Take it slow

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One of our very favourite things about winter is slow cooking. And we have a lot of favourite things: red wine, pyjama parties, hot chocolate by a roaring fireside… We could go on, but we’d rather slow down.

In Good Taste, we regularly feature luscious, slow-cooked recipes. This Leg of Lamb  [pictured] clocks in at five hours of cooking time; and is worth every second.

There’s no need to stick to the cuts normally reserved for slow cooking though; many different types of meat benefit from gentle temperatures. We asked a few of South Africa’s top chefs for their slow-cooking tips.

Margot Janse of The Tasting Room 
“Low and slow! I grew up with Dutch draadjes vlees. Thick slices of beef shin or chuck, cooked as slowly as possible in a fragrant beef stock. The slower the better. Slow cooking benefits from brining the meat first. A salt/sugar brine overnight before braising creates a very flavourful and moist end product.”

Eric Bulpitt of The Restaurant at Newton Johnson  
“When we make pork belly, we cure it with salt sugar and herbs for two to three hours first. We then wash it off and braise it to intensify the flavour.” 

Neil Jewell of Bread & Wine 
“Stay below 90 °C when cooking, long and slow is the key…”

Franck Dangereux of The Foodbarn 
“Tripe has no natural gelatine so, for a long braise, the liquid can be enriched by the addition of gelatinous meats, for example, trotters or pork rind.”

Henry Vigar of La Mouette  
“Braising over night at 100 °C gives the best results. I like to use star anise to help bring out the meaty flavours.”   

Peter Tempelhoff of The Collection by LizMcGrath 
"When given the choice between braising in an oven or doing it on a stove top; rather go in the oven with a tight fitting lid. The oven gives a better end result in that the product is cooked from all sides and volatile flavorus aren’t lost via evaporation."