Christmas is around the corner and one of South Africa’s favourite celebrities, the reigning Miss SA Natasha Joubert has shared how she will be celebrating this special day.
Joubert says Christmas is all about family and she never misses the chance to celebrate this special day with them.
“Even if I’m on holiday, I will book my tickets to be back on December 24,” the pageant queen recently told Caxton Local Media.
She said this year’s celebrations will be hosted at her house for the first time. Her partner, siblings, mother and her mother’s partner will be joining the festivities.
“I have this creative side to me that is arty and crafty. I’m going to make a personalised table set-up for every person. This year, I want to live in the full spirit of Christmas and do fairy lights around the house. Then, on the day, it’s going to be a family day outside, listening to many, many Christmas songs on repeat.”
Asked why Christmas was so special to her, Joubert answered that it’s a time of year to realise what you are grateful for.
“It’s celebrating the end of a very busy year for most of us. Also, remembering why we do have Christmas and the sacrifice that was made for Christians. It is a day that should be acknowledged and celebrated.”
Joubert said even though her favourite festive recipes and foods vary from year to year, her grandmother’s stew is a standout dish. “I will eat unlimited amounts.”
Made with either slow-cooked oxtail or beef chuck and Sedgwick’s Old Brown sherry or red wine, potatoes, carrots and herbs, Joubert says it cooks for hours until the meat melts in your mouth. “Oumie pairs it with peas, sweet potatoes and rice.”
Apart from family and food, Joubert loves the warm December weather and counts her blessings that South Africans do not have to ‘celebrate in the snow’.
“My plans for the day might sound basic but these are the days that fill my cup the most.”
Here is her Ouma’s stew recipe:
1.5kg beef chuck, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, cut into chunks
7 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1½ tbsp tomato paste
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine
2 cups beef stock
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
1½ tsp sugar
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks on a diagonal
450g potatoes, cut into quarters
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Pat the beef dry and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a large oven-proof pot, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Brown the meat in batches, for about five minutes per batch, adding a tablespoon more oil for each batch. This sears the meat properly and gives it a nice crust. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
3. Into the same pot, add the onions, garlic and Worcestershire sauce and cook for five minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Add the tomato paste and cook for one minute.
5. Add the beef with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved (one to two minutes).
6. Add the wine, beef stock, water, bay leaf, thyme and sugar, stir and bring to a boil.
7. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid, transfer to the preheated oven, and braise for two hours.
8. Remove the pot from the oven and add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and place back in the oven for about an hour more or until the vegetables are cooked, the broth is thickened, and the meat is tender.
9. Remove the bay leaf, taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Serve with rice or mashed potato.
Ouma’s tip: This stew improves in flavour if made at least one day ahead. Once cooked, let it cool, then keep it in the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat over medium heat.
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