GWENDA`S STORIES

WINTER IN THE BOLAND

To celebrate the joy of living we share with you the allure of winter in the Boland – rain, cold, long evenings in front of the fireplace, hearty soups and venison; as the hunting season is upon us.

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For the past 15 years the two  men in our lives - Ernst senior and Ernst junior (now 26) have escaped the cold, wet weather of the Boland on their annual father and son hunting trip.  It is not so much about hunting antelope but more about the many hours planning; the padkos, the journey of 10 hours in the bakkie (truck) to the north and the 4 – 5 days spent in the natural beauty that is Namibia.  Approximately 100 kilometres past Viooldrif (the border between South Africa and Namibia) they have, over the years, assembled a heap of stones which they call their monument.  Every year they stop at the same spot along the road in the middle of nowhere to stretch their legs and to finish off the last bit of padkos and empty the coffee flasks.   And every year they add another big stone to their secret heap and will sometimes even bring with a stone from the Boland.  They never forget to send a photo to the most important ladies in their lives whom they seemingly, miss very much.  Of course, there is always a very good reason why we are not invited.  Their main excuse – we have no interest in hunting and therefore do not want to come with!  So why bother asking! 

 When they return home – never let it be said that the fruits of their labour goes unappreciated – venison, biltong and boerewors to be handed out to all neighbours, family and friends.

We celebrate all our fathers and fathers-to-be in the hunting fields of South Africa and Namibia and wish all fathers a very special Father’s Day.  May you be spoilt rotten and loved to pieces!

 Cheers to the fathers

 The Gouws ladies

OUT OF OUR KITCHEN

ELAND FILLET WITH LAMB AND PORK BRAWN - by Pasch du Plooy from Dutch East Restaurant, Franschhoek

            For the Eland fillet you will need

            1 150g eland fillet 

            2 cloves garlic fresh, crushed

            2 bay leaves

            4 leaves sage

            4 knobs of butter

For the curried pork and lamb brawn you will need

            6 pig’s trotters

            2 whole springbok necks

            1 yellow onion, quartered

            2 carrots, diced

            4 whole cloves

            6 black peppercorns

            12 allspice berries

            4 tablespoons fresh coriander, finely chopped

            Salt and pepper for seasoning

            1 cup sweet mild curry paste

HOW TO MAKE THE BRAWN

Clean the trotters thoroughly of all hairs. Add the all meat, vegetables and spices to a large pressure cooker. Cover with 2.5 liters of cold water. Bring the pressure cooker to full pressure and cook for 60 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to depressurize and the meat to cool until it can be handled. Strain the stock and remove the vegetables, spices and meat. Remove the skin and all the bones from the trotters.  Remove all the meat from the lamb neck. Chop the meat coarsely.

 Add the strained stock to a large pot and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the liquid by half. Add the meat and stir in the curry paste. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to boil the brawn for another 15 minutes then add the chopped coriander.  Pour the brawn into a large terrine mold, set and slice before serving

HOW TO MAKE THE FILLET

Heat a cast iron pan till almost smoking hot. Brush you fillet portion with herb infused olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear the fillet in the pan till brown on both sides, about 60 seconds on each side without moving it. Now add the herbs and butter to the pan and finish in very warm oven for 5 minutes basting with the heated butter every minute or so.

TO PLATE

Garnish with truffled potato croquettes, confit pearl onions, sautéed wild mushrooms, pickled carrot coulis and red wine jus.

OUT OF OUR KITCHEN

Maggie`s Malva Pudding - The Original (as published by Michael Olivier)

Our family pays special tribute to our dearest friend, Maggie Pepler who would have turned 89 years of age on May the 1st.  She was not only a friend but in many instances a mother to many.  She taught us about caring for those who have less, how to enjoy the small simple things in life, to appreciate nature and to be non-judgemental.  Her cooking and Wednesday morning classes will long be remembered by the few who had the privileged to attend.  Maggie was the inventor of the now well known Malva pudding which is legendary in South Africa and after 50 years, feature on most restaurant desert menus.  Many diversions of the original recipe have been tested but without a doubt, the original as Maggie has written it down, proofed to be the best.  Serve with thin homemade custard and ice cream. 

For the batter:  250 ml flour, 15 ml bicarbonate of soda, 250 ml sugar, 1 egg, 15 ml apricot jam, 15 ml vinegar, 15 ml melted butter, 250 ml milk.

For the sauce:  125 ml cream, 125 ml milk, 250 ml sugar, 125 ml hot water, 125 g butter.

Method:  Preheat oven at 180°C.  Grease, with butter, an ovenproof glass or porcelain container, approximately 30cm x 20cm x 5cm.  Do not use an aluminium, enamel or any metal container.  Cut a piece of aluminium foil large enough to cover dish during baking and grease it well with butter on one side.  

Sift the flour and the bicarb into a bowl and stir in the sugar.  In another bowl beat the egg very well and add the remaining ingredients  (excluding those for the sauce)  one by one, beating well between each addition.  Using a wooden spoon beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, cover with the foil, greased side down and bake for 45 minutes in the present oven until well risen and brown and for a further five minutes without the foil if not sufficiently brown.  If not sufficiently baked the dessert will not absorb all the sauce thus making it stodgy.  When the pudding is almost done, heat the ingredients for the sauce, ensuring that you melt all the sugar and butter.  When the pudding is cooked, remove from the oven, take off the foil and pour over the sauce.  The pudding will absorb all the sauce.  Serve hot with a little thin cream or vanilla custard. Best served warm or at room temperature, though warm is best.

