Sandton Convention Centre Chef jazzes up South African favourites

September 18, 2018 (Last Updated: April 17, 2023)
Sandton Convention Centre jazzes up favourite South African ingredients

Sandton Convention Centre is the proud home of Standard Bank Joy of Jazz once again. In celebration Sandton Convention Centre’s Executive Chef, James Khoza has jazzed up some distinctly South African recipes which can easily be re-created at home.

Sandton Convention Centre jazzes up favourite South African ingredients

Biltong mousse

Biltong Mousse

Elements: Biltong Dust | Crispy Onion Rings | Tomato Gazpacho | Soy Pearls | Red Onion and Chive Salsa

Biltong Mousse:

2 cups sliced beef/kudu biltong

1 cup cream cheese

½ large onion, diced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 sprig thyme, finely chopped

Fresh cream

Black pepper

  • Dry biltong in the oven at 120 C.
  • When dry, blend to a smooth powder and keep ½ cup of the mixture for the dust.
  • In a heavy duty pan, sauté onion, garlic and thyme until translucent.
  • Transfer the onion mixture into a blender then add the rest of the ingredients and blend to a smooth paste adding fresh cream to the desired consistency.
  • Pour the mixture into moulds and freeze.


Crispy Onion Rings

2 baby onions, sliced

1 cup corn flour

1 tbsp. paprika

½ cup buttermilk


  • Mix corn flour with paprika and salt then set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the buttermilk.
  • Toss the onion rings into the cornflour mix then into the buttermilk and repeat the process twice then deep fry until golden brown.


Tomato Gazpacho

4 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 large cucumber, roughly chopped

1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 lemon, zested and juiced

50g chives, roughly chopped

Salt and pepper

  • Blend everything together in a blender until smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Strain using a muslin cloth for a clear gazpacho.
  • Chill in the fridge for at least three hours for the flavours to combine.


Sandton Convention Centre jazzes up favourite South African ingredients

Ostrich Fillet

Ostrich Fillet

Elements: Spinach Orzo | Spiced Carrot Purée | Charred Plums/Peaches | Parmesan Crackers | Cumin and Coriander Jus

Spinach Orzo

500g orzo rice

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves, garlic

1 litre vegetable stock

1½ cups spinach purée


½ cup grated Parmesan

salt and pepper

  • In a medium pot, sweat the onions until translucent then add garlic and the rice.
  • Add vegetable stock and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked.
  • Once cooked, strain any excess liquid and then add the spinach puree and cream as desired.
  • Finish off with Parmesan cheese.
  • Season with salt and pepper.


Spiced Carrot Purée

1 large carrot, grated

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 red chilli, seeds only

  • In a medium sauce pan, sauté onions, garlic, peppers, and spices until soft. Add the carrots and allow to cook for at least 20 minutes.
  • Once cooked, purée to a smooth consistency. Check Seasoning.


South African Oxtail with a Jazzy Twist

Yields: 4 portions


This recipe has been broken down into steps – it’s simple and well worth the effort.


Step One

80ml sunflower oil

1kg oxtail

1/3 cup flour

Salt and pepper

1 medium or 150g onion

3 medium or 200g carrots

1 large or 120g leeks

1 piece or 60g celery

3 large garlic cloves

2 sprigs rosemary

2 or 220g tomatoes

2 litres of beef stock

  • Add butter and oil to a heated heavy based pot. Dust the oxtail pieces with flour, salt and pepper mixture. Pan sear the oxtail. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  • Sauté the onions in the same pot. Once caramelised, add carrots, leeks, celery, garlic and rosemary. Cook for a few minutes until all ingredients are just cooked through.
  • Add with tomatoes, red wine and the first beef stock amount of 500ml, together with the oxtail pieces. Cook on low heat to allow for a light simmering. Add more stock when the first amount has reduced to the point of not covering the meat. Continue simmering for eight hours, gently stirring occasionally. Cook until meat falls off the bone (use a fork to test).
  • Cool down and remove now the oxtail meat from the sauce and debone. Chill the deboned meat in the fridge (remember to cover with cling film so that it does not dry out). Reserve the bones and the liquid (stock).

Step Two

1 onion (80g), chopped brunoise

1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped

5ml sweet mixed spice

50g carrot, chopped brunoise

50g celery, chopped brunoise

50g butter, diced

20ml sunflower oil

Reserved liquid from Oxtail

Salt and pepper

  • In a pot, reduce the oxtail stock with the bones to a syrupy consistency. Strain the liquid through a chinois (fine conical sieve) or mutton cloth. Reserve the strained stock.
  • Add butter and oil to a hot pan. Heat until it starts to smoke. Add the sweet spices, cook for a minute stirring frivolously. Add the onion and sauté until golden. Add the last vegetables and cook for three minutes.
  • Add the reserved strained stock. Simmer for five minutes.
  • Lastly add the deboned oxtail meat. Gently stir continuously without breaking the meat. Cook until liquid is about half to the meat.
  • Remove from heat a pout into a small rectangular dish (use a terrine mould if you have one) and cover with cling film. Put in the fridge to set.

Step Three

The oxtail will be served in two unusual ways: wrapped in phyllo pastry and breaded.

Sandton Convention Centre jazzes up favourite South African ingredients

Phyllo-wrapped oxtail

Phyllo-wrapped oxtail

Half the oxtail meat

2 phyllo pastry sheets

15g flour

30ml water

200ml sunflower oil

Salt and pepper

  • Mix water with the flour to make a paste.
  • Cut phyllo half vertically.
  • As you would roll a samoosa, start at one end of the phyllo pastry, put the cut oxtail on it. Roll following the shape, making sure the meat is covered completely. Seal with the flour paste. Put in plastic container and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Place the oil in a small deep pot. Heat to 177 degrees Celsius. Deep fry each oxtail parcel individually until golden but not burnt. Place on paper towel to drain and keep warm.

Breaded oxtail

Breaded oxtail:

Half the oxtail meat

200g flour

8 eggs, beaten

200g bread crumbs

100g parsley, chopped

200ml sunflower oil

Salt and pepper

  • You will need to create a ‘breading production line’ by filling three bowls – one with flour; one with eggs; and one with breadcrumbs mixed with parsley
  • In the above order of ingredients, place each of your cut oxtail portions in the flour; eggs, and bread crumb mix
  • Put the breaded oxtail in the fridge for 30min
  • Place the oil in a deep small pot. Heat up to 177 degrees Celsius. Deep fry each oxtail portion individually until golden but not burnt


Step Four

1 onion (100g), chopped brunoise

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

200g cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets

100g butter, diced

20ml sunflower oil

80g parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper

100g cooked couscous, place in a bowl and pour over boiling chicken stock, cover with cling film and let it bloom for 20 minutes)

  • In a hot pan, heat up the butter and oil. Sauté the garlic and onion until golden. Add the cauliflower, again sauté until golden.
  • Fluff the bloomed couscous with a fork to loosen it and add to the onion and cauliflower mixture. Cook for five minutes.
  • Add seasoning and finish off with parsley.
  • Divide the couscous into 4 bowls, top with oxtail and serve.

Also read: 10 of the Best Night Clubs in Sandton

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