'I am sure that you will find many dishes in this book that you can cook yourself and have a little bit of the Botswana Butchery magic in your very own home." – Al Spary
The group at Botswana Butchery have created a cookbook that delivers a spectacular variety of luxurious dishes for people who love their meat, fish and game with rich sauces and condiments.
For those who desire light healthy options, the vegetable dishes are meals in themselves or can serve as side act for prime ingredients. The emphasis is on fine cut meats and sophisticated desserts, and classic recipes are given a Botswana Butchery twist that's hard to resist.
All the dishes from Botswana Butchery deliver a culinary punch that showcases the big bold taste of new world cuisine.
Al Spary is the founder of Good Group Ltd, a hospitality company that operates a number of businesses across NZ. He opened the first Botswana Butchery restaurant in 2007 in Queenstown, and a few years later an Auckland venue.
Russell Gray is the CEO at Good Group Ltd., and manages both Botswana Butchery restaurants.
The success of these restaurants and the good reviews resulted in Spary and Gray, along with the head chefs of Botswana Butchery partner together to bring all the recipes to the book so people can enjoy this delicious culinary food at home.
Authors: Al Spary and Russell Gray
Mushroom and Ricotta Crepes
A substantial vegetarian dish to eat anytime of the day. The crepes can be made ahead and frozen.
Makes about 6 thin crepes
125 g (4½ oz) plain (all purpose) flour pinch of salt
175 ml (6 fl oz) milk
40 g (1½ oz) butter, melted
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
25 g (1 oz) dried porcini mushrooms
250 ml (9 fl oz) warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
750 g (1 lb 10 oz) flat mushrooms, wiped and sliced
2 tbsp thyme leaves, roughly chopped
150 g (5 oz) ricotta or creamy goat's cheese
3 tbsp finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
300 g (10½ oz), spinach, tough stalks removed and leaves shredded
extra melted butter for brushing
1 x quantity Puy Lentil Salad (see page xxx) (green leaves removed)
3 tbsp olive oil
bitter greens for salad
To make crepes
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the eggs into the well and whisk in some of the flour. Add the milk and butter and whisk until all the flour has been incorporated and the batter is smooth. Whisk in the herbs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Your mixture should be the consistency of thin cream, if not you can whisk in a little cold water to thin the batter.
Heat a crepe pan and wipe the base with a piece of buttered paper for your first crepe. Lift the pan from the heat, add a ladleful of the batter and swirl to spread it to the edges of the pan. Set back over the heat and after about 1 minute, use a spatula to lift the outer edge of the crepe and flip over. Place the crepe on a large plate and cover with a piece of baking paper. Repeat with the remaining batter, layering each crepe with baking paper as you go to prevent them sticking together.
To make mushroom filling
Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in the water for 20 minutes. Remove from their soaking liquid and finely chop. Set aside.
Heat a large frying pan over low heat, add the oil and shallots and cook until the shallots are soft and just beginning to colour, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, chopped porcini mushrooms and the thyme. Cook until the mushrooms are just tender.
Stir through the ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano and spinach.
To serve, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper.
Lay the crepes on your benchtop and divide filling between each crepe. Roll up and place, fold down, on the baking tray. Brush with a little melted butter then bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until the mushroom filling is hot and the crepes are slightly crisp.
Heat the Puy Lentil Salad and the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over a low heat until just warm.
Carefully place a crepe on each plate. Drizzle around the Puy lentils and serve with a salad of your favourite bitter greens.
Botswana Rib-Eye of Beef
A meat thermometer is a reassuring piece of kitchen equipment, especially when you are cooking larger cuts of meat. There are guidelines for testing the internal temperature of meat and fish, but it is really personal preference so you will need to have a bit of a play around. For the best possible results always rest your meat and take into account the heat from the outside of what you have cooked will still be working while it is resting.
The amount the internal temperature will rise depends on the weight of the meat. The difference between the surface temperature and the internal temperature when it comes out of the oven can vary. Larger cuts of meat, can be browned on a chargrill, barbecue plate or frying pan and then placed in a hot oven at 210°C–220°C (425°F) to finish cooking. Serve with plenty of roasted garlic bulbs to add a savoury boost.
1kg (2 lb 8 oz) rib-eye of beef, at room temperature
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 whole garlic bulbs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme leaves
Rub the steak with olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat a chargill, barbecue plate or large frying pan over a medium–high heat. Add the rib-eye and cook. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the rib-eye.
Cook until 42°C (about 107°F) then leave to rest for up to 15 minutes"the meat thermometer should reach 54°C (about 129°F) for medium-rare meat. Or 37°C (about 98°F) then leave to rest" the meat thermometer should reach 50°C (about 122°F) for rare meat.
To make roasted garlic
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a roasting dish with foil.
Use a sharp knife to slice off the top quarter of the garlic exposing the cloves and place the garlic in the roasting dish. Drizzle over a little oil and sprinkle with salt and the thyme. Fold over the foil to enclose the garlic and place in the oven to roast for 40 minutes or until the garlic cloves are very soft.
We have no chance of taking these off our menu. We make our fondants using Valrhona Chocolate (66 per cent cocoa), for a rich- flavoured chocolate dessert.
125 g (4½ oz) unsalted butter
125 g (4½ oz) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 free-range eggs
4 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
2 tbsp plain (all purpose) flour
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
extra dark cocoa powder for dusting
4 tbsp crème fraîche
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease 4 x 250 ml (9 fl oz) capacity individual pudding moulds.
Place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water (making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water) and melt.
Remove bowl and set aside.
Lightly whisk the eggs, then sift in the sugar, flour and cocoa powder. Add the melted butter and chocolate mixture and carefully mix to combine.
Place the mixture in the moulds until three-quarters full and then place in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes. Remove from the fridge, lightly tap moulds on the benchtop to remove any air bubbles.
To bake, place the moulds on a baking tray and bake for 8–10 minutes until the chocolate fondants are just beginning to come away at the sides and the centres are still a little wobbly.
Remove from the oven and turn out onto serving plates.
Serve each chocolate fondant dusted with cocoa powder, a dollop of Crème fraîche and berries.
Authors: Al Spary and Russell Gray