The mornings have a definite chill in the air and the frightfully territorial squirrels in my garden have burst into a flurry of activity, gathering acorns and digging up my flowerbeds to use as a larder. Yup folks, autumn is definitely here. It’s simply my favourite time of year in the Cape. The beastly South Easter doesn’t howl anymore and the days are balmy – just perfect weather for al fresco eating. In my book that means only one thing – lighting a braai fire.

These pork neck sosaties with their sticky balsamic-apricot glaze are brilliant on the coals. I love pork because it’s affordable and I adore pork neck because it’s never dry. But if pork doesn’t float your boat, you could use beef or chicken instead.

All you need is…

For the glaze
2 fat cloves garlic, finely minced
2½ Tbs smooth apricot jam
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs tomato paste
1½ Tbs rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs water
black pepper – a generous 8 twists of your grinder
For the sosaties
600g thick-cut pork neck steaks, cut into large blocks
12 soft dried Turkish apricots
2 red onions, quartered (leave the root on, it holds the onion together)
olive oil
salt

Put all the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and cook over gentle heat for five minutes. Thread the pork, dried apricots and onions onto skewers. (If you are using wooden skewers, it’s important to soak them in water for 10 minutes first or else they will catch fire on the braai.) Paint sosaties with olive oil and lightly salt. Place them on the coals and braai until they are three-quarters done. Then start basting them generously with the sticky apricot glaze. It’s important to only start glazing the sosaties towards the end of cooking as the sugar in this glaze will burn if you paint it on from the word go.

I like serving these pork neck sosaties with an autumnal salad of finely sliced red cabbage, carrots, celery, radish and pumpkin seeds dressed simply with a basic red wine vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette.

makes

4

prep

10 min

braai

15-20 min

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tips, tricks and trivia

Giving this recipe some Asian flavours

Feel like taking this apricot glaze into a more Asian space? Simply swap the rosemary for coriander and also add a heaped teaspoon of finely grated ginger. If you like it spicy, add a few slices of deseeded red chilli too.

If you go the Asian flavour profile route, a white wine like the Barista Chardonnay would be a better choice than the Barista Pinotage.

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enjoy with

Nine times out of ten I would opt for a white or rosé wine with pork. But pork can definitely handle red wine too. With the smokey notes from the braai and woody notes from the rosemary, these pork neck sosaties are more than robust enough to stand up to a Pinotage. My choice with this? The Barista Pinotage.

Pinotage is a uniquely South African cultivar, created in 1925 by crossing Pinot Noir with Cinsaut (known as Hermitage at the time.) With a heritage like this Pinotage always displays loads of ripe red berry flavours, but you also find other notes – even things like banana! Of course the standout flavour most folks think of when they think Pinotage is coffee. Many have asked me this question and the answer is NO, actual coffee is not used in the process of making coffee Pinotage. What we experience as coffee comes from the toasting regime the barrels used for fermentation and ageing undergo. The brain behind Barista is Bertus Fourie, formerly viticulturist at Diemersfontein and senior winemaker at KWV. Nicknamed ‘Starbucks’ for the advances he has made in the unique world of coffee Pinotage, in Barista Bertus has created a pocket-friendly, crowd pleaser.

In addition to loads of rich coffee, the Barista Pinotage also displays chocolate, mulberries, plums and marachino cherry. It’s juicily moreish, just perfect for South African palates. Take one to a braai and you’ll be everybody’s best buddy.

Barista

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Ook beskikbaar in: Afrikaans