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Impress your guests with Jan Braai’s Red Wine Pears potjie recipe

The Democratic Republic of BraaiDie Demokratiese Republiek van BraaiJan Braai’s newest book, The Democratic Republic of Braai, was recently published by Bookstorm.

Jan is well known for his legendary braai desserts, and this mouthwatering recipe for Red Wine Pears is no exception.

Have a read, and impress your guests at your next potjie get-together:
 
 

The Democratic Republic of Braai by Jan Braai

 
Red Wine Pears

Fresh fruit is always welcome around the braai fire. Especially when it’s sweet, flavourful, comes with a red wine sauce and is served as dessert.

Make sure you use firm pears for playing this game as they will hold their shape better after cooking in the red wine. Always use the quality of wine you would also drink. If you were supposed to use something that tastes like vinegar, the name of the recipe would have been “Vinegar pears” but it isn’t.

Once done, you can also serve these pears with soft mascarpone cheese or ice cream instead of the blue cheese and pecan nuts, but then it is not going to look this cool in photos.

What you need
(feeds 6)

6 pears (firm but ripe)
1 packet pecan nuts (100 g, chopped roughly)
1 bottle good red wine
2 tots soft brown sugar
1 thick strip of orange peel
juice of that same orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves (actual cloves, not garlic cloves)
1 star anise
1 block blue cheese (200 g, crumbled)

What to do

1. Peel the pears with a vegetable peeler, leaving the stalk still in place. The stalk makes absolutely no difference to how they taste but it does make them look cool.

2. Get your potjie on flames and dry-toast the pecan nuts for about 2 minutes until they start to smell like they want to be part of the meal but before they burn. Immediately remove them from the potjie before they do exactly that, and burn.

3. Place the wine, sugar, orange peel and juice, and all the spices into your now empty potjie, stir to mix, and bring the mixture to the boil.

4. Add the pears, put the lid on the potjie and let it simmer for 40 minutes until the pears are soft. Turn the pears often making sure they colour evenly all over. Once the pears are soft but still firm, remove from the potjie and set aside. It’s fine if they cool down partially or completely.

5. Bring the sauce to the boil again and reduce until it becomes more like a syrup. During this time, taste the sauce and if you want it sweeter, add a bit more brown sugar to it.

6. Serve the pears with crumbled blue cheese and a sprinkling of pecan nuts, and top it off with the wine reduction from the potjie.

 
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