As a proud South African, this Pesach, my Seder theme is 'Out of Egypt into Africa'. This year all the beautiful inherited Pesach crockery will be used after the Seder. Last week our Rabbi gave a shiur on the importance of keeping the children entertained during the Seder. After all isn't it their night too? How right he is. I can still remember, as a child, falling asleep under the dining room table only to be woken up by the lebberdikke thumping on the table when 'Echad Mi Yodeiyah' was sung. So this year it's an African themed Seder where table decor will be combinations of white linen, leopard print embossed hessian overlays, white miners lanterns filled with African daisies, Wee Willie Winkie candle holders, tin plates and cups, wooden serving spoons, wooden matzah boxes and a very special carved wooden seder plate.
This is just us having fun with the Seder plate, it is too gorgeous not to share. Hopefully my grandchildren, nieces and nephews won't fall asleep under the table this year but rather enjoy all the opportunities to join in with the singing under African skies. This of course with the added bonus of receiving a prize, not only for the Afikomen, but for anything we choose to 'incentivise' them with along the way!
Roasted Eggplant with Fresh Tomato is my salad of choice this Passover.
'Potjie' literally means small pot and is made of heavy wrought iron. It normally stands on three legs (tripod) over burning coals. It's typically South African and I suppose like a good cholent, everybody has his/her secret. The potjie, with a bit of cooking oil inside, is placed on a fire until the oil has been sufficiently heated. Meat is added first, depending on the preference of the cook. This can be anything from lamb to beef, or even vegetables. The meat is spiced and often a form of alcohol is added for flavour.
When the meat is lightly browned, vegetables like potatoes are added, along with whatever spices are needed. Water or other liquids may or may not then be added, depending on the views of the potjie chef. The lid is then closed and the contents left to simmer slowly without stirring. This distinguishes a potjiekos from a stew that is stirred. The aim is that the flavours of the different ingredients mix as little as possible. Although some chefs may permit stirring from time to time (which is highly frowned upon), it does create a stew where all the ingredients tend to taste similar. Little sauce or water is used, so that cooking is by steam and not boiling in a sauce like a stew; thus the heat must be very low and constant. A potjie is a social activity, with guests generally engaging in fireside chitchat while the potjie cooks, typically three to six hours.
Although I won't be cooking my vegetables this way for the seder, I will be serving them in a potjie pot, in keeping with my African Seder theme.
Why is the Top Rib/Short Rib cut so different from all other cuts?
Because it's so versatile, so tasty, so tender and one of the most wonderful cuts on the forequarter.
Whether braised, smoked, roasted or fried - Top Rib (Short Ribs) offers versatility with pride. It's an economical cut, full of flavour and taste, a roast so delicious it won't go to waste!
4 ways to enjoy Top Rib this Pesach.
On a recent trip to New York my husband chose a low and slow roasted piece of deboned top rib with mashed potato which he said was superb and melted in his mouth. Although confused as to why he didn't choose a steak, I have to admit it was delicious. So naturally, upon returning home, I started experimenting until I received the "thumbs up" from the Lurie Jury so here goes.
This sauce will really have you covered for almost anything on Pesach. You can cook your ribs, roast and brisket in it or simply spoon it over, steak, schnitzels, burgers, chops and wors. It's great with everything - Ok maybe not ice cream!! For the same amount of work I would double up on this recipe, it will be worth it!!
Make your teriyaki for Passover and use it on these flavorful beef strips.
Don't be afraid to get sticky on Passover.
End the meal with a Passover Cookie Ice Cream Layer cake using non dairy ice cream of course, the cookies are fantastic and served layered with ice cream it takes it to another level.
Have a happy Passover.