lamb cubes. Leave to marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
Thread the lamb, pepper and onion on to the skewers, beginning and ending with pepper. Grill the skewers over medium heat to keep the lamb gently pink in the centre. Baste the skewers with any leftover marinade – a makeshift brush made with sprigs of rosemary and thyme tied together with kitchen twine works best and imparts flavour as the meat is cooking.
Serve the skewers with a simple salad of white beans.
Interested in purchasing a bottle (or 6) of Pulpit Rock Shiraz? Send an enquiry to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them on tel: 022 461 2025