Monday, November 12, 2018

Springbok Meat: Carpaccio, Steak, Stew and Biltong

The springbok is a beautiful African antelope that I knew little to nothing about before visiting South Africa and Namibia. However, there it is very much part of the culture. It is the national animal of South Africa. It is the name of the South African rugby squad featured in the movie Invictus about Nelson Mandela. It is also a meat that can be found everywhere. 
Springboks in Etosha NP, Namibia
At our first meal in South Africa, at Karibu in downtown Cape Town, we had the safari platter and it featured springbok in two ways. First we had springbok carpaccio, raw meat, sliced or pounded into thin strips, along with ostrich and crocodile. It was relatively bland, but good, but my least favorite of the three. 
Springbok carpaccio is on the right.
We also had a springbok steak at that meal, along with kudu and impala. When we asked our waiter what meat was what on the plate, he came back with this answer from the chef: the kudu is toughest, the impala the most tender (best) and the springbok grainy. Those instructions made it easy to determine between the three. The impala was best, followed by springbok, then kudu.  
Springbok steak is one of the three steaks on the left. 
The springbok steak is in the middle. 
Later, at Gold Restaurant in Cape Town, we had springbok in a Namibian stew. You probably would not notice much difference between it in that mixture, than you would beef. 
Namibian stew with springbok. 
In biltong, the South African version of jerky, which I wasn't particularly fond of, it was a fun oddity to try, but not really indicative of the quality of the meat. 

Springbok biltong
The chef at Karibu really set the standard. Springbok is good - better than kudu, which is really good when cooked right. But it does not measure up to impala, which is great by any standard.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm impressed that you remember the distinctions so well. They have begun to merge together in my mind.