Spring has finally sprung- and you know what that means in South Africa! Summer is coming, too, and sultry, warm nights laughing with friends are only weeks away. We have National Braai Day, or Heritage Day, to celebrate on the 24th of September, too. If you’re looking for the ideal way to step into summer and knock the dust off the braai ready for a season of fun, Louisvale Wines has a simple, sophisticated treat that will make the neighbours jealous and your guests delighted.

Picking a braai wine

Gone are the days when you just grabbed a ‘box wine’ and made do, after all! Today we’re going to build a scintillating rib dish around our flagship Louisvale Cape Chardonnay, and take the art of the braai to a whole new level. 

Chardonnay is a slightly dry wine, with a light, moderately acidic profile. This means it pairs beautifully with a wide range of dishes. Extra points if the meat is a little smokey or fatty- just like braai meat. This dish, brought to you by Food @ Louisville’s Head Chef, Kirstie du Toit, is designed to celebrate this wine’s citrusy, hazelnut, and melon nose, bringing out the very best in a crispy BBQ pork rib dish that will have guests begging for more.

The secret is in the sauce

You can’t have ribs without a great sauce! No store-bought bottles are allowed here. We’re making this super-simple (but sensational) sauce from scratch. All you’ll need to do is gently blend everything over a medium heat, allowing the mix to reduce by half. This will leave you with a sticky, delectable ‘gloss’ for the ribs. Here’s what you need:

  • 200ml Red Wine (Louisvale Merlot makes a perfect choice)
  • 50ml Chutney
  • 100ml Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Bring on the ribs

Now you have your wine and sauce ready, it’s time to get to the braai! Or not, actually, at least for a minute. Braai ribs often suffer from one key fault- they dry out on the braai. So we’re going to do a little prep work first. Gather your ingredients:

  • 4kg Pork Ribs (Belly, Loin, or Spare Rib all work)
  • 2L Chicken Stock
  • 2 Halved Oranges
  • 3 Star Anise, 4 Cinnamon Sticks, and 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Onion, chunked
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Don’t forget to grab your Louisvale Chardonnay too!

Preheat your oven to 180*C, and season your meat. Remember that some seasoning does get lost falling into the braai, so don’t hold back. Brown your ribs over the braai fire (for extra authenticity) or in a pan with a good cooking oil, then move them over to a deep oven dish or two.

Add the stock and other ingredients, then seal the top with foil. This makes a little ‘pressure cooker’ of sorts, and is how we’re going to beat that dryness and guarantee succulent, flavourful meat instead. It will also make the spices shine. Let them bake in the oven for about an hour and a half (it’s a great time to enjoy a glass of wine, right?), then set aside your ribs. If you want, you can reuse the stock, and it will freeze well.

Now it’s time for the star of the show! Throw them on the braai, basting liberally in the delicious sauce as you turn them. Don’t forget to pair it with your Chardonnay for extra sparkle! 

Enjoy the feast, and get braai season started in the most spectacular way possible, with this delicious Louisvale Wines recipe.