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I love OYSTERS and I like my oysters 'Au Naturel'. To get that right takes great care, understanding and skill, and of course the presentation is vital.

The ideal is to take a walk along a pristine beach, pick a few oysters off the rocks, shuck and enjoy. So, when I ask for Oysters in a restaurant, I am asking for the vision, smell and taste a of that pristine beach, on a plate.

Crushed ice emulates the white breaking surf; salt - the smell of sea and sand; a twist of lemon - the cleansing sea breeze and a touch of finely ground black pepper (one turn of the grinder) - the hint of warmth from the sun.

Don't throw some oysters on a plate .... transport me!

'To master simplicity, master complexity.'

As for tabasco, I don't get it. I enjoy the condiment on a variety of dishes, but not here. Perhaps for those who like the feel of scorching sand on bare feet ... or a sunburn?

Apparently, artificial oyster beds were being formed in China long before they came to be cultivated by the Romans. That means that we have been enjoying the art of eating oysters for about 1900 years.

For a fascinating, all encompassing history of the Oyster:

oysters and all about them

image: wikipedia commons

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Ingredients: (4 portions)
8x80 g Springbok medallions
50 g butter
50 ml olive Oil

30 g fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely pasted
4 only juniper berries, finely crushed
5 g white milled pepper (6 turns)
75 ml olive oil

250 ml red wine
1 fresh pear, peeled and sliced
2 bay leaves
5g fresh rosemary
5g white milled pepper(6 turns)
100 ml apple juice
50 g red currant jelly
Beurre manie (as required) approx 50 g

Pre-heat oven 180 C/ 350F


The Sauce:
Simmer the red wine with the pears, rosemary and pepper until reduced by half.
Strain, add the apple juice and red current jelly and simmer for approx. 5 minutes.
Check the sauces consistency and add some beurre manie to give the sauce a sheen.
Adjust flavour to suit your taste.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and marinade the springbok medallions in the fridge for about an hour.

Remove the springbok medallions from the fridge 5 minutes before cooking to bring the meat to room temperature.

Heat the olive oil/butter mixture and pan-fry (sear) the medallions for approximately two minutes on each side.
Place pan into a pre-heated oven for a short time (approx 2 minutes).
Remove from pan.

Nape/cover with the sauce just before serving.

Presented here with red cabbage on a poached apple slice, Cape gooseberries, field mushrooms, pearl onions poached in late harvest wine and Pommes Berny*. Garnished with a sprig of rosemary and fresh sage.

*A croquette potato mixture with chopped truffles, shaped into small balls, dipped into beaten egg and coated with chopped almonds. The potato balls are deep- fried.


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