Pinotage – perfect companion for
Jonathan Steyn, co-owner of the well-known Belthazar restaurant in the V&A Waterfront, immediately sat up, interested triggered, when, on a late-summer afternoon, our discussion turned to pinotage and prime steak.
Enthusiasm glistened in his eyes.
Now, of course, one should explain that Belthazar is world renowned for the top-grade beef served here. The speciality of the house is so much in demand, that they opened a full-on butchery next door.
Spencer Nicolls, Belthazar’s master butcher, is in charge.
It was the self-same Spencer who appeared with the Chicago cut while we were talking Pinotage and steak.Bright-eyed Jonathan recalled a year or two ago when he and some friends were in the Burgundy region of France and first came across the classic dish of the region, Boeuf Bourguignon.
“I will never forget it, and neither the bottles of excellent Burgundian pinot noir we savoured with it”.
The fact that the Boland pinotage can trace its origin back to this region’s pinot noir, was more than enough reason to turn a true South African eye towards the classical beef dish of Burgundy as the ideal winter dish.
First the type of cut for the meat had to be decided upon and this was when Spencer took out the lovely hump of meat, known in steakhouse circles – due to its origin – as “Chicago cut”. (Meat experts will know that this cut, known in French as “cote de boeuf”, is the rib filet still attached to the bone. In this case, it is well dried and matured).
A few weeks later, with the sun setting, we sat down for Jonathan Steyn’s version of this classical, hearty French dish. “Older pinotage is the best,” declared the enthusiastic chef-patron, offering for tasting three possibilities from the enormous Belthazar cellar.
It was late afternoon when the table friends declared the result a draw. Each of Jonathan’s three pinotages – all winners of the Absa Top Ten Pinotage – had brought something different to the fore in the blending of the exquisite aromas. What a wonderful winter pleasure it turned out to be!
Boland Boeuf Bourguignon
Rest before serving.