Prep early for next weekend’s Earth Hour!

By Louise Liebenberg

EARTH Hour is next Saturday and this annual WWF-endorsed campaign, practised by greenies world wide  in a bid to reduce electricity consumption, is a good excuse to light a braai fire and a few lanterns and have some like-minded mates around.

Kurland Hotel in the Crags near Plettenberg Bay has decided that, rather than turning off  lights for one hour (during the 8.30pm  and 9.30pm time slot which would not be viable for them), their executive chef Leon Coetzee will create a gourmet braai that night. He and his team will therefore not rely on conventional cooking methods to prepare the meal.

The dinner will be held at Kurland estate – a member of the Relais & Châteaux Association – from 7pm till late and prawn and lemon kebabs, mushrooms with gorgonzola and caramelised onion, and lamb lollipops are just some of the mouth-watering choices to be prepared. But rest assured, there will also be options for  vegetarians! Guests may book for the braai at R200 per person on (044) 534-8082 or email

This is just one of the many eco initiatives Kurland Hotel has set in motion over the past year since the new management team took over headed up by Peter Behr, whose family founded the historic estate and village.

For even more Earth Hour inspiration, scroll down for Leon’s oxtail potjie recipe, which can be prepared on the fire from start to finish! Also see the earth-friendly idea from Amarula a little further down.

For more on Earth Hour visit

Leon Coetzee's oxtail potjie. Picture: Peter Unsworth

Oxtail potjie on the fire

Serves 3-4; cooking time 3 hours


500g oxtails cut 2 inches thick pieces; 10 slices bacon cut in 1 inch (2.5cm) pieces; ½ cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper; 1 litre beef stock or you can use 4 beef stock cubes; 150g tomato paste; 3 bay leaves; 6 springs of thyme; 8 black peppercorns; 4 celery sticks; 4 large leeks; 3 large onions; 6 large carrots; 10 button mushrooms; 1 cup red wine; ½ cup sherry; 2 Tablespoons butter; 3 Tablespoons olive oil; 2 Tablespoons crushed garlic


Wash the oxtails off with water. Put seasoned flour in a glass bowl, then add the oxtail and shake to coat with flour.
Heat butter and olive oil and sauté bacon pieces in a pan on the fire.
Remove bacon and brown oxtail in resulting fat; remove and drain. Now in your black pot on the fire add the next ingredients: the carrots, onions, leeks and celery all of which have been finely diced. Sauté until softened and slightly caramelised
Add the oxtail, bacon, thyme, bayleaves, peppercorns, garlic, tomato paste, red wine and sherry.
Bring slowly to a boil and cook slowly for 3 to 4 hours, stirring it regularly. Just before serving add the mushrooms and continue cooking slowly.
If you want to thicken the sauce, mix some cornstarch with water before adding.

Amarula has bought out a lantern pack that should prove useful when Earth Hour rolls around. Picture: Supplied

Other Earth Hour news

Amarula has come up with a nifty way to celebrate Earth Hour. It has designed a special lantern to hold a single candle, so you too can switch out the lights at 8.30pm local (SA) time on Saturday March 31. You only have to stay “lights out” for the next 60 minutes – and feel REALLY good that you and fellow South Africans are joining the more than 135 countries or territories world wide that are doing the same.

Iconic landmarks like South Africa’s Table Mountain, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Sydney Opera House are also supporting the initiative to highlight the importance of promoting environmental sustainability.

Amarula lantern packs, including a 750ml bottle of South Africa’s favourite marula drink, are available from selected stockists nationwide. And even if you don’t get it in time for Earth Hour, it’ll make a lovely gift for someone. I’m definitely going to be stocking up on one or two before hubby Salvelio and I head off to Spain in July – I’m sure the Spanish amigos y amigas will love both holder and liqueur!

For further information, visit or

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