Springbok Fillet and Jersey Royals

Posted By Stephen

Kerri went to visit Borough Market on Friday to buy a few things and she asked if I could think of anything else that I would like her to get while she was there. I racked my brains for something interesting that was hard to find elsewhere and eventually thought of springbok, which Gamston Wood sell – they mostly sell ostrich from their farm, but they also sell various other “exotic” meats.

Springbok are members of the antelope family that live in southern Africa; their distinctive curved horns and attractively striped pelt make them very recognisable and they are the emblem of the South African national rugby team. They are also very tasty.

We went for simplicity here – simply seasoned the two steaks with salt and pepper, rubbed them with a little oil and dropped them onto a hot griddle pan. After a couple of minutes per side we popped them into the oven for a little longer as they were quite thick. This seemed like a very restauranty type of procedure, but we weren’t that used to it and ended up cooking the steaks a little more than we had planned, but that didn’t seem to matter much – after resting they were still tender and delicious.

Very delicious in fact. The taste was similar to a very deeply flavoured cut of beef, with a lightly gamey or livery note to it that complemented the meatiness rather than overpowering it. They were very lean though, more so than a beef fillet, so quite different to the beef steaks that we have had lately which have mostly been aged ribeye with lovely yellowish marbling. Kerri commented that regardless of this, she thought they were the best steaks of any sort that she has tasted for ages and I had to agree.

We had made a quick redcurrant and red wine sauce with a good grind of black pepper in it and added a little splash onto the steaks here and there, and it did match very well, but they didn’t need much to go with them really so we didn’t use that much of the sauce in the end.

With the steaks we also had another simply prepared but delicious ingredient – our first Jersey Royal potatoes of the season. They were wonderful too, served with just some salt and pepper and butter. A lovely combination of nutty and creamy and of course very potatoey and slightly earthy, they were just what we had been looking forward to. And served in a newly purchased special Jersey Royal bowl that Kerri had picked up at Borough Market too.

With the springbok it seemed right to drink a good South African red wine, and we had just the thing waiting on the wine rack – a Fairview “Solitude” shiraz from 2001 that has been biding its time for several years waiting for the opportunity to be enjoyed. It turned out to be just what I had hoped – smooth, full elegant fruit with well integrated oak and spicy notes, its relatively high alcohol going unnoticed as it was so well balanced by fruit, tannin and just the right dose of acidity.

So a really good meal all round – hopefully we haven’t used up all of our culinary luck for the weekend as we have a few more things planned and would prefer them to turn out well too!

Apr 30th, 2010

5 Comments to 'Springbok Fillet and Jersey Royals'

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  1. Hello,

    I got some lovely looking Jersey Royals at our local farmer’s market too, the one we swiped after picking asparagus :-). They are for tomorrow really, but looking at your beautiful photos, I’m tempted to go and put them on right now.

    I went to Borough Market the other week, never having been there before and not knowing what to expect. Thus no plan and no purchases. But I know better now and those steaks do look lovely, I might have a go at them too.

  2. Needless to say I’ve never had this but it looks fantastic all the same

  3. Kerri said,

    Ordinary new potatoes don’t do much for me, Caramella but I love Jersey Royals, they have such a good flavour.

    I often find myself completely overwhelmed when I go to Borough Market, especially if I don’t have any specific purchases in mind. The hardest thing is finding lunch and I often end up coming away hungry, simply because I haven’t been able to make up my mind about what to eat. The springbok steaks are good though, as is the ostrich that the stallholders also sell.

    Thanks, Wizzy 🙂

  4. Gamston are great. And springbok is probably my favourite African game – peppery and with a lovely texture. We do a version on the braai wrapped in bacon/pancetta with a sprig of rosemary – delish!
    .-= Jeanne @ CookSister!´s last blog ..South African waterblommetjie bredie =-.

  5. Kerri said,

    The braai recipe sounds great, Jeanne. Hmm, I wonder if I can get to Borough market before the weekend?

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