Spoil mum with special meal

Hopewell’s chef Matty shares three easy Mother’s Day recipes with Louise Liebenberg

Chef Matthew Forbes dishes up pure epicurean delight at Hopewell Estate’s The Sentry restaurant
Chef Matthew Forbes dishes up pure epicurean delight at Hopewell Estate’s The Sentry restaurant

The Mother’s Day weekend has arrived and we asked Bay chef Matthew Forbes, of The Sentry restaurant at Port Elizabeth’s Hopewell Conservation Estate, to put together a do-able menu for mum that will make her feel extra-special and spoilt.

Chef Matthew, or Matty as he is known, grew up in George but his fondest food memory is helping his great-grandmother prepare big family feasts in Port Elizabeth from the age of just four.

“She was an amazing cook and I got my love of cooking from her,” shares the self-taught young chef whose career highlights include cooking for Kelly Slater and other international surfers at their house during the Billabong Pro in Jeffreys Bay in 2014.

Matty, who looks up to Britain’s Gordon Ramsay and, closer to home in Port Elizabeth, Morne Posthumus, has just designed a new menu for The Sentry which will come into effect in the next few weeks.

He favours simple dishes with fresh, unique flavours that the whole family can enjoy.

“A special addition is the Nguni beef from our cows that roam freely on Hopewell.”

The Sentry is set in the lush greenery and unspoilt natural beauty of Hopewell Conservation Estate at the top of old Cape Road, just past Wedgewood Golf Estate.

This contemporary eatery with wraparound views is managed by Mantis and known for fresh artisanal dishes incorporating seasonal ingredients.

You could even do a spot of game-watching while you eat: Eland, kudu, red hartebeest, Cape mountain zebra and springbok roam freely.

The Sentry opens early to accommodate trail-runners and mountain bikers, with trails of varying lengths and intensities available.

Bookings are not usually required for the restaurant during the week, but are essential for the popular three-course Sunday lunches, served from noon to 3pm at R150 per person.

If you don’t fancy wreaking havoc in mum’s kitchen tomorrow, Matty is doing a three-course Mother’s Day lunch including the dishes featured here – and a free glass of bubbly is included for all the moms – at R225 per adult and R135 for children under 12.

Restaurant hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 7am to 4pm. Call (041)450-0381 or e-mail: restaurant@hopewellconservation.co.za
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Starter| Gorgonzola arancini with tomato sauce, parmesan and fine herbs

Serves 4


1 cup Arborio rice
½ onion
50g butter
250ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
Blue cheese (gorgonzola) to taste
1 tin tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tsp crushed fresh garlic
1 sprig fresh thyme
60ml cream
80g parmesan
1 egg
100g flour
50g breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
1 punnet micro herbs for garnish
Extra parmesan for garnish


Finely chop onion and fry half in butter; add rice and fry for 2 minutes.

De-glaze the pan with white wine, then gradually add chicken stock 100ml at a time.

Once rice is cooked, add cream and parmesan and allow to cool.

For the sauce, fry remaining onions and garlic until cooked; add tomato and thyme. Reduce liquid; blend.

To make the arancini or rice balls: Take a heaped tablespoon of rice and a small block of cheese, roll the rice into a ball using the palm of your hand after you have placed the cheese in the centre.

Dip the ball in flour, egg, then breadcrumbs.

Fry in oil until golden brown.

Plate the tomato sauce on a plate, then add three risotto balls on top.

Garnish with parmesan and micro herbs.

Main Course| Slow-braised lamb shank, fondant potato, seasonal vegetables, carrot puree and red wine jus

Serves 4

Slow-braised lamb shank
Slow-braised lamb shank


4 x 350g lamb shanks
750ml red wine
4 medium potatoes
500ml chicken stock
300g red pepper
300g baby marrow
200g baby corn
300g carrots
150g butter
100ml cream
500ml beef stock
500ml red wine
Olive oil and butter for frying


Fry lamb in olive oil, making sure each side has a golden brown colour. Season.

Place in casserole dish, top with wine, cover and cook in oven at 180°C for about two-and-a-half hours or until meat pulls away from the bone.

Cut potatoes into a cylinder shape. Fry in butter, giving it colour. Place on a baking dish and cover half-way with chicken stock; cook till soft.

Cut vegetables (excluding carrots) into blocks and fry in butter until cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

For the sauce, place beef stock and red wine in a pot and reduce by ¾ or until liquid is thick and sticky. You should be left with about 300ml of sauce.

For the carrot puree, cook carrots in butter, then add cream and blend.
To plate the dish: Smear the carrot puree on each plate with a spoon; place the potato and vegetables along the side of the carrot puree, then position the shank on the puree.

Drizzle with the sauce and serve.

Dessert| Sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel sauce and ice cream

Serves 6

Sticky toffee pudding
Sticky toffee pudding


¼ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups cake flour
1½ chopped dates
1 teaspoon bicarb
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the sauce:
1¼ light brown sugar
½ cup cream
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon brandy
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Teaspoon salt
Ice cream for serving


Preheat oven to 180°C.

Butter and flour a baking dish.

Bring dates and ¼ cup water to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in bicarb; set aside to cool.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl.

Add egg and beat till combined.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the date mixture; beat till well combined.

Repeat with remaining egg, flour and date mixture.

Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

For the sauce, bring sugar, cream, salt and butter to boil, stirring constantly.

Add brandy and vanilla; cook for three minutes.

Cut cake into rectangles and pour salted caramel sauce over.

Serve with ice cream.

The dessert can be served hot or cold, preferably hot (give it 30 seconds in the microwave).