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World Chardonnay Day: Chef Nono shares the perfect hearty dish to enjoy with chardonnay

Chef Nono Mtshali. Picture: Supplied

Chef Nono Mtshali. Picture: Supplied

Published May 26, 2022


Who doesn't love a cold glass of chardonnay on a warm summer's day but, just because the temperatures have dropped slightly, it doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the woody buttery notes that we all love so much about the wine.

If you're a true chardonnay lover, you'll know that today is World Chardonnay Day.

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Today you can sip on your favourite chardonnay, no matter what the temperature is.

A misconception many people have about pairing white wines with a meal, is that it's reserved for light dishes – especially fish dishes.

Chef Nono Mtshali from In the Kitchen debunks that notion, as she pairs the beloved wine with a hearty meaty dish.

“When we pair wine with warm red meat stew, we’re looking for a partnership between the character of the wine and the richness and texture of the stewed meat. So, a good wine to pair with short rib ragu is chardonnay. Many white wines can’t stand up to red meat, but Chardonnay is an exception. Tastes best when served chilled, which creates a nice temperature contrast between a warm beef short rib ragu and a cool sip of chardonnay,” said chef Nono.

One of South Africa’s favourite and most awarded chardonnays, FAT bastard has collaborated with Chef Nono Mtshali, for this year's Chardonnay Day.

Riekie Viljoen, from FAT bastard, says that with Chardonnay Day falling in the Southern hemisphere’s cooler months, the brand felt it was the ideal time to showcase the wine as an all-weather wine choice.

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“Our chardonnay boasts rich buttery notes and undertones of vanilla, with a creamy texture on the palate. We believe that it is the ideal accompaniment for a rich curry or stew, with the citrus finish of the wine pairing perfectly with the heavy consistency and texture of a winter dish,” said Viljoen.

FAT bastard chardonnay to perfectly accompany and compliment short rib ragu. Picture: Chef Nono Mtshali

Chef Nono Mtshali shares her Short Rib Ragu recipe for you to enjoy as you sip on your chardonnay.

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  • 1.5kg bone-in beef short ribs
  • 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbs cooking oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 sticks celery, trimmed and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-5 Sage leaves
  • 500g Pappardelle pasta, cooked according to package directions, just before serving
  • Fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
  • Grated Pecorino cheese, for garnish


Season beef with salt and pepper all over.

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Heat oil and brown beef in two batches, until crispy-browned, about 3 minutes on either side. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Place onion, celery and garlic in the pot. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste until vegetables are coated.

Pour in beef stock into the pot. Add meat back in, making sure it is mostly submerged in liquid. Add bay leaves and sage.

Close lid, and cook on medium heat for 2 hours, until meat falls off the bone.

Open lid and remove all of the beef to a plate. Trim the fat off your short ribs, remove all bones and skim as much oil off the top of the sauce as you like.

Now simmer and reduce the sauce. Shred the meat.

Once the sauce has reduced and is nice and thick, return shredded beef to sauce and stir well.

Add pappardelle to the pot, tossing as the sauce simmers. Toss for 2 minutes, until pasta is covered in shiny sauce. Serve immediately with chopped parsley and grated Pecorino cheese.

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