National Braai Tour

Link to National Braai Tour

Join Jan Braai for the adventure of a lifetime. Information and entry form. #braaitour

Download National Braai Day song

Link to Download National Braai Day song

Free download of the song by Heuwels, JR, HHP and Soweto Gospel Choir

How to braai the perfect steak

Link to How to braai the perfect steak

Comprehensive step by step instruction and recipe on how to braai perfect steak – by Jan Braai.

Sesame Seed and Chilli Calamari

It was in a restaurant in Plettenberg Bay, after finishing a delicious a plate of calamari that I enquired of the waiter if she could please ask the chef for the recipe. The waiter came back a few minutes later and said no, it’s a secret. And so I set out to research recipes and secrets for grilled salt & pepper calamari, and I delved into the story behind the perfect sesame seed calamari. What follows below is not a replication of any specific recipe or technique, but rather the culmination and compilation of lots of little bits of information that was discovered.

What you need

  • Good quality calamari. During my research a very famous South African chef told me that there is no secret to making great calamari that he knows of, the trick is simply to buy good quality in the first place. I have no pointers on this. Go to a fishmonger that you consider to be good and buy there. If it turns out rubbish, go to a different high end fishmonger the next time. The calamari I used was fresh, as in not frozen. As with most seafood I think fresh is alway better than frozen.
  • Milk
  • Cake Flour (1 cup)
  • Sesami Seeds – Black and White (3 tots i.e 75ml)
  • 5ml Salt
  • 5ml Pepper
  • 5ml Chilli Flakes
  • Oli
  • Mayonaise
  • Wasabi
  • Lemons

What to do

  1. Put the calamari in a bowl and add milk to just cover the calamari. Many sources claim that leaving calamari in milk prior to cooking it will tenderise the calamari, and make it less tough on the byte. I have no idea if this is true, but there is absolutely no harm in doing it, so on the off chance that it makes a difference, my advice is, if you have the time, let the calamari swim in milk for an hour. Then drain it and proceed to the next step.
  2. Mix the flour (one cup should be sufficient for the quantities of calamari you will make at home) with the sesame seeds, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. If you are the type of person that orders lemon and herb chicken at Portuguese restaurants, go easy on the chilli.
  3. Now toss pieces of calamari into a plastic bag with some of the seasoned flour and shake. This will give each piece of calamari a light dusting and cover of flavoured flour.
  4. Now you braai the calamari in oil in a pan over hot coals. It really only takes a minute of two for the calamari to be done, and you only need to turn each piece once.
  5. Serve with lemon wedges and wasabi mayonaise. To make wasabi mayonaise you mix mayonaise with a bit of wasabi.
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Luxury Braaibroodjies

We were at The Lofts Boutique Hotel on Thesen Island in Knysna, feeling quite chuffed with life and the hotel management said it would not be a problem if we wanted to braai on the deck. The only question was, what to braai in such a decadent setting. Now earlier in the day we got a very nice sourdough bread from Il de Pain, the renowned bakery on Thesen Island, and I wanted to use that as part of the meal. So the decision fell on creating a few super luxurious braaibroodjies. Normal white toaster bread was replaced by slices of the world class Il de Pain sourdough bread, chutney was swopped for a mixture of French style mayonnaise and whole grain mustard. Onion was replaced by spring onion and tomato was replaced with sun-dried tomatoes. Naturally we needed cheese and the decision fell on 18 months matured cheddar. For team spirit I also added gypsy ham into each unit. Forget about butter on the outside, for these creations you use olive oil on the outside.

