The holidays are often cherished for time spent with family and friends. And while the long-awaited summer break can mean sleeping in until brunch, lazy afternoon braais and elaborate roasts, the season can also come with stressed pre-holiday planning and shopping for those memorable festive family tables.
Boschendal at Oude Bank, a vibrant bakery, bistro and farm shop in Stellenbosch (Western Cape), understands the seriousness that surrounds the holiday season. In addition to its rotational sit-down menus and fresh take-home produce, the establishment also offers a festive season favourite: it’s carefully selected 100% grass-fed meat sourced from the Franschhoek-based Boschendal Farm.
The Boschendal Farm (with a rich heritage dating back to 1685) has become known in the Cape Winelands for its natural, sustainable farming practices and authentic farm-to-table dining. Boschendal at Oude Bank was recently opened in Stellenbosch to extend the Farm’s ethically sourced and wholesome food offerings to local residents and visitors to the town.
Two team members who play an integral part in ensuring that the shop’s meat fridges are regularly stocked with fresh, vacuum-sealed red meat are Jason Caroll (cattle manager) and Rainer Raschbichler (chef and butcher).
“It’s important for us at the farm to be able to guarantee the natural production of our meats which are all hormone-, antibiotic- and steroid-free,” says Jason. “It’s just as important to us that this ethos is also experienced at Oude Bank.”
Rainer is a fourth generation, artisan butcher who practically grew up in a butchery. Under the guidance of his father, a certified Fleischmeister, Rainer was trained the ‘old school’ way to become a notable butcher. He’s also a trained chef and worked in the kitchen for eight years before joining Boschendal Farm’s Werf Butchery. It’s safe to say that Rainer knows his way around everything ‘meat’, may it be the different cuts and cooking techniques.
If you’re looking for handy DIY red meat selection tips for the holidays, Rainer gives the following advice to help you raise the ‘stakes’ at your dining occasions:
• Spot the Difference: It can be easy to overlook the signs of meat that has passed its expiry date. “The colour is a dead giveaway,” says Rainer. “Bright red means that it’s filled with bad preservatives and other products to make it last longer. Meat should change colour over a few days to oxidise and change to a deeper red colour.” It can also be a good idea to avoid discoloured blood in the packaging (pale greys).
• Prefer a longer shelf life? Opt for vacuum packed cuts for longer, naturally lasting products.
• Other No-no’s: Use your senses: avoid a slimy texture and sour smell.
Boschendal at Oude Bank’s meat fridges are regularly stocked with a range of fresh red meat cuts ideal for the festive season, braai packs as well as poultry. A selection of meat options can be pre-ordered on request.
A mere hour’s drive from central Cape Town and in close reach of surrounding towns, Boschendal at Oude Bank, is located on the corner of Bird and Church Streets in Stellenbosch. The shop is open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week.
For store enquiries, contact 021 870 4287 or follow @boschendalatoudebank on Facebook and Instagram.