Because it’s a bit like Beef Wellington but wrapped in pork.

It’s dead easy too. You start with a hunk of springbok rump, which you marinade in a mixture of Jimmy’s or similar and maybe some red wine. Whatever works for you. I didn’t get around to it for a while so the meat spent a week in the fridge. Remember to turn it once a day or so.

Then get hold of a large piece of pork skin. SPAR sells it as “pork spek”. It’s cheap. Liberally sprinkle the fatty side with pepper, mixed spice, herbs, garlic, maybe even some chopped mushrooms.

Wrap the meat in the skin, tie with string, stick it in the oven at 160 to 180 C for an hour to an hour an a half, and Napoleon’s your uncle.





I still had some gemsbok shin from last year. Started out with this allrecipes beef curry recipe, which ended up a bit watery — but that worked out fine, since I ladled all the liquid out of the slow cooker into a pan, and cooked some pumpkin in that, then added it all together.

And it was good.

So this is what you do. Get hold of some gemsbok shin. Or whatever. Cut into cube-like shapes and brown in the oil (with a lean meat like game you need to keep adding oil, don’t worry, it’s good for you). Meanwhile, slice an onion (or two if they’re small) into rings and put that in the bottom of your slow cooker. Put the browned meat on top, season with salt and pepper.

Cook two cloves of garlic, a teaspoon fresh ginger, and a chopped green chili for a few minutes, then add your curry powder (I used two tablespoons hot and one tablespoon extra spicy, but I suspect my hot curry isn’t, your mileage may vary). Add a tin of chopped tomatoes.

At this stage the recipe calls for stock, I mixed in two heaped teaspoons stock powder and added some water. Same thing. Spoon the mix over the meat, leave it to cook overnight.

If you use a slow cooker often, you’ll know that you need to add very little liquid. True, but for this recipe a bit more liquid is good. Because this is where you ladle off as much liquid as you can and cook about two cups of diced pumpkin in it until tender.

And then you add the pumpkin back into the curry and serve. Easy and pretty damn good. You probably want some rice on the side, sambals and raita can be good, poppadums always are.

No, not the one where you find a corpse and drop it off the coast of Spain. This is the one where you find a container full of gemsbok intended for biltong at the bottom of your freezer, and realise that half of it is a bit chunky and / or stringy, and that mincing it would be a better idea.

Enter a handraulic meat grinder, originally acquired to mince perlemoen in the pre-poacher days when we still had perlemoen.

I’m going to end up with a right arm like a teenage boy.




I learned to make chili from the Foodie Handbook. It calls for beans and plenty paprika. We like beans in our chili. And get your paprika from the good guys, that brown stuff from Robertson is useless.

So while digging through the freezer, I found a hunk of meat labelled “silverside”. I thought it was eland but when I started working with it I realised it’s gemsbok. Half of it went into a tomato bredie with the other half earmarked for a curry of some sort. Put it in a bowl, covered it with buttermilk, left it in the freezer overnight.

Found this recipe for venison chili (the one halfway down with the “crab bake” which I don’t have and didn’t use). Adapted it a bit.

Olive oil + butter in the flat bottom black pot, shake most of the buttermilk off the meat, fry the meat in batches and remove. Fry two chopped onions, one green pepper, about a tablespoon of garlic. Add the meat back in, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a tin of kidney beans, a tin of borlotti beans and a tin of red beans (that’s what I had in the cupboard). I used less chili powder than the recipe calls for, small people in the house. Three four heaped tablespoons paprika, tin of tomato paste, heaped teaspoon cayenne. Some mixed spice and a tablespoon chicken stock powder. And some herbs, can’t remember what, probably rosemary. Add fresh (well, fresh from the freezer in this case) danja right at the end, serve with creme fraiche if you have (we didn’t, used normal cream).

It could have cooked for longer but we were hungry. That’s also why there are no pictures.

I can really recommend Pioneer Woman’s turkey brine, two-step roasting process, and turkey gravy.

Ree says she uses a 20 pound turkey — that’s huge. The biggest turkey I could find was about 3 1/2 kilograms, call it 10 pounds. It fed seven of us, with enough meat left over to make turkey stroganoff (strongly recommended recipe) while leaving the drumsticks for whoever wants to gnaw on them.

The “10 minutes per pound” rule of thumb is only linear around 20 pounds, I guess, because at the end of the 100 minutes my turkey was already clocking 160 degrees. Maybe the thermostat is off.  So I cranked the oven down a bit while boiling the gammon, and the little red jobbie popped up pretty much when I needed the oven for Yorkshire Pudding. Which isn’t a pudding but the brits have strange names for things. Came out pretty well.

This is the only pic I have — it got a bit busy in the kitchen.

Gammon: 1.8 kilograms, browned, covered 3/4 with water, 20 minutes / lb, then stuck in the oven to brown. Nothing funny.

