RECIPE: Sgwamba, Olive Stuffed Beef Tenderloin And Wine Sauce

I live for creating awareness and showcasing our traditional dishes as well as ingredients and I really appreciate opportunities to collaborate with notable and remarkable brands such as Nederburg.  With that being said, gone are those days when people associated dishes such as Isgwamba with terms like ‘boring!

Diversity and exposure are a thing of beauty.  Isn’t it a beautiful thing when one or more cultures come together?  We see it in our soapies whereby people are conversing in their vernacular and the other parties respond in their own respective languages or English.  It’s beautiful to watch.  Now, imagine two or more cultures infused and presented together on a plate then paired with one of our proudly South African wines.


Isgwamba is one of those dishes not particularly popular.  Ask any Xhosa person about Isgwamba and you’ll evoke a series of nostalgic memories and emotions.  Be prepared to hear stories about grandparents or the whole village.

Other cultures refer to it as Morogo.  What makes Isgwamba or Morogo special is how the dish comes about.  Traditionally prepared using indigenous leaves or just pumpkin, beetroot, cabbage leaves, nowadays spinach is wildly used as a substitute.


The Nederburg Brew Master from the Heroes range is a beautiful wine, it does a great job complementing the flavours of the dish giving in a beautiful finish.


For the tenderloin, ask your butcher nicely to butterfly it for you.  Enjoy and let us know how the dish and pairing turn out for you!


Sgwamba and olive stuffed beef tenderloin with smoked cheese and wine sauce, paired with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master


Serves: 6 to 8




Stuffing (Sgwamba)

15ml (1 Tbsp) canola or olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced

250 – 300g spinach, shredded

2 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated OR ½ yellow or red pepper, chopped

1 chicken stock cube, crumbled

250ml (1 cup) boiling water

250ml (1 cup) quick-cooking maize meal

125ml (½ cup) cold water

Handful of parsley, chopped

Salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste



1kg beef tenderloin, trimmed and butterflied

15ml (1 Tbsp) balsamic vinegar

15ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil

2.5ml (½ tsp) salt

2.5ml (½ tsp) freshly milled black pepper

60ml (4 Tbsp) Kalamata olives, deseeded and chopped


Smoked cheese and wine sauce

375ml (1½ cup) full cream milk

30ml (2 Tbsp) flour

100ml Dutch smoked cheese, grated

100ml dry white wine (Nederburg 56Hundred Chenin Blanc)

Salt and freshly milled black pepper, to taste




Stuffing (Sgwamba)

  1. In a medium sized saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the onion, garlic, spinach, and carrots (or pepper).
  2. Dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water, and add to the spinach mixture.
  3. Make a paste with the maize meal and cold water. Add to the spinach mixture and stir vigorously using a wooden spoon.
  4. Mix in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Close the lid, lower the heat and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from the stove and let it cool down for about 5 to 10 minutes before scooping it on the beef.



  1. Ask your butcher to butterfly the tenderloin for you.  Lay the butterflied tenderloin flat on a chopping board.  Rub with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Leave to marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 230°C.
  3. Once prepared, place the Sgwamba mixture in the centre of the butterflied tenderloin.
  4. Sprinkle with olives and form the meat into a roll ensuring the stuffing remains on the inside.
  5. Tie with kitchen twine and place on a greased shallow roasting pan.
  6. Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes.  Let it stand for 10 minutes.  Remove the twine and cut into thick slices.


Smoked cheese and wine sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup of milk. Make a paste with flour and the rest of the milk. Add to the boiling milk, whisk in cheese and wine. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the temperature and keep stirring until the sauce thickens to the desired level.


Serve the stuffed beef tenderloin, covered in the sauce, with roasted or steamed veggies. Enjoy with Nederburg Heritage Heroes The Brew Master 2011.


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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.

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