What you need

  • Slices of fresh sourdough bread
  • French style mayonaise
  • Whole grain mustard
  • Gypsy ham
  • 18 months matured cheddar
  • sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
  • spring onions
  • olive oil
What to do
  1. Go for a oval shape sourdough bread as opposed to a round one. This way all the slices will be the same size. Slice the bread fairly thin, the same thickness as normal toaster bread. One has a natural tendency to slice these types of bread thicker, so be conscious of avoiding that.
  2. Lay out half of the bread slices on a cutting board and liberally spread with the French style mayonaise and whole grain mustard.
  3. Add the gypsy ham, slices of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped spring onions. Do not be stingy with any of the ingredients, this is a super luxury braaibroodjie and not only should the quality of ingredients reflect it, but also the quantity.
  4. Add the top layers of bread and drip or spread olive oil on them.
  5. Place in a hinged grid (toeklaprooster)  and braai over medium-low heat coals. After the first turn, also spread olive oil on the other outside, the side which was at the bottom when you assembled the units. Continue to braai over the gentle coals, turning very often, until the cheese is melted and the braaibroodjies are golden brown on the outside.
  6. It goes without saying that you serve these beauties with glasses of ice cold Methode Cap Classique. The South African – vastly superior – version of what the French call Champagne.
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Braaitour sponsored by Sparta Beef

The main sponsor of the inaugural National Braai Tour will be Sparta Beef. The tour which starts in Johannesburg on 13 September and finishes in Cape Town on 20 September, comprises an eight-day epic road trip taking in some of South Africa’s most breathtaking heritage sites. Overnight stops will be camping style in pristine nature reserves where each night team members will take part in the daily braai of prime South African beef supplied by Sparta.

The tour is open to members of the public. Participants enter in teams of four with each team driving their own vehicle and pitching their own tents in the overnight ‘braai villages’ as the tour winds its way through the country. The braai villages, with the mandatory big fires, will be in Johannesburg, Golden Gate National Park, Gariep Dam Resort, Mountain Zebra National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Wilderness National Park, Bontebok National Park and Cape Town. To enter one team (4 persons), please download and complete the attached National Braai Tour entry form. Complete one form per team and email the completed entry form to

Sparta, with its headquarters in the tranquil Free State province, was founded in 1966 and is a leading national supplier of beef and beef products. Every day, the South African public consumes approximately 38 000 Sparta sirloin steaks, 30 000 Sparta rump steaks, and 10 500 Sparta fillet steaks. Clearly, there will not be a meat shortage on the National Braai Tour!

The tour will be led by Jan Braai, head of the National Braai Day initiative, and the dates of the tour is no coincidence. The National Braai Tour happens in the week before South Africa’s national day of celebration on 24 September, the day on which all South Africans are encouraged to unite around fires, share their heritage and wave our flag. The whole tour will also be filmed and four special episodes of the very popular television series, ‘Jan Braai vir Erfenis’ (Jan Braais for Heritage) will be produced on this tour. These will broadcast as part of the normal run of the programme on kykNET – DSTV channel 144 – 19:30 on Friday evenings and will air around October/November.

At the core of the National Braai Tour, proudly sponsored by Sparta Beef, sits the daily official braai. Here Jan Braai and the Sparta brains trust have put their heads together and participants in the tour will braai and eat some truly phenomenal Sparta Beef products. What can be said at this stage, is that the ‘Sparta Big Six’ will form part of the repertoire. That means, over the course of the tour all participants will braai fillet, rump, sirloin, T-bone, rib-eye and club steaks. There will be more, but the organisers are hesitant to let the whole cow out of the bag now. Rest assured, it will be a very high protein diet and no man will sleep hungry! Do no miss the adventure of a lifetime, for proud and patriotic South Africans, and those who wish they were South Africans.

To enter one team (4 persons), please download and complete the attached National Braai Tour entry formComplete one form per team and email the completed entry form to 

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Steak with Smoked Mussel Sauce

So there we were in Mosselbaai (direct translation – Mussel Bay) on the South Coast of South Africa, the greatest country in the world. All set for a feast of mussels on the ‘Jan Braai vir Erfenis’ TV show. But as luck would have it, the sea was hit by a severe case of red-tide at the time, and we could not eat any fresh mussels due to the health hazzard. Now you cannot make a braai TV show in a town called Mussel Bay and not eat any mussels, so my attention turned to smoked mussels. And this is where we got lucky. The red-tide forced me to develop one of the greatest sauces ever to grace the presence of a medium rare braaied steak. My process started by looking at the intricacies of the classic Carpetbag steak, something described as “a luxury dish, probably of American derivation”. We went way beyond that.

