RECIPE: Chef Reuben Riffel’s Sedgwick’s Cream And Mushroom Sauce


I wasn’t going to feature this post but then I had a random chat with my braai master (I’m the braai buddy), Henry.  It turned out we are both big fans of Sedgwick’s Old Brown Sherry, more especially during the winter season.  According to Henry OBS as he would like to call it, beats everything when it comes to warming one up during winter.  It beats heaters, hot water bottles, etc.  And you even feel it warming up your toes.  Ha!  That’s what he says.  But I have to say I agree with him….


Henry and I are not the only fans, celebrity chef Reuben Riffel has become quite the Sedwick’s Original Old Brown fan whilst trekking throught the sub-Saharan Africa as part of the Cape to Dar es Salaam Expedition with the Land Rover Africa magazine team.


Reuben, along with the magazine team and a film crew, left Cape Town on 4 July and have been driving, filming, exploring and cooking on the 6500km journey to Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam.  The Land Rover Africa magazine expedition aims to promote overland tourism in sub-Saharan Africa by showcasing the beauty and accessibility of travelling through Africa.  The tea is visiting several luxury lodges along the way and report on how these lodges have positively impacted local communities.


The entire journey is being documented as Reuben seeks to share his skills with local chefs and feature local produce and cooking styles unique to the continent.  He intends publishing a book featuring the best and worst recipes he encountered.  That’s something to look forward to!


Sedgwick’s Original Old Brown has been keeping the team around the camp fire and also used by Reuben as a secret ingredient to his bushfire culinary delights.  At their stop-over in Zimbabwe at the Hwange Lodge, Reuben treated the team to steak with a Sedgwick’s cream and mushroom sauce, complemented with side dishes of roasted butternut and fresh salad.  I gave the recipe a try and served it with roasted chicken, rice and roasted butternut.  I liked it and now I’m sharing it with you but before that…

A little bit of background info on the Sedgwick’s OBS:


Sedgwick’s Original Old Brown was launched in 1916 and named after Captain James Sedgwick, master of the famous tea clipper Undine.  Legend has it that when he retired at the Cape in 1853, he was the centre of attraction at his tavern, The Captain’s Rooms, where sailors on shore leave gathered to share his tales of the high seas.  That charisma and spirit of adventure to this day lives on in Sedgwick’s Original Old Brown.  Sedgwick’s OBS is versatile in that it can be enjoyed neat around the camp fire, with lemonade or ginger ale and plenty of ice for a refreshing summer’s drink, or added to your favourite sauce, marinade, old-time favourite dishes such as flash-fried prawns, pea soup, malva pudding and roasted vegetables.

Follow the journey using the hashtag #Cape2Dar


Reuben’s Sedgwick’s Mushroom Sauce

3 onions, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

100g butter (I used salted butter)

Pinch of tarragon

200ml Sedgwick’s Original Old Brown Sherry

500ml (2cups) white mushrooms, chopped

500ml (2cups) fresh cream

1 chicken stock cube

15ml (1Tbsp) Tabasco sauce

15ml (1Tbsp) Worcestershire Sauce

A dash of balsamic vinegar


Reuben’s Method:


  1. Caramelize the onions and garlic in butter and add the tarragon.
  2. Add the Sedgwick’s Original Old Brown as soon as it starts caramelizing.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cream and bring to boil.  Add the stock cube, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
  4. Cook until it thickens.
  5. This is the ideal sauce for steak or grilled chicken.  The salad and roasted butternut makes for perfect side dishes.

About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comment ( 1 )

  • Marieka

    We will try it!

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