Heritage T-Bone Steak with Pinotage Sauce

The Democratic Republic of Braai (Published by Bookstorm) brings you the greatest braai recipes that Jan knows—because it’s your right to braai the best.

Find exceptional braai recipes for steak, chicken, lamb and more—there’s no need to eat or serve badly braaied food ever again. Everything is clear ad the steps are logical. The recipes use normal ingredients with understandable names that you can pronounce and find at your local supermarket. This is a manifesto on how to braai your way to complete independence from the kitchen. 

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Heritage T-Bone Steak with Pinotage Sauce

It was Archbishop Desmond Tutu who famously said, “I like T-bone steaks because they are in the shape of Africa”. For this reason, the shape of it, you could argue that the T-bone steak is more South African than other cuts of steak. From this follows the clear logic that it’s the one to serve with a Pinotage sauce. Pinotage is our very own South African grape variety. In 1925 it was famously bred as a cross between Pinor Noir and Cinsaut by Professor Abraham Perold at Stellenbosch University. This meal then is a great part of our South African wine and braai heritage. The recipe was specifically designed not to use the whole bottle of Pinotage. This way you are left with some wine to drink during the braai after making the sauce!

What you need 
(feeds 4)

4 T-bone steaks
1 tot butter
1 onion (chopped as finely as you can)
1 clove garlic (chopped very finely)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tot flour
2 cups red wine (Pinotage is best)
½ cup beef stock
1 tot sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

What to do

1. Light a massive fire using your favourite braai wood. Open a bottle of Pinotage wine, pour yourself a glass and do some quality control.

2.T-bone steaks are very well suited to being dry-aged. As such you would have ideally bought dry-aged T-bone steaks from your butcher, and he would have cut them right there in front of your eyes in the butchery. If not and your steaks were wet-aged and vacuumed packed, remove the steaks from their packaging, rinse them under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen towels.

3. Place a medium-sized flameproof pan or potjie over the fire. You want a pretty high heat but it must not be searing hot, so just use some of the burning lots under the potjie, not all of them.

4. Melt the butter and then fry the finely chopped onion, garlic and thyme leaves for about 5 min until the onion is soft and starts to turn brown. Fry the onions first and add the garlic about 1 min before the next step as garlic actually fries much quicker than onion.

5. Add the flour and stir well, then immediately add the Pinotage, stock, sugar and vinegar. Mix well, bring to the boil and then boil over high heat to reduce the liquid by half. Stir often. Depending on the size of your pot and the heat of your fire, this should take 15 min, but it could be slightly longer or slightly shorter. While the liquid is reducing, it should thicken and become a rich sauce. Taste the sauce at this point and season with salt and pepper. Keep in mind that some beef stocks are already quite salty, so you might not need salt at all. When you’re happy with the texture of the sauce, remove from the fire.

6. While you’re waiting for the sauce to reduce in step 5, braai the steaks over very high heat for about 8 minutes. You can salt them before or during the braai. You only need to turn them once on the grid, in other words braai them once per side. When braaing T-bone steaks, try to position them on the grid so that the sirloins face inwards and the fillets face outwards. There is generally more heat I the centre of your bed of coals. As the sirloin will not overcook as easily as the fillet, it evens things out a bit when you position your steaks in this manner. This is part of braai best practice, applicable every time you braai T-bone steaks.

7. When the steaks are done medium rare, remove from the fire and serve with the Pinotage sauce poured over them.