Curing the Homesick Blues with Ostrich Nuts

12 April 2015

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What a simply perfect weekend!

I have been desperately missing the pleasure of cooking just recently, so while most the Kwantu volunteers spent their weekend in Jeffers Bay, and the remaining two (George and Heather, husband and wife from Canada) stayed in a nice hotel in Port Elizabeth, I took advantage of being the only person remaining in Port Elizabeth’s Albeit Lodge Hostel and decided to commandeer the hostel’s apparently untouched kitchen.

When I say untouched, I don’t mean something new and sparkling… I’m actually using a very polite term for something else altogether.

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After a good clean and tidy, I managed to dig out a few pots and pans which seemed fitting to the purpose I hadn’t yet identified. I wanted to create something that carried with it the flavours of South Africa, at least those I’ve identified so far. After some perusing around the local supermarket, this is the ingredients list I eventually built…

Ingredients

  • 500g of Ostrich Mince
  • 100g of Cashew Nuts
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 8 medium sized tomatoes
  • The Pepper Rainbow (one red, one yellow/orange, one green)
  • 1 standard tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons of Bushman’s Hot Az Hell
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  • A splash of Savanna Cider
  • One Yam (South African Sweet Potato)
  • A sprankling of Shisanyama seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper

So, now your ingredients are collated, it’s time to cook a tasty lunch for the Albeit Lodge Team!

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1. First, prepare you side. Pre-heat the oven to 190. Peel and dice the yam, then rub it with oil, salt, pepper and the Shisanyama seasoning. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove them, move them, shake on a little more season and return to the oven. Increase the temperature to 220 and cook for another 20 minutes. Done.

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2. Making the best out of your knife situation, finely dice the garlic, green chilli and half the onion. Much together with the ostrich mince and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

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3. Using your hands, make meatballs from your oniony meat lump, roughly the size of golf balls

4. Take a large frying pan (or whatever your pan situation allows, in this case an over-sized saucepan) and place it on a medium-high heat with about two tablespoons of oil inside. Once the oil is up to temperature, place your meatballs inside and cook until firm and browned on all sides.

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Remove from the pan and wrap in kitchen towel. Place to one side.

5. If continuing to use this over-sized saucepan, drain the excess oil now and reduce the heat slightly, otherwise now discard of the frying pan and fetch a saucepan, with a little oil.

6. Dice up the remaining half of the onion and garlic and throw them in the pan along with the cashews. Cook until the onion has nicely browned.

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7. Dice the pepper rainbow into nice chunky squares and chop the red chilli. Add to the pan and cook together for 5 minutes.

8. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the tinned tomatoes, Hot Az Hell, Savanna and meatballs. Stir gently, then cover and leave to cook for 5 minutes.

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9. Quarter the tomatoes and add to the pan. Cover, and leave for 5 minutes.

10. Serve with a cold Savanna and relax.

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After this, I took a much needed afternoon nap, before meeting Heather and George for the pleasure of attending a rugby game in support of the local team; EP Kings Vs West Province! A real turf war! The atmosphere was electric, and I was particularly pleased with my beer pint mug that doubled up as a handy dandy Biltong holder!

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Unfortunately, the Kings were beat on their own turf with a defeat of 19-13, but it was still an excellent game! During half time, we bumped into a couple of friends of ours, New Zealanders Elle and Heidi, who joined us for dinner afterwards at a wonderful seafront restaurant by the name of Ginger

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Oh, what a feast! For my starter I explored a carpaccio of Warthog, Crocodile and Kudu

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And for the main course, Waterbuck steak!

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To round up, dessert was a very indulgent Chocolate Lava Pudding, with a melting Lindt centre!

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And to make sure we didn’t miss out on any of the outstanding flavours in each course, and lemon and thyme pallet cleanser was served between each!

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This, alongside the team’s expert knowledge on the perfect wine with the perfect dish, made for a very enjoyable evening indeed. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an experience perhaps on the more classy side when visiting Port Elizabeth. For this beautiful dinner, I paid less than what I would pay for a three course meal in TGI Friday’s. A-Mazing.

The following morning, after a very full night’s sleep, I headed out to the Seafront Market to continue my support of the EP Kings…

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Better luck next time!

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