With the holidays offering some time to explore Cape Town’s surrounds and creating ample opportunity to entertain at home, The Table Bay’s Executive Chef, Keshan Rambarun encourages experimenting with indigenous plants in cooking over the festive season. Here, he shares his recipe for Maple Glazed Roast Beef with handpicked num num as a starting point for creative cooks keen to try cooking with wild plants.

“It is an exciting twist on a familiar favourite and has a decidedly festive feel. Go wild in the kitchen over the holidays,” he says.

Maple Glazed Roast Beef with Num Num

350g Green peas
100g Salted butter
80g Num num (or plums)
50g Sugar
1kg Beef fillet
120g Pearl onions, peeled and halved
15ml Maple syrup
12 medium prawns, cleaned and shells removed
50ml Olive oil
30g Thyme
Salt and black pepper to taste

  • Blanch peas in salted boiling water until soft. Blend until smooth with 50g butter and 1g salt.
  • In a small saucepan, place the num num and 50g sugar with about 100ml of water. Cook the num num until soft and mushy. Remove the seeds and blend until smooth and thick.
  • Preheat the oven to 1800C. In a cast iron pan, sear the beef fillet and pearl onions with the remaining 50g of butter, salt and black pepper. Drizzle with maple syrup and roast in the oven for 7 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for 3 minutes before slicing.
  • Cook the prawns for 2 minutes a side in a pan with the olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • To serve, garnish each plate with a smear of pea puree and num num. Top with slices of beef, prawns and pearl onions. Drizzle with the pan juices of the beef and serve.