It is not often that one gets the best of both worlds. Not compromising on taste, while keeping the issue of health in mind is a regular challenge to chefs, cooks and those who love to eat. Is this a modern dilemma? Not really, finding the answers to such challenges often lies in our heritage - even if it was not labelled as such in the past.
Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant serves a modern interpretation of Cape Winelands Cuisine. Based on the culinary traditions of the Cape Winelands, its origin is in the culmination of the culinary inspirations and flavours found on the Spice Route - from Europe to the Far East, to what was available locally at the South point of Africa. And it is in this culmination that we find an ingredient that can be described as the best of both worlds.
Jan van Riebeeck's explorers first came across the African goats of the Cape in the vicinity of Clanwilliam, around 1661. These wild indigenous goats had straight horns, wild eyes and were not ennobled. In those early days of the 20th century, the offspring of the wild goats and milk goats from Europe resulted in a goat with horns curved to the back, softer eyes and better meat. Since the early 1990's South African farmers have been hard at work to breed the ultimate Boerbok. One that is hardy, fertile, disease resistant and fast growing, but most importantly, for our purposes, produces exceptional meat. (Read more)
Boerboek meat is nutritious, tasty and tender, but at the same time low in cholesterol and lower in fat than both lamb and beef. Having played second fiddle to lamb and mutton over the years, boerbok deserves to feature on restaurant menus and Chef Michelle Theron has chosen this versatile meat as her hero dish on Pierneef à La Motte's recently introduced Summer menu.
Described as Boerbok, carrots and hazelnuts on the menu, the boerbok is slow-cooked and pressed and served with a heirloom sweet-and-sour carrot chutney and hazelnut dukkha. La Motte Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche suggest the 2015 Pierneef Syrah Viognier with the dish that appears on the lunchtime a la carte menu as well as in a fine dining interpretation on the dinner tasting menu.
Other highlights on the Summer menu includes:
Fragrant Cape curried seafood with steamed mussels, calamari and slow-cooked octopus with a piquant banana chutney
Tomatoes on “askoek” with avocado, toasted seeds, hazelnut tapenade and sea lettuce
Smoked lamb, parsley and coriander “karmenaadjie” with creamed corn hash, roast onions, pickled cucumber and Cape emulsion
Shortbread, toffee and caramel with vanilla, almond butter shortbread, salted caramel, chocolate glaze, Nyangbo cocoa bean and caramelia
“Jam”, watermelon, jelly, white chocolate and pecan nut mousse, shades of pink cake and watermelon sorbet.