Cape Winelands Cuisine recipe – Veal carbonade

Carbonade is the French term for meat quickly grilled in a pan or over the coals and served medium–rare.

In 1710, the granddaughter of Jan Van Riebeeck mentioned the Cape karmoenade she enjoyed and, in 1797, Johanna Duminy wrote about the carmonaade prepared for lunch from two legs of lamb, on their arrival at the farm where they hunted game. Lady Anne Barnard, who lived at the Cape between 1797 and 1798, also describes in her letter to Henry Dundas a delightful breakfast where crumbed carbonade seasoned with parsley was served.

Apart from parsley, seasoning such as lemon zest and juice, thyme and marjoram were also used in preparing the carbonade. In the Cape recipe recorded by Hewitt in 1890, the meat was marinated for an hour in a mixture of ground ginger, chopped onions and parsley before it was crumbed and baked.

In this version of a dish, veal chops are used. The chops are served with a parsley butter sauce with a surprising twist – the butter is frozen, crumbed and fried in oil. When the butter is served, it consists of a small, melting ball, wrapped in a crusty layer of crumbs.

Try this delicious recipe from our Cape Winelands Cuisine Cookbook, page 109.



1½ cups (375 ml) dried breadcrumbs

1 Tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh parsley

½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

½ tsp (2.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper

4 veal chops, French trimmed (rib bone cleaned)

Cake flour, for dusting

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 Tbsp (30 ml) butter


Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).

Mix the crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper.

Lightly dust the veal chops in flour, coat in egg white and toss in the crumb mixture.

Repeat the egg white and crumb process so that you end up with double-crumbed chops.

Place in the oven for 5 minutes, for medium-rare. Transfer the chops to a heated frying pan and brown in butter on both sides.



200 g butter, room temperature

2 Tbsp (30 ml) finely minced fresh parsley

½ tsp (2.5 ml) finely minced garlic

½ tsp (2.5 ml) lemon zest

½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt

¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1 cup (250 ml) dried bread crumbs or rusk crumbs


Place all the ingredients, except the egg and crumbs, in a bowl and beat for 3-5 minutes to mix. Pour into a dish and refrigerate.

Use a melon baller or Parisian scoop to make small butter balls.

Place the balls in the freezer until rock hard.

Crumb using the same process as for the chops.

Fry in hot oil just until the crumbs turn golden brown and serve immediately, spooned on top of the chops.

Serve with a quince preserve and a healthy salad.

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