Braai rib with Nectarine Salad and Home-baked Bread

BRAAI RIB

Ribs, slowly braaied over the coals, served with a refreshing nectarine salad and home-baked bread fresh from the oven, spell laidback and lazy summer days for me… just the perfect time to sip on a glass of Six Hats Shiraz. This wine is a fantastic barbeque wine and the juicy ripe plums and black cherries on the palate with aromas of spice and freshly cracked black pepper pairs beautifully with this rib marinated in its dark sweet ‘n sour marinade.

During all my years of being the food editor for the country’s largest magazine, I received hundreds of recipes for braai ribs. Pork ribs are my favorite, especially when basted with a simple marinade containing mainly 3 ingredients of lemons, honey and soy sauce. Make sure that you have plenty of fresh lemons on the side to drizzle over the braaied ribs. The flatbread, topped with grapes and nuts plus the refreshing green salad with plenty of farm-fresh nectarines added to it, make a fabulous summery meal.

For us, it was harvest time during December, a well-deserved holiday needs to wait till April, but up to this day I am mad about a shiny red skin nectarine or yellow-cling peach, reminding me of the wonderful carefree childhood days on the farm. Pour a glass of Six Hats Shiraz and drink a toast on summertime and family life.

Serves 4—6

BASTING SAUCE
90 ml (6 e) lemon juice
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
90 ml (6 T) honey
45 ml (3 T) soy sauce
6—8 cloves garlic, crushed
3—5 ml (1/2 – 1 t) Chinese 5-spices (optional)

PORK RIB
1 large pork rib of about 2 kg
3 onions, peeled and cut into chunks
Lemon slices to serve 

1 BASTING SAUCE Mix all the ingredients.
2 RIB Ask your butcher to cut through the bone as needed so you can slice it into single ribs.
3 Remove the rind and score the fat in a diamond pattern. Season to taste with salt and pepper and baste both sides with the basting sauce. Marinate for 2—4 hours.
4 Arrange the onions in an oven-roast pan and place the rib on top.
5 Preheat the oven to 190°C and oven-roast for about 45 minutes until till done (Braai for about 45—60 minutes over moderate coals. Regularly baste with the basting sauce and turn the meat from time to time.)
6 Cut the meat between the bones into separate ribs, baste the sides with the basting sauce and oven-roast at 230°C for a few minutes till crisp. (Otherwise braai the sides over hot coals for a few minutes.)
7 Serve with lots of lemon, harvest bread and nectarine salad. (see recipes)

 HARVEST BREAD

In Mediterranean countries this bread topped with grapes, is baked during harvest time. The fresh grapes represent the new harvest. Raisins cooked in wine can also be used as a filling in the middle of the bread and this then will represent the previous year’s harvest. Wonderful to serve with the rib, but the bread can also be served with braaied fish. The Six Hats Shiraz works beautifully with the sweetness of the grapes in the bread.

Makes one large bread

BREAD
4 x 250 ml (4) white bread flour
5 ml (1 t) salt
45 ml (3 T) sugar
1 packet (10 g) instant yeast
250 ml (1 k) butter milk or plain yoghurt
Lukewarm water
Olive oil
30 ml (2 T) melted butter

TOPPING
1 bunch of red grapes, berries halved
100 g pecan halves
30 ml (2 T) fennel seeds and/or rosemary sprigs
5 ml (1 t) sea salt flakes
10 ml (2 t) caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Spray a baking sheet with cook ‘n spray.
1 Mix the flour, salt sugar and instant yeast together. Rub in the butter.
2 Beat together the eggs and buttermilk or yoghurt. Add to the flour mixture and mix. Add just enough lukewarm water to form a kneadable dough. Mix well, then knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
3 Cover, brush with olive oil and leave to rest and rise in a warm place till doubled in size.
4 Form the dough into a flat free-form style bread and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with melted butter. Leave to rise till doubled in size.
5 Press the grape halves and pecan nuts on top of the dough, sprinkle with fennel seeds, salt and caster sugar.
6 Bake for about 50 minutes or until done. Serve with creamed cheese spread.

CREAM CHEESE SPREAD
Mix together 230 g creamed cheese and a good handful of chopped black olives.

NECTARINE SALAD
During summertime my dad and I regularly take a drive through the orchards and make a pitstop to test-taste the first nectarines of the season. My dad carefully cut one into similar sized wedges with his pocket-knife and we have a feast just there under the trees loaded with fruit. For me that first juicy bite in a redskin nectarine is synonym with summer and holiday time.In the same way that charcaturie pairs well with the berry and spicy aromas of a red wine like Six Hats Shiraz, the savouriness of the ham and cheese are just as good with the sweetness of a ripe nectarine. In this green leafy salad, all of these are combined and therefore will be a good match with the Six Hat Shiraz.

Serves 6

DRESSING
80 ml (1/3 c) rice wine vinegar
15 ml (1 T) white balsamic vinegar
15 ml (1 T) soy sauce
60 ml (1/3 c) canola oil
15 ml (1 e) roasted sesame seeds
1 slice fresh gingerroot
15 ml (1 T) soft brown sugar

SALAD
1 packet little Gem heads, separated in leaves
1 packet (250 g) egg noodles, cooked (optional)
4 nectarines, sliced
1 avocado, sliced (optional)
¼ cucumber, deseeded and cubed
1 cube aged Boland cheese or feta or a roll soft cheese, broken into pieces
80 g coppa or prosciutto or even cooked bacon
rocket leaves for garnishing
1 small red onion, cubed
variety of roasted nuts and seeds e.g. almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds

1 DRESSING Mix all the ingredients.
2 SALAD Arrange the salad leaves in a salad bowl or platter, add the noodles and mix.
3 Arrange the nectarines, avocado, cheese and ham on top.
4 Sprinkle the rocket leaves and onions over and wet with some salad dressing. Finish with a sprinkling of nuts.

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