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quiet1

"Karoo Farm Style" Apricot sauce?

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When I lived in England, sometimes we'd pick up a packet of this stuff: http://www.africanhut.com/product.asp?id=86 It's an apricot and mustard type sauce, very good with chicken or pork. Of course, being a commercially prepared product I have no idea how authentic it is at all, but I'm not having luck finding any recipes even close to it. Did the company completely make it up or is Google failing me?

 

It was quite tasty but had a slightly different flavor profile to what I'd expect from a European apricot-and-mustard sauce, so I'd like to try to come up with some kind of recipe for it. I can't find a photo of the ingredients list online either, just a blurb that said apricots, garlic, onion, and mild mustard in the way where those are probably the main ingredients but there is other stuff too.

 

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Without an ingredients list, it's hard to tell. I make a sauce for chicken that catering clients seem to like. It's just: good apricot jam (I try to use bakery jam as it doesn't burn, d'arbo is a good brand.), whole-grain prepared mustard (I'm in the US, so, I use Woeber's Sandwich Pal, sweet and spicy), a dash of Worcester sauce, and a little kosher salt. Instead of jam, you can add boiling water to dried apricots and puree with some sugar. The main point being you want strong apricot flavor. I have had some jam that was just sweet and tart but did not have a discernible apricot flavor.

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50 minutes ago, heidih said:

 

Thanks, I kept finding just images of the package. Looks like mostly apricot and onion, light on the garlic and mustard. (Which is what I recall, it did not have a pronounced garlic taste.) I wasn't sure if anything else was hiding in it as the base, the way a lot of things start with onion/celery/carrot but those aren't really stand out flavors in the finished sauce?

 

I'm thinking the dried apricots might be the way to go, to get the most flavor without a long cooking time. It isn't a terribly sweet sauce - fruity but not something you'd think of as sweet as such.

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I may be a bit late in offering comment with this product, but there is no actual Karoo Farm Style Apricot Sauce - it is just a marketing name.

 

The Karoo is a semi-desert region in the South African interior in which the main farming is of sheep for both wool and for meat. The sheep eat mainly small bushes known as salt-bush, which gives the meat a district flavour compared to sheep farmed in coastal regions. To counteract the distinct flavour, the farmers in the region often use apricots within their cooked lamb, especially when cooking lamb in kabab form, where dried apricots are fed onto the skewer after each chunk of lamb. Smooth apricot jam (jelly in the US) is also often used to baste a leg of lamb as it is roasted and sometimes just dried apricots thrown into the bottom of the roast pan to break down in the juices from the meat.

 

So, it just appears that some adventurous manufacturer has now brought out a packaged sauce to try and replicate the use of apricots in cooking! I doubt it will sell very well in South Africa and must admit I have never seen it on the shelves of supermarkets in my area. It's far easier (and cheaper) to throw a handful of dried apricots into the pan of your roast as they turn into mush and thus automatically become part of the sauce of the roast when they are with the juices.

 

One South African dish is curry, brought to the country with the Indian labour forces in the early 1800's. As curry dishes became known and slowly migrated into the interior regions, the population did not like just plain spicy curry, so started making curry with lamb and mutton and throwing quantities of dried apricots into the pot to "sweeten" the curry. This then became Karoo Curry and now in recent times, as mutton is no longer popular compared to lamb, it is now called Karoo Lamb Curry - a very popular dish in the Karoo regions of the country and also my personal preference when making a lamb curry, even though I am located on the coast.

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