Hierdie is die LitNet-argief (2006–2012)
This is the LitNet archive (2006–2012)
Paul Murray - 2007-11-06
Today all you will find are models of the creature, in museums such as the Albany Museum in Grahamstown, under the auspices of Dr Billy de Klerck, who is renowned for his discoveries in the field.
The biltong never tasted the same as Oom Adam’s, remarked a colleague. And game biltong is made completely differently from beef biltong. The secret lies not only in laying the meat in the brine, but also the method of rubbing in the salt with a little coriander seed. Sun-drying in the open air until it becomes hard on the outside and to an extent the inside too, is essential. The herbal grasses that eland feed on lie on the plains as well as the slopes of the mountains in the Karoo. “They look so good ’cause they eat so good” is a suitable strap phrase for describing their fine state. This makes the eland a favourite among Karoo diners, and might well account for the interest in the meat from the Slow-Food Society. In many ways the succulent meat from the eland resembles the cut commonly known as Bistecche alla Fiorentina, from the cow found on the slopes of the Apennines in Tuscany, in the Val di Chiana. The similar size of the animals makes them ideal for gourmet steaks of a fair size.
If a barbecue is not the way to prepare game then try a classic Leipoldt recipe (taken from Leipoldt’s Food and Wine (edited by TS Emslie and PL Murray, Stonewall Books, 2003). Cut some fillets of eland, taken neatly from the neck or back of the buck (Leipoldt suggests "the best is from the muscles that lie along the spinal column"). Rub in salt, pepper and a little flour, simmer in fat with a pinch of powdered ginger, make a good gravy sauce, add a drop of lemon juice, chilli, a little sweet red wine and enough rice flour to thicken. Dip the stewed fillets in lemon juice and powder them with pepper and salt, place in a shallow dish and pour over the boiling gravy sauce … and serve.
Nothing is wasted from the eland, especially not the delicacies such as the hooves, stomach, liver, heart and lungs.
Cook the tripe after cleaning, selecting the thickest pieces, then dip in a thin batter by mixing egg yolk with sifted flour and a little milk, add some salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of powdered chilli, and fry the pieces in fat or butter. Sprinkle parsley over and serve with rice or mashed potato.
The San believe that if they eat the heart of the eland they will become strong and mighty like their hero antelope. The eland and the San come a long way together. Rock art shows how once the eland had been killed there was an immediate link with the realms above the earth and beneath the earth (the material world). Rites of passage begin with rubbing in the fat of the eland, which is the magic medium for entering a trance.
The eland, wiped out towards the mid-nineteenth century, have been brought back to the Karoo by game farmers. They were. Although shy and hard to hunt, constantly chasing them on horseback tired them out on the plains, where they were shot in their droves. Today they are once again prize game for both local and international hunters.
Some serious damage to the veld recently left a few "hansies" now fully grown. Their shy nature means you cannot get too near them in the paddock, although the proximity to them under these conditions is a great deal closer that in the wild, open veld. To shoot one must feel good if you are a hunter, but to see one shot if not, is pretty awful.
The poison at the tip of the arrow was from the venom of the scorpion, mixed with insects and vegetable matter, or from the parasite larva of the beetle that feeds off the poison grub tree. Approximately 8–10 grubs would be smeared on the arrow tip, enough to fell a large antelope in 20 hours. To ensure no one in the hunting party got pricked by the poisonous arrow head, it was covered with wild cotton, which was removed just before exacting the fatal shot at the game. Today it takes virtually nothing to fell a buffalo, let alone an eland, just a sound and accurate eye and a .306 rifle … a Parthian shot!
The following recipe is mouth-watering to the eland meat-eater and serves as a possible alternative recipe to that of the guru of game recipes, C Louis Leipoldt.
Peel and slice the apples. Sprinkle the slices of apple with brown sugar, then place them in a pan. Gently soften them in butter.
Keep the apples warm while the steaks are seasoned and fried until pink. Once they are pink, take the eland steaks out of the pan and keep them warm. In the meantime, cool the pan with lime juice and rum. This sauce is first poured on to the plate. The meat is then carefully arranged on the sauce and covered with slices of apple.
Delicious potato croquettes are served with this.
(Source for the above recipe: http://www.deli-ostrich.com/site/page/15)
For the real eland lover, a walk in the veld, looking for game, is a gentler way of appreciating this most graceful of all antelope, especially as the sun sets across the wide Karoo plains and their call can be heard in the distance.