A great way to warm up on a cold evening…
Winter brings a heartier approach to food than the any other season and even more so when teamed with alpine sports. Gone is the guilt approach to food that occurs when we adorn bikinis and boardies. Heading off a ski field from a full days riding or skiing be it on a blue bird day or one of the days that make you wonder what would possess you to venture out in such Antarctic conditions, appetites are usually nothing short of ravenous. If the queues had been long all day then chances are that lunch was no more than a snack bar to get the maximum value out of a day on the mountain. Choosing a meal from a menu is usually unconsciously done by a diners feel. We no longer eat food for fuel. Dining has become an experience. “What do feel like tonight…”? Tired and just plain hungry? Dishes with substance, quantity and quality are paramount on menus around the Central Plateau. No room here for light summer salads and Sauvignon Blanc. The very thought of it makes you shiver. Alpine menu’s that written to cater for the keen skier and snowboarders are filled with fare that finishes a perfect day of recreation. Après food is all about warming, wholesome and earthy flavours. Apart from a perfect day on the mountain the most positive thing about winter is the food. Long slow braises, deep and rich flavours allied with deep, spicy warming red wine. Port and cheese, perfect winter partners. Days where chocolate is not a sin. Meals that remind you of how life doesn’t have to be all rush and bother. Comfort, great company and conversation, hearty cuisine and genuine service. Meals that feature on menus in alpine environments are generally not cuisine trend inspired. Fulfilment is what winter food is all about. Restaurant and bars that are decked with cosy comfortable furniture, fireplaces and staff who add to the warmth of the environment.
Mulled Wine Recipe – (compliments of Cardrona Hotel) This mulled wine is served at the Cardrona Hotel and is made from their secret recipe and is like no other, but it’s not a secret anymore! You will need the following ingredients; • A bottle of hearty red wine • A stick of cinnamon • A few whole cloves • Half a cup of sugar • One cup of water • Lemon and orange slices Note that you don’t need to go overboard on the wine...an imported Shiraz from the supermarket will do nicely, as you are going to change the taste of the wine considerably.
Place spices, citrus, water and sugar into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir to help dissolve the sugar. Add the bottle of wine and bring back to just under the boil. It’s quite important not to boil the brew...if it’s boiled, it’s spoiled! Just let the flavours fuse without overcooking - 10 minutes should do it.
Serve warm and enjoy.
Parmesan and garlic crusted Lamb rack, sage gnocchi and port red wine jus
Above: A Vegetarian Dish that pleases even the carnivore amongst us! Cumin spiced pumpkin and garbanzo with roasted red peppers, Portobello mushrooms, wilted spinach and a sweet jerez coulis.