Serves 6

OUT OF OUR KITCHEN

German Onion Tart  (Zwiebelkuchen)

When Ernst and I got married in Germany 36 years ago, Onion Tart (or Zwiebelkuchen) was the very first recipe I requested from an old German lady who served it with great confidence to her customers and friends. Ernst studied in Schwabenland, a wine-growing region in South-Central Germany around Stuttgart, where the people speak a specific German dialect - which Ernst naturally picked up and still speaks to perfection. During the grape harvest in Fall, the Schwaben serve onion tart with a young, fresh, unfiltered white wine, called Federweisser.

A typical Schwabish onion tart is baked in a flat rectangular baking tin (2-3 cm deep) and served in squares. The recipe I obtained form the old lady years ago has become a firm favourite of our family and it gives me great pleasure to share it with you! 

Ingredients: 

  • Short Crust Pastry

Onion Filling:

  • 4 – 5 Onions
  • 25gr Butter
  • 3 Eggs
  • 300ml Cream
  • ½ Cup Parsley, finely chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 200gr grated Gruyere Cheese (or any other strong cheese)
  • Pinch of Aniseed (adds distinct special flavour)

Instructions:

 1. Roll out the pastry 4 mm thick and chill. Blind bake for 10 minutes         in a hot oven (200 degrees Celsius). Remove the paper and bake for       another 5 minutes or so.

2. Chop the onions finely and sauté in butter until soft and golden              brown, then drain on kitchen paper.

3. Beat the eggs and mix with cream, salt, pepper and aniseed, before       finally adding the onions and cheese.

4. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake at 180 degrees for            about 30 minutes.

Serve hot with chilled, fresh, dry white wine – my personal favourite for this very special onion tart is the Ernst Gouws & Co Sauvignon Blanc.

WHERE WE ENJOYED OUR WINES

LA PERLA, SEA POINT, CAPE TOWN

Ever since it opened its doors in 1959, La Perla in Sea Point has become a landmark dining destination for locals and tourists - attracting prominent businessmen, international celebrities and gourmands from all over the globe. Known for its ‘70s-inspired fish tank design, sought-after artworks, beautiful people and outstanding views, their efficient and friendly service can be attributed to the fact that many of the waiters have been working for the Italian owners for over 25 years! With their exquisite selection of seafood platters and home-made Italian pastas, an evening at La Perla offers a dining experience unlike any other.

La Perla’s extensive wine list includes some of our most popular wines, including our Ernst Gouws & Co Sauvignon Blanc, the ideal aperitif to sip on whilst watching the sun set over the Atlantic, and our Nineteenfiftytwo white blend that perfectly complements their famous seafood platters. The owners of La Perla have a passion for beauty, good food and fine wine – a passion they share with the entire Gouws family!

Beach Road, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001
T. +27 (0)21 439 9538

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GWENDA'S STORIES

MY STORY

A circle represents a beginning with no end – an ongoing journey – and for me; family is the personification of the perfect circle in life. Members are bound together forever, with the various generations each making up smaller circles within the larger whole.

Our own family circle came to be in 1975, when Ernst’s dad sent him to Europe on a one-way ticket to learn the tricks of the winemaking trade at a wine college in Weinsberg, Germany. He was to conitnue the winemaking tradition that had been part in the Gouws family for many generations, and almost 30 years later, Ernst’s journey came full circle, when he fulfilled his lifelong dream of establishing his own wine label. The Ernst & Co label was launched in 2004 and our family proudly presented the classic oval-shaped label to the world.

Ten years later Inke, Ezanne and Ernst Jnr. have outgrown their kiddies’ shoes and, in true Gouws tradition, are pursuing their own winemaking dreams. Growing up in a family where mum and dad worked side by side building and realising their dream, it was inevitable that this dream would also became theirs. We are privileged to all live close together in the Cape Winelands and have regular opportunities to share a bottle of wine and have lengthy discussions about new trends in the winemaking world, whether it is wine styles, packaging or marketing trends. We may argue a lot, but we’ve found that a good glass of wine works wonders to cool down the tension. Over the years, wine has become our way of life – it is the glue that keeps our family circle together.

 

In a headstrong family like ours, where all members have very specific opinions on what is right and what is completely wrong, revamping the Ernst Gouws & Co label into a more modern, eye-catching design to fit into the new competitive wine industry seemed like an impossible feat. But, after many months of research, lengthy discussions and countless trials and errors, we can now proudly present to you our new circular Ernst Gouws & Co label.

The circle embodies a timeless brand that represents tradition and unity. These attributes have been translated into the circular copper-foiled labels bearing the proud and elegantly crafted family name of Ernst Gouws and Co.

Our flagship is all about family, authenticity and tradition and we welcome you once again into our world of quality wines. To learn more about our wines and our family, please visit the new online home of Ernst Gouws & Co. We would love to hear what you think about our wines, our website and our new labels, so please send us your comments via Twitter or Facebook, or simple send a quick note to ernst@ernstgouws.co.za. We look forward to hearing from you!

Yours truly,

Gwenda Gouws