Gourmet Sandwiches of a South African Icon – With the weather looking brighter and alfresco dining beginning to take hold, Women Talking were keen to take up the challenge of Iconic South African sandwiches and wine pairing taste adventure from Groot Constantia Wine Estate.
Sandwiches are a food phenomenon. In existence since ancient times and have evolved and grown in popularity to become one of the most loved food items today.
What started as two humble slices of bread filled with simple, often leftover food, has become a global staple with many variations. From plain and simple to extravagant and gourmet, picnic fare to fancy dining, plain white bread to exotic multi-grains, toasted or not, and all filled with a smorgasbord of delicious toppings to suit any taste.
Sandwiches are adored across the globe, and each country and region have its preferred and distinctive styles and flavours. In France they enjoy the Croque Madame, in America it’s the Reuben, in Italy it’s the Michetta, in Venezuela it’s the Arepa, in the UK it’s possibly the bacon or chip butty, or perhaps a cheese and pickle sandwich or prawn mayo – the list goes on!
For something different, we are trying a traditional South African sandwich called a “braaibroodjie” (translates to “barbeque sandwich”). This is basically a sandwich that is toasted over the coals of a barbeque.
When served hot off the grill you can look forward to warm crispy bread with gooey melted cheese, all accentuated by a smokey barbeque flavour. They are a hit with young and old, easy to make, and even easier to eat and enjoy. South African braaibroodjies are not just another grilled sandwich that you have as a quick lunch. They are an integral and iconic part of the South African culture.
Groot Constantia Wine Estate, which is the oldest wine-producing farm in South Africa and a heritage site, gathered some brilliant food fundis and created two exceptional gourmet braaibroodjies – and paired them with the perfect drink!
Here are the recipes for those keen to try them at the next barbeque (all recipes make enough for two)
1) Confit Duck and Tomato Braaibroodjie
– Brioche bread, sliced
– Emmental cheese, sliced
– Tomato pesto
– Roma tomatoes, sliced
– 2 x Duck legs
– Half a brick of salted butter
– ½ orange, cut into quarters
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Microgreens to garnish
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place a baking dish into the oven, remove the hot dish and add the butter to melt. Season the duck legs with salt and pepper. Place the duck legs into the baking dish with the melted butter. Cook for 1 hour covered with foil. Then add the sliced oranges and cook for another hour uncovered. Let rest, then shred the meat.
To assemble, baste the brioche slices with butter, and tomato pesto, add the cheese and shredded duck meat, and top with slices of tomato. Place sandwiches on a medium-heat grill for 5 minutes a side. Serve warm with a glass of Groot Constantia Gourverneurs Reserve Red.
The Gouverneurs Reserve Red is a classically styled blend. The deep red colour is quite shy on the nose initially, but the wine shows the amazing complexity of ripe plums and blackberries woven into subtle oak flavours of cedar wood and cigar box. The palate offers a complexity of intense flavours.
2) Boozy Peach and Blue Cheese Braaibroodjie
This one is for afters because no one said sandwiches have to always be savoury!
Add the peaches, water, sugar, and vanilla paste/extract in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir to combine. Then add the Grand Constance and let simmer until the peaches are macerated and the alcohol has been cooked off. Set aside to cool.
Butter four slices of bread, add the blue cheese and then place the macerated boozy peaches on top. Place on the braai and grill until golden brown and toasted. Serve with a quenelle of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of almonds.
Pair this dessert braaibroodjie with a slightly chilled glass of Grand Constance, Groot Constantia’s iconic sweet wine. The touch of red muscat gives the wine a beautiful amber colour. The nose shows abundant ripe and dried fruit, like crushed pineapple, apricot, and raisins. The ageing in barrels adds some wood spice and a hint of honey to the wine. The dried fruit and honey follow on the palate, and a fresh acidity balances the sweetness.
The perfect ending to any meal!
These South African braaibroodjie recipes are bound to make your next barbeque a memorable one.