Braai Recipe: Bobotie-Spiced Ostrich Fan Fillet

A Cape Malay-inspired dish for the 2010 World Cup games.

Over the following month, 32 soccer teams from around the world (including the US) will pit their wits and skills against each other in the 2010 World Cup until the winner emerges on July 11 in Soweto. For South African soccer fans, whose enthusiasm is reaching a fever pitch, it’s time to start planning what to do during the matches and the post-match celebrations. In this part of the world, the braai (Afrikaans for barbecue), is an essential part of both.

Everyone has their own method of braaing, but the hard core traditionalists will say the best results can only be achieved over an open fire. (South Africans enjoy an outdoor lifestyle even now during their winter season.) The braai fanatic will be equally adamant about which wood creates the right sort of coals: many swear by old vine stumps.

Oscar Foulkes, marketing man at Cloof wine farm in the Darling area, and his wife Andrea are champion braaiers. He’ll be cheering on Bafana Bafana (as the South African soccer team is known) while preparing his Bobotie-spiced Ostrich Fan Fillet.

Bobotie is a sweet and spicy Cape Malay dish, usually made with minced beef, but here the flavors are used as a marinade for the ostrich fillet. Ostriches are very much part of the South African scene, prized today for their healthy, lean meat perhaps more than their feathers.

The Cloof Very Sexy Shiraz would be Oscar’s wine of choice to accompany this dish but a Rhône style blend or a spicy, cooler-climate pinotage would also go well.

So, whichever team you support, enjoy the next month of soccer with a braai—and South African wine.

Serves 6

1,2kg ostrich fan fillet
Bobotie spice paste
1 cup oil
½ cup vinegar
1 onion, sliced
1 cup dried apricots
4 tablespoons deseeded raisins
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped

Toast the spices in a dry pan until they become fragrant. Add the spices to the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend to make a thick paste. Marinate the fillet in a covered dish for a few hours or overnight. Remove the fillet and sear over hot coals, turning and basting with the marinade regularly to build up a flavourful crust. Cook until pink inside or done to your personal preference. Heat any leftover marinade and serve it as a sauce.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Cape Wine Braai Masters (published by Wines of South Africa).

For more braaing tips and recipes, see World Cup Entertaining: the Backyard Braai

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