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The best braaibroodjie with tomato and onion chutney

Posted on: 27 March 2020

Serves 4

Perfectly paired with Zonnebloem Merlot

Cherry, bountiful dark berry, plum and cinnamon spice greet the nostrils – and then confidently steps across onto the taste buds. Rounded, soft textured and appealing with spicy plum compote flavour, it is appealingly medium-bodied and light in tone. There is also a lovely farewell note of the lightest brush of graphite and a dusting of cocoa.

Ingredients

For the tomato and onion chutney

  • 750 g cocktail tomatoes
  • 35 g butter
  • 500 g (about 3) onions, finely sliced
  • 2,5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
  • 40 g dark brown sugar
  • 45 ml (4 tbsp) balsamic vinegar

For the cheese sauce

  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g (3 tbsp) flour
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) double cream
  • 50 g mature cheddar, grated
  • 15 g Parmesan, grated
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) Dijon mustard
  • 7,5 ml (1 ½ tsp) Worcestershire sauce

For the sandwich

  • 8 thick slices of sourdough
  • Softened butter, for spreading
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
  • Sweet and sour pickled gherkins, to serve

Method

For the chutney, heat a large heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, butter, onions and salt. Increase to high heat and stir the onions until they start to soften. Turn the heat back to medium-low and cook, partially covered, stirring every few minutes to prevent the onions from catching. Cook for about half an hour or until the onions are golden brown and caramelised. Add the sugar and vinegar and cook for a further 10 minutes or so until the mixture has reduced to a sticky chutney.

For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pot over medium heat. Whisk the flour to form a roux and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the milk, whisking until smooth each time before adding more. Continue until all the milk is incorporated, then add the cream and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients. Cool to room temperature before using.

Place 4 slices of the bread on a clean work surface and butter on each side. Place the buttered side on the surface. Spoon some of the tomato and onion chutney onto the bread slices and top with the cheese sauce. Cover with the other bread slices. Butter the outside. Heat a large non-stick pan with the oil and fry the sandwiches, one at a time, until golden brown on each side. Serve warm with gherkins.

Why it works

A proper braaibroodjie is a thing of beauty! With its softly, slumping, oozy cheese making a string between lips and retreating morsel, what’s not to love? Mustard and Worcestershire sauce in the cheese component, the strong cheeses themselves and the balsamic in the chutney contribute bags of flavour – and it’s the forcefulness of these elements that appreciate the calming influence of the soft, spicy plum notes on the Zonnebloem Merlot.

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