Bread and Wine Vineyard Restaurant at Moreson
As the name suggests, Bread and Wine Vineyard restaurant at Moreson Estate focuses on simple, high-quality food, cooked well. Executive chef, Neil Jewell’s Big Green Egg is a large part of that philosophy.
Why did you put a Big Green Egg in your kitchen?
Being able to cook food over charcoal is something I’ve always wanted to do in my restaurant but traditional braais give off too much heat. When I saw the Big Green Egg, I knew that it was the perfect solution.
Where did you see the Big Green Egg?
I saw Duncan Doherty cook a load of quails at a food festival in Johannesburg and I was blown away by what a great tool it was. It was very well insulated, which meant the heat stayed inside the Egg. I was amazed at how much beautifully cooked food was being produced from a relatively small and self contained cooking device and I realised that this was what I needed in my kitchen.
What are you cooking on the Big Green Egg?
We do a 12 hour, slow cooked shoulder of lamb and it has become the best selling item on my menu. We went from cooking one shoulder a week to two a day! I’m also cooking blackened courgettes as an accompaniment to a tuna dish. I’d always thought that courgettes were a pretty boring vegetable but I’ve fallen in love with them, cooked this way.
What’s your courgette recipe?
I brush the courgettes with olive oil and garlic and then blacken them in the Egg at high heat. When they are cooked, I slice them in half and drizzle some lemon butter over. They are seriously delicious!
It sounds so simple…?
It is simple and it’s the way I like to cook. We source really fantastic local ingredients and cook them so that the flavour of the food speaks for itself. If you have the right tools and the right quality ingredients, you can create simple and honest dishes that are superb.
Are you experimenting with the Big Green Egg at all?
At the moment, we haven’t been able to get the lamb shoulder off the menu – our customers would kill us! I am toying with introducing a potjie style stew for winter, slow cooked on the Big Green Egg. It will feature a sourdough bread crust as a lid so that you tear off pieces and dip it into a rich meaty stew. I’ve made sour dough bread on the Egg before and it was smoky, barbecue, buttery sourdough heaven!
What’s the best thing to cook on the Big Green Egg?
Just about anything – it’s so versatile. You can finish sous vide dishes, smoke, cure, grill, bake and the best thing is, it’s an all-weather piece of equipment. I’m going to the Winter Sculpture Fair in Johannesburg in May, and I can cook outdoors on a Big Green Egg without having to worry about wind or rain.