Green Peppercorns and Mint Lamb Roast with a 2001 Nederberg Pinotage

Listen All of Y’all it’s a Pinotage

Listen All of Y’all it’s a Pinotage

Jeanne of Cook sister, has been horse whispering and lured me away from local wine and into trying a South African one – she’s right, think hemispherically. Check out Henley Wine Fair and realise why I’m more than happy to humbly take her advice. Always on the lookout for something new, a Pinotage (Hermitage and Pinot Noir) captured my interest.

To do it justice, I got a leg of lamb from the freezer. My Dad’s gone soft and become less of a mutton purist in his old age, Pah! Still, with him and a good friend up in Muntadgin – a steady supply of meat has been assured. Fear that lamb may become a specialist meat in the future, they’re hard work, the shearers aren’t there, there are other ways of restoring the soil (ploughing crops in) so more and more farmers are getting out of sheep.

Leg was done in a new marinade inspied by the simple but trusty “Best Backyard BBQ Cookbook”. The recipe called for a butterfly, but I was feeling proper Sunday Roasty. Cleaned up the fat and skin- cross scored it and coverered it with the marinade for one hour.


2tbs Jingilli olive oil, 1tbs of green peppercorns – crushed, 3 cloves of garlic- minced, 2tbs of fresh mint mashed together in a mortar.


Three tubers of Jerusalem Artichoke, Sweet Potato, and Royal Blue Potatoes. All parboiled and roasted, with the late addition of some Broccolini splashed with olive oil.

Eating and Drinking

Loved the roast – served with a simple red wine jus. JA’s could have been more thinly sliced. Broccolini florets dry out very quickly. I often double cook the roast, just cooking the outside half and finishing the inside for later in the oven. I don’t know if there’s anything wrong with this – it means I get the right balance of doneness. Then again, it does scream too fast cooking and potential food poisoning.

The wine was very pleasant. It was much softer than I’d been warned and liked the non-jamminess…erm self-conscious alert. I’ll stop there and will promise to look West more often for my wines (as you Easterners should).

No pics I’m afraid- camera ate my memory card.

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  1. Jeanne’s avatar

    The roast sounds great – interesting marinade. Somewhere I have a recipe for roast lamb in coffee (no, really!) which I must still try. I miss proper Karoo lamb from home. The Karoo is an area inland from the southern coast of South Africa but just south of the Kalahari, so it is semi-desert and ideal for sheep. The fragrant vegetation of the area gives the meat there a particularly sweet, herby flavour and it’s just lovely – siiiigh. But lamb has become so crazy expensive (both here in the UK and in South Africa) that we seldom get to eat it now (although we will still splash out on lamb chops for a barbecue!!)

    Glad you liked the wine! Just to clarify – Pinotage is not a blend of Hermitage and Pinot Noir but a new cultivar created in South Africa from a hybrid of these two grape varieties. I feel a post welling up…

    I look east all the time – my staple wine diet in the UK is Aussie & NZ wine! In SA I don’t think I remember ever seeing Aussie wine (although you will probably get it in Joburg and Cape Town – have not looked lately). But as you say, as a wine-producing country SA does not bother to import much foreign wine, and of course the exchange rate makes foreign wines prohibitively expensive…So I’d better drink lots of Aussie wine whiel in London!! Remember, we still have 4 bottles of the Brokenwood Cricket Pitch Cab-Merlot waiting. Yum!

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Interesting point on the sheep – the family farm is in similar territory , 200 miles east of Perth, close to bugger all. We had some sheep adjisted down south and the sheep didn’t condition as well, contrary to expectations. A friend explained it as the rain causing the plants to have less nutrients – all water and chlorophyll – like iceberg lettuce. Mmm farming, might have to head up and ask some harder questions than when’s the next lot.

    Reading your comments I was just about to call the old man to set up a marketing push – like to do some copy? : )

    Re: wine. There are some great wineries barely half an hour’s drive from here in the Swan valley. Forget how lucky I am. Quick tip, if you see any West Aussie wines – give some from Mt Barker a go, they’re new and they’re keen.

  3. Anonymous’s avatar

    “more and more farmers are getting out of sheep.”

    I really shouldn’t find this sentence funny.


  4. Jeanne’s avatar

    Aaah, so it is all true then… Or rather it was true, before they started getting (coming??) out…

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    Well when they said there was a rural rebirth, what were we to think?

  6. Anonymous’s avatar

    This is the best blog in the world.

    Keep up the good work,

    Giovanni Torre

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