Winter is the weather for drinking ports and muscats and Pedro Ximenex. There’s nothing better than a small glass in front of the fireplace after a good meal. It’s also fabulous to cook with. This is a simple side dish that tastes so good on these cold nights. This is a fairly sweet side dish, the onions, pumpkin and muscat all combining to a sticky yumness. This pairs well with beef or lamb. It's also fabulous with some goat's cheese or gorgonzola dotted on top.
I’ve used Monte’s Fine Old Muscat from Cape Naturaliste – my favourite winery. Partly because I always have a bottle of it, because it’s fabulous. Partly because it is the perfect match. Sweet, without being too cloying, a tad gingerbready. Add a little onion and thyme and you're onto a winner.
Speaking of winning, this pumpkin was one that Lance grew for me! Getting fresh produce feels like such a prize!
Muscat Butternut Pumpkin
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 red onions, sliced into thin half moons
1 tsp salt
2 tsp thyme leaves
½ tsp fresh black pepper
½ cup muscat (such as Monte’s Fine Old Muscat)
1 small butternut pumpkin (around 750g), peeled, de-seeded and finely sliced into half moons
1 tbsp each pepitas and pine nuts for garnish
In a frypan over low heat, warm the olive oil and butter together until the butter has melted. Add the red onions and cook for 10 minutes, stirring here and there. Add the salt, thyme and pepper, mix through the onions well and cook a further 10 minutes, until the onions are golden.
Add the pumpkin slices and stir through well, coating them in the onion mixture. Pour the muscat over the top and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pumpkin has softened and the liquid has been absorbed.