Sosaties are South African kebabs marinated in a sweet curry sauce. Our beef version is tender, lightly caramelized, and everything you want in a summer barbecue recipe.
Sosaties: The perfect braai food
Lamb isthe most traditional meat used to make sosaties, but beef, pork and chicken are also common. The meat is marinated in a sweet curry sauce that typically includes ginger and curry. These spices, along with dried fruit, were brought to Cape Town by the Dutch sailors who established the city as a refueling port.
And, speaking of dried fruit: apricots and apricot jam play a large roll in the sweetness of the sosaties. As the sosaties grill, the sugars from the apricots and apricot jam caramelize, creating a deep and robust flavor crust that envelops the entire kebab.
South African Wine
South Africa has an incredible wine history which dates back to the mid 1600s with the Constantia vineyard just outside of Cape Town proper. Roughly 45 minutes east of Cape Town, you fine more wine regions: Paarl, Franschhoek, and Stellenbosch, which have become hubs for wine production in South Africa.
We had the opportunity to visit some smaller, family owned vineyards in Stellenbosch on a tour operated by Wine Flies during our recent visit to Cape Town. We stopped at Villiera, Remhoogte, Middelvlei, Lovane, and Annandale on our tour. The wines and the hospitality were spectacular and would HIGHLY recommend a wine tour with Wine Flies the next time you are looking for a day trip from Cape Town!
The Stellenbosch Wine Region
Stellenbosch is the second oldest wine region in South Africa, first planted in the later 1600s. This region is known for its bold red wines, like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The region is also the center for the classic South African red, Pinotage. Not to leave out the whites, this region also produces stellar Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay wines.
Since we love bold reds, we were drawn to the robust flavors of the Stellenbosch reds. While we are no strangers to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, it was the Pinotage that really intrigued us.
Pinotage Wine Pairing
Pinotage is one of the most commonly planted grapes in South Africa. It was bred there in the early 1900s by crossing Pinot Noir and Cisaut grapes. The Pinoto Noir gives a Pinotage wine bright berry aromas and a jammy texture, while the Cinsault, a grape from southern France, adds a robust spiciness to the wine.
From our visit, we took home a bottle of the Remhoogte 2014 Bushvine Pinotage. (We’re now wishing we had grabbed more than one bottle!) We loved it for its dry peppery notes and big, round juiciness.
Beef Sosaties and Pinotage Wine
The dryness of the Pinotage pairs incredibly well with the char-grilled smokiness of barbecued meats, and our sosaties were no exception. The sugars from the jam caramelized in the heat of the grill, creating a crust of deep, sweet notes around the hearty beef. This play of sweet and robust flavors in the sosaties perfectly matched the play of dryness and juicy dark cherry and black plum notes in the wine.
What surprised us was how well the apricots from the skewers paired with the wine. They wonderfully brought out the wine’s juiciness and smoothed out the dry back end of each sip.
With such complex flavors and beautiful richness, the Bushvine Pinotage is quite a pleasure to sip on, making it the perfect wine for a relaxing summer afternoon braai!
Yield: 6-7 skewers
- 1 lb beef roast (sirloin tip or top sirloin)
- 12 dried apricots
- 1 onion, halved and quartered
- 6 barbecue skewers
For the Marinade
- ¼ c apricot jam
- 2 Tb white wine vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced (or ¼ tsp ground ginger)
- 1 Tb curry powder
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
Preparing the Meat
- Trim the meat of any membrane pieces and cut it into roughly 1 inch cubes. Set the cubed meat aside in a flat bottomed container.
- In the food processor, add the apricot jam, vinegar, sliced garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Process until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the bay leaves and spoon the marinade over the beef chunks. Mix well.
- Cover the meat and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 12 hours).
Preparing to Grill
- One hour before cooking heat 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the apricots to the water and let stand for one hour for the apricots to plump.
- Remove the meat from the refrigerator.
- If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for 10-15 minutes.
- Thread the marinated meat cubes, plumped apricots, and onion slices onto the soaked skewers.
- Preheat your grill to medium high heat. (Roughly 400F. You should be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grill grate for 4-5 seconds.)
Grilling the Sosaties
- Grill the sosaties for 3-4 minutes a side, turning once the meat begins to show some nice grill marks. Brush with excess marinade if desired,
- Serve immediately with a salad, and baked potatoes or rice.