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A South African Christmas feast

By December 22, 2015July 25th, 2020finglobal.com

A South African Christmas feast

December 22, 2015

South African emigrants can literally be found all over the world. We are indeed the scatterlings of Africa – filling the rest of the world with wonder and magic which we’re quite sure they’ll thank us for at some stage

And so, you may find yourself having a very white Christmas, amid rolling sand dunes, under a rainy deluge or on a sunny beach. But irrespective of where you are, you’ll probably want to infuse your Christmas with some safa flavour.

We’ve rounded up the best ideas for your Christmas dinner table all the way from your favourite country.

Brandy and coke glazed gammon

Second to our love of sport, sun and a good braai are our brannas and coke. So we’re quite sure this one will suit all our safas abroad.

Ingredients (gammon)

  • a large gammon, weighing 2.5 to 3 kg
  • 330 ml ginger ale
  • 330 ml of your favourite beer
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 thumb-length quill of cinnamon
  • a large blade of mace (or 1/4 of a nutmeg, grated)
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • water
  • whole cloves
  • Ingredients (glaze)
  • 330 ml Coca-Cola
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp hot English mustard powder
  • 100 ml brown sugar
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 3 T Klipdrift brandy


  • Put the gammon, ginger ale, beer, star anise, bay leaves, cloves, onion, cinnamon, mace and peppercorns into a large, deep pot.
  • Add enough water to cover the gammon.
  • Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat so the gammon cooks at a simmer.
  • Partially cover the pot with a tilted lid.
  • Cook the meat for 30-40 minutes per kilogram of boneless gammon or 45-55 minutes if it has a bone in.
  • Top the pot up with water if necessary.
  • Turn off the heat and leave the gammon in the liquid to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
  • Pour the Coca-Cola into a large, shallow pan or wok.
  • Turn on the heat and bubble briskly until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Whisk in the Dijon mustard, mustard powder, sugar and coffee powder.
  • Turn up the heat and boil fast, stirring often for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced and is slightly syrupy.
  • You should be left with about 200 ml of liquid.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and brandy.
  • Take the gammon out of its cooking liquid, pat dry and place in a roasting pan.
  • Carefully peel away the rind and discard.
  • Using a sharp knife, score the top of the gammon in a diamond pattern.
  • Stud the gammon with whole cloves.
  • Pour the glaze over the gammon and place the roasting pan in a blazing hot oven.
  • Cook for 20-30 minutes, basting the meat every four to five minutes by scooping the glaze off the bottom of the pan and trickling it all over the top and sides.
  • The glaze will thicken and reduce as time goes by but watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn.
  • Remove the gammon from the oven when it has a brown sticky crust and there is just a little glaze left in the bottom of the pan.
  • Using a pastry brush, paint any remaining glaze over the top and sides of the gammon.
  • Set aside to rest for ten minutes, then serve hot with your favourite side dishes.

South African yellow rice

South African yellow rice has been with us for ages. Though it is usually found at church bazaars, it is the perfect accompaniment for your brandied gammon.


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ground turmeric
  • 6 T white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup dark seedless raisins
  • 2 T butter
  • 5 cups water


  • In a saucepan, combine the rice, salt, turmeric, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, butter and water.
  • Bring to the boil uncovered.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until rice is fluffy and water has been absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
  • Keep warm until serving time.

South African eggnog

We have all sorts of delicious drinks, but eggnog is not something which has really caught on in South Africa… until now. It was inevitable that we try to give our own twist on this international favourite at some stage, so without further ado


  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding
  • 850 ml full-cream milk
  • 150 ml fresh or long-life cream
  • 200 ml Amarula Cream liqueur
  • 1 ml ground nutmeg


  • Beat together the instant vanilla pudding and 500 ml of the milk.
  • Chill for five minutes before adding the rest of the milk, cream and Amarula.
  • Chill thoroughly and serve with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg
  • Serve in small shooter or sherry glasses.

Christmas trifle

What’s a Christmas without a trifle? If you’re from South Africa, you’ll surely want this dish to round up your delectable Christmas feast.


  • 400 g strawberries 30 ml brandy
  • 80 g port wine jelly powder
  • 1 large OR 2 small jam rolls, cut into 1 cm thick slices
  • 80 ml orange juice
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 15 ml brandy
  • 100 g pecan nuts, chopped
  • 825 g peach slices, drained
  • 785 g pineapple chunks, drained
  • 500 ml custard
  • 115 g granadilla pulp
  • 500 ml cream, stiffly beaten


  • Rinse and hull the strawberries and pour over 15 ml brandy.
  • Leave until needed.
  • Dissolve the port wine jelly in 250 ml boiling water, stirring until dissolved.
  • Add 250 ml cold water and stir.
  • Leave in the fridge until set.
  • Arrange the jam roll slices in the bottom and along the sides of a glass bowl.
  • Mix the orange juice, lemon juice and 15 ml brandy.
  • Pour over the cake.
  • Sprinkle with chopped nuts.
  • Arrange the peach slices and pineapple chunks on top.
  • Pour the custard over and chill.
  • Cut the set jelly in squares and sprinkle on top of the custard.
  • Pour over the granadilla pulp.
  • Spoon the whipped cream into a piping bag and decorate the trifle with cream rosettes.
  • Arrange the soaked strawberries between the cream rosettes.
  • Chill until needed.

We hope you’re ready to get feasting!

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