IF ALEXA CAME TO DINNER, PART ONE

In order to supply me with my monthly-case-of-wine-for-a-year prize, Alexa, the Kleine Zalze Cellar Door Manager sends me an email every month, asking which wine I’d like. When I got the email last week, I was too busy to peruse the list of wines and said that Alexa could surprise me and that it would be fun to see what surprises my case contained, I’d take her selection as a challenge to cook the three course meal that I’d present if she ever came to dinner.

My case arrived and first out was a 2009 Barrel Matured Shiraz from the Vineyard Selection. Alexa’s notes said  A young vintage, but typical of a warm climate Shiraz, laced with earthy and meaty undertones with a distinct white pepper aroma on the nose.  Very spicy, very sharp. Lovely.

Indeed. It was perfect for what I would serve as a main course for dinner with Alexa and – as coincidence would have it – perfect for what was happening in my oven at that very moment. Inspired by an Egyptian lamb shanks recipe, I’d put my own boerespin on it; a bit of masala spice, a lot of coriander … and a whole day of slow, slow roasting.

Thank you, Alexa and Kleine Zalze, it was a lovely evening.

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48 Comments Add yours

  1. nrhatch says:

    How FUN! She surprises you with wine. You surprise her with dinner.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Ain’t life great? 🙂

    2. u attract each other and inspire each other to b better – friends

      1. theonlycin says:

        And we’ve never met 🙂

  2. slpmartin says:

    Now I am certain that my dreams shall be colored by the last thing I read tonight…which is your post..it shall be a most delightful dream. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am glad, sleep tight 😉

  3. What a treat if Alexa came for dinner – you could make your shanks all over again.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      Never get tired of shanks 🙂

  4. hopefully one of these days she will be in jpoburg so you can, or maybe you cook at her home in the cape?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Or, even better, in Chef Broughton’s kitchen 😀

  5. earlybird says:

    The lamb looks absolutely delicious. Quite a coincidence – I was invited to dinner with a wine making friend last night (lucky me) as he had some Scandanavian importers and needed help with communicating in English – our main course was seven hour cooked lamb! and the wine was also a fantastic red – but mostly grenache based rather than your shiraz. Yum

    1. theonlycin says:

      That does sound doubly yum, being in France 🙂

  6. Tandy says:

    only one word for this dish SCRUMMITY 🙂 BTW, saw last night that La Vierge are following me on twitter 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      WOW, that’s great 🙂

  7. souldipper says:

    What a classy woman you are! I can see you being thrilled over the opportunity to plan the piece de resistence for Alexa. (If that is not spelled correctly, I know you know what I mean!)

    1. theonlycin says:

      Pièce de résistance 🙂

  8. Liane says:

    It sounds like dinner is always a treat at your house, Cindy. Your guests are privileged 🙂

  9. Nzwaa says:

    I must say I’m learning more about wine, more than I thought I ever would.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Good for you 😀

  10. Supa says:

    Alexa is tall, blonde and attractive….lock up the old spouse! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hehe, I’ll send him somewhere 😉

  11. nursemyra says:

    oh I love Shiraz. and lamb shanks.Delicious combination

  12. Lamb is my most favourite ever! Just not the most affordable. It looks so delicious. Think I need to commit to making it this weekend!!! Yes. Xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Shanks are going a bit out of fashion, with the current food trend towards old fashioned cuts like neck and belly, who’s prices have suddenly shot up. So you may find the price of shanks dropping.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Here you go, have a plate …

  13. Yvette says:

    Looking soooogoood!Slow roasting and tender! Yummy!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Fall-off-the-bone tender 😀

  14. suzicate says:

    Shiraz, ahhhh…it’s ten a.m. here, too early to drink?!

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s almost 5 here, wine o clock!

  15. Jamie Dedes says:

    Surprises all around – good ones! – I like that. 🙂

    Left a note on Brooklyn site that you could repost. Honored.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I made the pate this morning and the post is sitting in my drafts folder 😀 Thank you!

  16. My husband and I like lamb. Your lamb dish looks delicious! Lamb and cabbage is a simple recipe that we enjoy. I haven’t made it in a long time. I must change that. Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      I also haven’t done my cabbage and lamb dish in a while, thanks for the reminder 😀

  17. gospelwriter says:

    Oolala! That lamb shank looks done to perfection… and so tastily arranged on the plate. Makes me think ‘dinner’ even though I’ve barely finished breakfast. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hope you enjoyed your breakfast 😉

  18. linda says:

    love the presentation on the plate. it’s beautiful.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Linda 🙂

  19. That was delicious. Is part two pudding?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Part two will be the starter; according to the second bottle I drew out of the case 🙂

  20. libraryscene says:

    celebrating a bit of wine-o-clock myself.. you’re a lucky lady, it has a beautiful colour ~

  21. Slow cooked lamb shanks… now your talking, it would have been heavenly with that wine too 🙂

  22. See ? my whole meal is ready now… or almost. Egyptian lamb sounds just like one I would like to eat, and others will to ! Merci Cindy 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Merci Isa, bon appetit 🙂

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