What you need (serves 6)

  • 6 steaks of about 300g each
  • oil or butter
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 250g bacon (1 pack – diced into blocks or strips)
  • 250g mushrooms (1 pack)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 x 85g tins of smoked mussels (drained)
  • 250ml fresh cream (1 cup)
  • 50g – 100g pecorino or parmesan cheese (grated)
  • salt & pepper (to taste)
What to do
  1. Fry the chopped onion in the oil or butter until it starts to get personality and then add the crushed garlic and diced bacon. Sauté until it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for another minute.
  3. Add the two tins of drained smoked mussels and gently toss. From here on in, go gentle so that the mussels to not break apart to much.
  4. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the sauce and gently toss.
  5. Mix in half a cup of the cream. As the sauce thickens later, you can mix in the other half of the cream as well.
  6. Add the grated cheese and gently toss. If you cannot get hold of pecorino, just use aged white cheddar.
  7. Test the sauce and add salt & pepper to taste.
  8. If the sauce is getting a but thick, add the rest of the cream.
  9. Keep the sauce warm.
  10. Braai the steaks over very hot coals for 7 – 10 minutes until medium rare. Here is a complete description on how to braai the perfect steak.
  11. Serve the smoked mussel sauce on the perfectly braaied steaks.
If you cannot get hold of smoked mussels, use tins of smoked oysters.
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Braaitour: Roosterkoek every morning by Eureka Mills

For the greatest braai tour ever held, the greatest breakfast ever. The organisers of the National Braai Tour can today announce that fresh roosterkoek straight from the fire will be served to all participants of the tour, every morning.

For all other information on the tour, click here. To enter your team into the National Braai Tour, download this National Braai Tour entry form and email the completed one to as soon as possible, space is limited.

But this will not just be any old roosterkoek. Late every evening, as most participants are still staring deeply into the orange flames of the communal camp fire, or staring deeply into a glass of red wine, or both; Team Eureka Mills will be hard at work, mixing dough. According to team leader Nico Steyn, mixing the dough the previous evening allows for overnight fermentation of the dough, and unparalleled results. There are quicker ways, but the end product will not be the same. Only the best for the best, and all roosterkoek will be made using organically grown stone ground flour. How do you bake bread made with such high quality flour, and fermented overnight for better results? The answer is simple, you bake roosterkoek over the coals of wood fires. Every morning these fresh roosterkoek will be served with a selection of freshly braaied meat, butter, jams and other assorted condiments. Many people believe that breaksfast is the most important meal of the day, and in case they are right, we as the organisers are not taking any chances.

According artisan baker Nico, or as we will all affectionately refer to him on tour, The Baker, participants in the tour can expect to pick up subtle changes in the taste of the roosterkoek as the tour makes it’s way from through South Africa from Johannesburg on 13 September to Cape Town on 20 September. Apparently the overnight temperature and humidity of different regions will lead to small changes in the overnight fermentation of the dough. All roosterkoek will also benefit from the smoky woody aromas of the wood fire and coals, and as we travel through the country and use local woods to braai, those taste notes will also be altered. This is uncharted waters, groundbreaking eating so as to speak.

South Africans from all walks of life will take part in this tour. The breaking of bread is a ancient gesture, deeply meaningful of the social cohesion and togetherness of South Africans that this tour stands for. And what better type of bread to share amongst participants every morning than the greatest bread there is, braaied roosterkoek straight off the coals!

For all other information on the tour, click here. To enter your team into the National Braai Tour, download this National Braai Tour entry form and email the completed one to as soon as possible, space is limited.

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