Prep 30 mins (plus overnight soaking)
Cooking 2.5 hrs
Serves 4

This month we’re celebrating South Africa’s culinary heritage by revisiting everyday Saffa staples and giving them a gourmet makeover! Samp is a pantry mainstay in millions of South African homes. It’s often served with our version of wild collard greens or spinach, plus a meat stew when budget allows. Our gourmet makeover? Giving samp the risotto treatment! The traditional greens are refined in the form of baby spinach, gently wilted in garlic-infused olive oil and instead of stew we serve it with plump cuts of prime beef fillet with a classic red wine sauce.


The samp takes longest to cook, so that’s first up. Start off by draining the samp (which soaked overnight) and place it in a large saucepan. Then add four cups of water and the salt. Next, cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer over very low heat until the samp is soft – it takes about two hours. In the meantime sauté the onions in the butter and oil over very low heat until soft – the onions should not brown. Once the samp is soft, stir in the cooked onions and parmesan.  (Cook’s note: Because the samp takes a bit of time, it can be made ahead, cooled and reheated later in your microwave when you’re ready to serve.)

To make the red wine sauce and fillet steak

Start off by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté over very low heat until soft. Then add the flour and sugar and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Next, remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the wine, whilst whisking with a balloon whisk, then return the pan to the heat and simmer, whisking constantly, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the thyme leaves and add salt and pepper to taste. The sauce can also cool down and simply be reheated once you’re ready to cook your steaks.

Dust the fillet steaks generously with our Cape Herb & Spice Texan Steakhouse Rub, then cover and set aside at room temperature for an hour. Heat a large non-stick pan with the oil and butter and fry the fillet steaks until they’re done to your liking. Remove the fillet steaks from the heat and cover them to keep them warm while you quickly make the wilted spinach.

To make the wilted spinach

Gently heat the olive oil with the sliced garlic for a minute or two. Then add the spinach, remove saucepan from the heat and pop a lid on. Allow it to stand for a minute. The residual heat is enough to gently wilt the spinach. Grind over the salt and pepper, stir to ensure all the spinach is evenly coated with that heavenly garlic oil and you’re ready to serve!

To plate up, spoon the warmed samp risotto into a food ring. (If you do not have a food ring, simply spoon the samp into a ramekin or small cup and invert it on the plate.) Top the samp with wilted spinach, then add the fillet steak and artfully drizzle the steak and plate with red wine sauce.


Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at