Rovos Rail Recipes

With thanks to Rovos Rail for allowing us to reproduce some of the recipes of dishes enjoyed on their trains and special thanks to the chefs who produced them for us. Please note that these recipes are the chefs’ own working recipes.

Seared Loin of Springbok with a Port and Black Cherry Demi-Glacé set on Stir-Fried Vegetables and a Creamy Parmesan and Sage Polenta

Springbok loin
Tinned black cherries
500ml fresh stock
Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh herbs
Mixture of stir-fry vegetables

Seal off the loins and season well, finish in the oven, taking care not to overcook.
Reduce the stock and the cherry syrup together until thick, adding the whole cherries at the last minute. Make polenta according to instructions, mix in herbs, cream and parmesan cheese, adding more vegetable stock/water if mixture is too thick.
Serve soft polenta on a plate with slices of springbok loin set on stir-fried vegetables.
Finish off with cherry sauce.

Balsamic and Lemon Marinated Ostrich Steak, sliced on a bed of Baby Potato Salad, Julienne Courgettes

Ostrich steak

Juice of 2 lemons
50ml balsamic vinegar
5 ostrich portions

Marinade the ostrich in the balsamic and lemon juice with the zest for two hours.
Preheat the sauce pan until smoking hot.
Cook the ostrich until golden brown, or rare.

Potato salad with a whole grain mustard mayonnaise

Mayonnaise (1 litre)

2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
5ml whole grain mustard
5ml salt
2ml white pepper
30ml wine vinegar
30ml lemon juice
750ml flora oil
Beat the eggs and egg yolks into the mustard with salt and pepper until pale and thick.
Gradually add the vinegar and lemon juice drop for drop alternately, then the oil in a steady stream.
Be carefull the mayo will split if too much oil is poured too quickly.

Ribbons of courgette, blanched.

Traditional South African warm Pumpkin Fritter with Peach and Fruit Chutney

Pumpkin fritter

250gr  raw pumpkin cubes
230gr  soft butter
250ml (1Cup)  sugar
5ml (1tsp)  vanilla essence
4  extra-large eggs
440ml (1 ½ cup) cake flour
250ml (1cup)  self-raising flour
5ml (tTsp) baking powder
Oil for deep frying
Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling

Cook the pumpkin in a little salted water until soft. Drain if necessary, mash and set aside.
Beat the butter until pale and fluff, beating continuously, add the sugar a little at a time.
Add the vanilla essence, add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
Sift together the cake flour, self-raising flour and baking powder and add.
Stir in the mashed pumpkin.
Heat enough oil in a pan for deep frying and drop spoonful of batter into the oil.
Fry until brown all over and drain on paper towel.


Boil sugar and ginger together in water for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add apricots, almonds, peppers and kiwi and some Mrs Balls chutney. Stir gently and allow to cool.

Garlic and Lemon Grilled Prawn Salad on a bed of Julienne Vegetables and toasted Cashews, served with a Ginger and Coriander Dressing

Garlic and lemon prawns

12 servings

1.2kg prawns
2 tablsp garlic crushed and made into a paste
100ml olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Marinade the prawns, dry them on paper towel in a flat plate before pan frying
(If not dry, they will not brown). Take care not to over-cook.

500g of mixed lettuce leaves
2 red peppers julienne
2 yellow peppers julienne
3 tomatoes julienne (Slice off the firm body of the tomato keep the pulp for tomato sauces)
Mange touts julienne
1 cucumber julienne
250g cashew nuts toasted


250ml olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
100ml sesame seed oil
1cm of crushed fresh garlic
1cm of crushed fresh ginger
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped coriander
Make vinaigrette with the above ingredients dress the salad and “voilà tout etpret”

Milk Tart with Koeksister

Milk tart

Serves 24

20 grams marvello margarine
1000 ml  milk full cream
250 ml  sugar white
2 unit  eggs
100 ml  maizena (corn starch)
100 grams  cake flour
25 ml vanilla essence

1000 ml sugar white
5 ml  cream of tartar
2.5 grams  tartaric acid
5 ml vanilla essence
500 ml  water
500 grams  cake flour
10 grams  baking powder
5 grams  salt
70 grams butter
1 unit  eggs
80 ml  milk full cream

400 grams  butter
200 grams  castor sugar
600 grams  self-raising flour
25 ml  lemon rind

For the milk tart mixture

Bring the milk to the boil, add the margarine and boil for a minute
Cream the sugar, eggs, corn-starch or maizena, flour and the vanilla essence.
Add some of the hot milk to the cream mixture and pour that back into the boiling milk to thicken. Simmer on very low heat so that the mixture doesn’t burn or catch.
Remove from the heat and set aside to cool down.

For the koeksister

To make the syrup, mix the sugar, cream of tartar, tartaric acid and flavouring with the water. Bring the mixture to the boil and allow to simmer for approximately 10 min, or until syrupy.
Allow the syrup to cool down and place in the fridge overnight to be cold.
To make the batter, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl, cut or rub the butter into the dry ingredients.
Beat the egg thoroughly and add it to the milk. Add the egg/milk mixture to the dry ingredients, handle as little as possible. Place the dough into the fridge and let rest for at least one hour.
Roll out the dough to a 4mm thickness. Cut into strips about 50mm long and 25 mm wide.
Cut each strip into three lengthwise, leaving one side uncut. Now plait the three pieces and press ends together firmly.
Pre-heat and deep fry the koeksister until golden brown. Drain for a few seconds and dip them into the cold syrup.

For the butter cookie/biscuit

Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy
Work in the lemon rind, and then mix in the flour to a stiff mixture. Shape into rolls and leave overnight. Slice into 5mm slices. Arrange well apart on a baking sheet.
Bake the biscuits in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 15min until golden brown.
Remove and let cool.

Presentation Instructions:

Place the milk tart mixture into a piping bag. Place one of the biscuits on the plate and pipe some of the milk tart mixture onto it. Top with another biscuit and pipe on more milk tart. Dust with cinnamon. Place a koeksister on the side. Garnish with fresh fruit or fruit coulis. Serve.

Peppadew Stuffed Chicken Breast and Egg Noodles

Serves 10


1200 gram chicken breast fillets deboned
100 grams peppadews yellow
100 ml peppadews
25 grams almi décor
25 grams salt
40 grams chicken stock
20 grams corriander
20 grams fresh parsley
150 grams onions
400 grams egg noodles
25 grams salt
100 ml oil olive
200 grams carrots
200 grams baby marrows
150 ml demi glaze
225 grams mushroom chinese cluster
40ml tomato paste

Rinse the chicken breasts and cut a slit into the breast.
Chop the peppadews, the onion and the herbs and mix the seasoning together with the almi décor and the chicken stock. Sear the breasts in a hot pan and set aside.
Deglaze the pan with a little white wine/water and add the chopped onions, seasoning and the demi glaze.
Stuff the chicken breast and place aside.
Place a pot of water on the stove to boil, add the salt and the olive oil to the water.
Boil the noodles for a few minutes until ready.
Peel and julienne the carrots and the marrows. Blanche the vegetables as required until al dente.

Presentation Instructions:

On a hot plate, place the noodles in the middle, the blanched vegetables on top and, on the side place the chicken breast (cut at an angle for better presentation), sauce and serve.

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