Sweet times are made of this


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Sweet times are made of this

Now’s a good time for our viticulturist Isabel Teubes. In fact, it’s a very good time. She’s just celebrated a really good harvest, a really good birthday and her annual Easter getaway with the people she loves.

“Best people. Best downtime and best food and wine. Lots to be grateful for.” 

Although she’s very firmly rooted in the South African soil, she draws her flavour inspiration from many places. For her family celebration, Karoo lamb shoulder was her starting point, that she cooked long and slow as you’d expect. But she took a different turn, transforming the meat into a rich and hearty ragù, served with tagliatelle she made herself. She paired the sauce with The Brew Master from our Heritage Heroes range. She chose the 2018 vintage of the deliciously layered Bordeaux blend for its elegance and balance.   

“To call it a seriously good pairing is an understatement. Wow, just wow. That was magic in the making. 

“What’s more,” she adds proudly, “I started the tagliatelle from scratch. It was so good to be working with my hands, feeling the texture of the pasta ribbons stretching and forming between my fingers. It was such a tactile experience, like letting the weight and moisture of vineyard soil run through my fingers. 

“I went for The Brew Master for its vibrant earthiness, its appealing mix of ripe, succulent black fruit flavours, carried with a hint of flowers and cedar spice. I loved the way it echoed the lamb sauce with its slightly piquant savouriness and umami character. 

Looking back on the long, languid, sometimes lazy weekend, she said: “Never mind the Italian flourish to the lamb, it was a regte, egte rustige naweek, basking in the pleasure of love, friendship and delicious tastes and times. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. If I can rephrase Annie Lennox, sweet times are made of this!” 


Lamb ragù tagliatelle with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master Bordeaux-style red blend

Serves 6 


2 tablespoons olive oil 

1½ kg Karoo lamb shoulder, excess fat trimmed with meat diced into small cubes 

2 medium carrots, finely diced 

1 stalk celery, finely diced 

1 medium onion, finely diced 

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 cup Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master

1 cup low-sodium beef stock (liquid) 

1 can whole peeled chopped tomatoes 

2 bay leaves 

1 sprig fresh rosemary 

8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme 

Coarse salt and ground black pepper, to taste 

500 grams tagliatelle pasta (store-bought or home-made) 

1 cup grated Parmesan (roughly 1 tablespoon per serving) 

Finely chopped fresh herbs, for garnishing 



  1. Brown the lamb shoulder: Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, over medium-high heat. Season the lamb generously with a teaspoon each of salt and ground black pepper (or to taste). Add the seasoned lamb to the pot and cook until deeply browned on all sides (about 2 to 3 minutes per side). Work in batches as needed to avoid overcrowding the pot, which prevents browning. Transfer the lamb to a plate and set aside. Preheat the oven to 180° C.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and reduce the heat to medium. Once the oil is hot, add the carrots, celery and onion, and season with a teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft with a bit of a brown colour (15 to 20 minutes). Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant (1 to 2 minutes). Add the tomato paste, stirring to coat the veggies, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes, until caramelised.  
  3. Deglaze: Slowly pour the wine into the pot, using a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits that have formed at the bottom of the pot. Let the red wine reduce by about half (this goes by quickly!), then add the beef stock, chopped tomatoes, and herbs (bay leaves, rosemary and thyme). Return the lamb to the pot and stir. 
  4. Braise: Cover the pot with its lid and place it in the oven to braise for 2 to 2½ hours. When it’s ready, the lamb should shred very easily – it’ll be tender enough that you should be able to shred it right in the ragù by using the back of a wooden spoon. 
  5. Remove the pot from the oven. Discard the used bay leaves and herb stalks. Shred the lamb and stir to combine well. Set aside.   
  6. Boil the tagliatelle: Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the tagliatelle to al dente. Before draining, carefully dip a liquid measuring cup into the pot, reserving about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water, and set aside. Carefully drain the pasta and set aside. 
  7. Finish the lamb ragù: Meanwhile, as the pasta boils, bring the lamb ragù to a simmer on medium heat. Stir in the grated parmesan. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally as needed. 
  8. Assemble the dish: Add the al dente tagliatelle to the simmering ragù sauce, tossing to ensure that the pasta is evenly coated in the meaty sauce. If the ragù is thick and needs to loosen up some, drizzle in some of the reserved starchy pasta water. If the pasta is loose and needs to thicken up a bit, sprinkle in some extra grated parmesan. Cook over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, until the tagliatelle absorbs some of the ragù and the ragù clings to the tagliatelle.  
  9. Garnish the lamb ragù tagliatelle with finely chopped fresh herbs, and serve with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master 2018.

Click here to purchase a six-bottle case of The Brew Master.