I had some complaints about the gravy. Well, one complaint. There wasn’t nearly enough of it. What I did was to Maillard an onion in the slow cooker for an hour or so, then I added the giblets and water and cooked it overnight. Used the pan drippings, some flour, and the stock to make the gravy. Unlike Pioneer Woman I didn’t add the giblets to the gravy, all the flavour was in the stock already.


Being the second of two completely coincidentally very similar recipes.

Still the same eland shin, defrosted in water.

The recipe is from Perry’s Plate. For this one I used some stock I made a while ago, using quite a lot of green and yellow bell peppers. And I used cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips.

Again, I had to reduce the sauce at the end. I’m still a bit nervous about the slow cooker boiling dry (which I’m pretty sure it won’t) so I add too much liquid as a rule.

Being the first of two completely coincidentally very similar recipes.

The basis for all of this is some eland shin (skenkel), off the bone. I bought half an eland cow from a friend, and while having a freezer full of eland is a Good Thing (TM), we also have to eat most of it before I can fit some gemsbok in there.

To defrost the meat, I soaked in in water (with a bit of vinegar added) for 24 hours. This draws out the blood, makes the meat less “wild” apparently. Then I basically followed the standard recipe,  i.e. dusted the cubed meat in flour, browned it in the black pot, stuck it in the slow cooker along with tomatoes and a bit of chili and spices and Worcestershire and so forth, and let it go all day on low.

Got home, diced some potatoes quite small, separated the sauce with a slotty spoon and boiled the potatoes in the sauce until done, then recombined the whole lot. I might have added some Maizena too.


Some time ago we were watching So You Think You Can Cook Top Chef and they were making fried chicken… sounded interesting, so we tried it.

At the moment my recipe is converging to something between My Mother-in-Law’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Crispy Fried Chicken.

Start with chicken on the bone. This is important. Drumsticks and thighs work for me. Salt and pepper and marinate in buttermilk for as long as you can — all day or 15 minutes if it’s all you have.

Next up, remove the chicken pieces and put them down to drain some of the buttermilk off, before dredging them in flour with pepper, salt and about two tablespoons paprika added. Next time there will be cayenne pepper in there as well. Leave the chicken in the flour for a while so that the flour absorbs the buttermilk, giving you a sort-of batter around the chicken.

Meantime, you need to heat up your oil. 170°C is what you’re aiming for. A candy thermometer is essential here — too cold and your chicken comes out greasy, too hot and you have the excitement of an indoor fire. Fry the chicken in batches, six minutes a side. I found it works to fry two pieces, turn them over and add two more pieces, remove the first two pieces, turn the second two pieces over, add two more pieces…

Put the fried chicken on a baking tray (I used paper towels, but this sticks to the chicken, next time I’ll put the chicken on a rack over the baking tray) and when all the pieces are fried, pop it into your 180°C oven for half an hour.

Meanwhile, steam your veggies, boil your potatoes, make mash.


The new hunting season is on us, and I still had this hunk of springbok thick flank left in the freezer from last year (crappy photo, I know). About 800, 900 grams.

Marinaded it in yoghurt overnight, then mostly followed this recipe.

Started with one large diced onion, two small grated carrots, a not-so-chili pepper from the garden, and a packet of cherry tomatoes. Added to this some chili sauce, ginger and garlic, and after it had all cooked to a bit of a mush, some extra spicy curry powder,  garam masala and cumin.

Transferred the sauce to the slow cooker, added the diced springbok on top, covered with water, added peppercorns, turned on the slow cooker and walked away.

I didn’t want the curry to be too hot, it being springbok, but in hindsight I could probably have added a bit more spice.


In other news, this recipe for slow roasted pork belly sounded interesting.

Score the skin, add five spice and salt, stick it in the oven at 150°C for 2 or 3 hours over a pan of water. Crank up the grill at the end to crisp up the skin.


And while you have the grill all fired up…

Follow this recipe where you basically get hold of an eisbein, cook it for a few hours, then stick it under the (same) hot grill to crisp the skin.



The new hunting season is almost upon us, and I still have a couple of hunks of springbok left in the fridge from last year. Including a whole neck.

So I found this recipe. It calls for neck chops, I had the neck whole… ah well, let’s try it anyway.

Mixed up the marinade of an onion, some garlic, 500ml red wine, didn’t have port at hand so left it out, fresh rosemary, forgot about the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, some paprika — blended that all together, stuck it and the neck in a ziplock bag in the fridge. Used a tin of cranberry jelly I had kicking around, and some sugar to compensate for the extra tartness.

Removed neck from bag, browned some bacon, browned the neck in the bacon fat, removed it from the pot. 500ml of stock, the marinade, some tomato puree, bring that all to a boil, float the neck back in, oven at 180 for three hours or so. Didn’t bother with the onions, we were hungry.

Good stuff.

Don’t ditch the sauce. I ended up with quite a bit of meat left over, so I boiled two potatoes and four carrots (sliced and cubed) in the sauce, added the meat back in, and made 36 pies. They freeze well, pop ’em in the oven for half an hour, serve with chips or mash and gravy.




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