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.

What is Chisa Nyama?

Link to What is Chisa Nyama?

What is Chisa Nyama? What is Chesa Nyama? What is Shisa Nyama?

Tour de Braai

CK_080517_TourDeBraai_1157CK_080517_TourDeBraai_0418CK_080517_TourDeBraai_3209Our Goal

  • We are delighted to present you with a new concept: Tour de Braai – Travel on Gravel, the easiest and most relaxed multi-day cycling stage ride in South Africa.
  • Tour de Braai aims to give cyclists a few great days of touring, holiday, braai and riding a bicycle through beautiful parts of South Africa.
  • Our main goal is to have fun.
  • Our intention is not to be all things to all people, or even some things to some people. We aim to be something specific.
  • Below you will find an honest introspection of what it is we are selling. Decide whether this is for you. The entry fee for the November 2017 Tour de Braai is R22,000 per person. We were slightly in the red with the May 2017 Tour de Braai and our current belief is that it costs us R22,000 per person to put on this event, hence that is the entry fee. 
  • Entries  are extremely limited and should you make the decision to enter and be awarded a spot, we look forward to sharing this unique experience with you!
  • Article in The Sunday Times about Tour de Braai http://www.timeslive.co.za/sundaytimes/food/2017/05/10/Braais-bikes-fun-cycling-tour-targets-foodies1
  • Article on The Hub about Tour de Braai https://www.bikehub.co.za/features/_/news/mtb/sa-mtb/inaugural-tour-de-braai-lights-fire-for-cycle-travel-r6544
  • Please read the below with care, attention and a pinch of braai salt.

CK_080517_TourDeBraai_2225CK_080517_TourDeBraai_1856General Overview

  • With its trademark slogan Travel on Gravel, the Tour de Braai aims to take participants on gravel as much as possible. Where necessary or more scenic, we travel on something else, for example tar. Our first choice is to stick to publicly accessible gravel roads. We might occasionally deviate from this rule to braai, to have a casual drink, take a photo or to reach our overnight destinations. If during the Tour you find yourself on single track, you are either lost or walking from dinner to your cabin.
  • Tour de Braai and its participants will adhere to many cycling traditions but wearing a race number is not one of them. Nor is it a race in the sense that you will you wear a timing chip. Riders use Strava and that is how you will be timed on each stage. Way more importantly, you need to use Strava to log segments and hunt KOMs on the big climbs and on obscure and remote platteland stretches of gravel. If you’re not on Strava you are still quite welcome to enter and simply sign up for Strava before the tour. If you have no idea what Strava is you might want to reconsider entering Tour de Braai.
  • In essence, the function of the Tour de Braai organisers will be to facilitate  your guest house and hotel accommodation; transport your luggage between venues; provide you with at least three meals a day; braai catering on the route; and various ad hoc enjoyable and entertaining perks during each day.
  • To get yourself in the correct frame of mind you should view the organisers more as facilitators of you having fun on your bicycle holiday tour than thinking of us as cycling event operators. In the latter case you will be bitterly disappointed as there will be no medal at the finish and you get no world tour points for finishing.  

CK_080517_TourDeBraai_2372CK_080517_TourDeBraai_3790CK_080517_TourDeBraai_1576More specific itinerary details

  • Firstly, please keep in mind that the Tour de Braai is a fairly new concept and event, so think of it as a beta version. Some finer details might change for reasons unknown to us now.
  • On the whole your experience will be as described below but if you don’t like small and unexpected changes, please do not enter Tour de Braai.
  • Tour de Braai is a fun and incredible cycling holiday with other cool people. Everyone loves it and nobody complains. If you like to complain or last minute changes to an itinerary irk you, please don’t enter the Tour de Braai.
  • Registration and rider briefing for the November 2017 Tour de Braai will take place in George during the late afternoon of Sunday 5 November 2017. This will involve a braai. Any serious stuff you actually need to know will be emailed to you beforehand and whether you choose to read it is entirely up to you. We will operate the Tour assuming you read it. Stupid questions on the Tour will be ignored.
  • The daily routine will follow a pattern like this: Breakfast at hotel or guesthouse and then get into your cycling kit (no cycling kit allowed at breakfast, we are not savages).
  • The ride starts at leisure after the sun is up. At roughly the point on the route where two water bottles should be empty there will be a water refill point and later on a braai and drinks on route at whatever point we consider extremely scenic and good for a braai. Once we reach our destination, an afternoon of leisure, including a sports massage, a swimming pool if weather is good or fireplace if weather is bad – possibly both. After that, it’s sundowners, dinner, being social and then off to bed.

_DSC0095CK_080517_TourDeBraai_2430CK_080517_TourDeBraai_2979The Stages

  • Stage 1 of Tour de Braai 2017 on the Monday will start with a lap around the traffic circle at the top of York Street, George. We got this idea from Tour de France riders going around Arc de Triomphe in Paris. From there we will go up Montagu Pass, braai in Herold, traverse Perdekloof and marvel at the changing landscape before reaching our overnight stop in Oudtshoorn.
  • Stage 2 starts where Stage 1 finished and from there we take the R328 via the entrance to the Cango Caves, past the bottom of the Swartberg Pass (we don’t go up the pass but if you are a pro on holiday with us you are welcome to). Next follows a true champagne part of the Tour as we ride through Kruisrivier, via Groenfontein and the banks of the Calitzdorp Dam into Calitzdorp. The stage finishes in Calitzdorp with a braai and port tasting. We overnight in Calitzdorp, walking distance from where we were having port all afternoon.
  • Stage 3 starts in Calitzdorp with the route going through ostrich farms with – for our international entrants – real live ostriches! The ascent of Rooiberg Pass promises to be a highlight for every rider on Tour and the braai at the top of Rooiberg Pass will be one of the most scenic braais of your life. Remember that the Rooiberg Pass Strava segment ends at the very top of the pass, a few metres further up the road than our braai stop so go there before you open your first drink. This will make an hour difference to your Strava segment time of the climb. The descent is probably the most technical part of the Tour (especially on a gravel bike) and after that it’s easy sailing to our overnight lodge at Van Wyksdorp.
  • Stage 4 rolls gently through Van Wyksdorp and then a changing Klein Karoo landscape all the way to the bottom of the Garcia Pass, where we hit tar. Lock and load for a serious Strava segment. Once over the summit and on the way down, we stop at the very scenic lookout point for a braai on the descent and enjoy a magnificent view of the Overberg. We then continue down past the outskirts of Riversdal to our lodgings for the night.
  • Stage 5 on the Friday is the last stage of the tour and we ride on the foothills of the Langeberg mountains. This section includes one fake serious and one very serious hill. Thereafter it’s the beautiful Duiwenhoks river crossing and a braai on the banks of the Buffeljags River in Suurbraak. Once in Swellendam it’s typical post stage activities, followed by prize giving and a farewell dinner party on the Friday night.
  • On Saturday morning we all depart (or you stay in Swellendam for a few extra days of holiday at your own leisure).

CK_080517_TourDeBraai_1255CK_080517_TourDeBraai_2883CK_080517_TourDeBraai_2541
Entry fee for November 2017 Tour de Braai is R22 000 per person and includes:

  • Shuttle from George Airport to registration on Sunday 5 November
  • Shuttle from Swellendam to Cape Town airport on Saturday 11 November
  • 2 sets of Tour de Braai cycling kit
  • All event photographs
  • 30 minutes sports massage for each of the 5 days of riding
  • All hotel and guesthouse accommodation (6 nights) on a shared room basis from the Sunday night up to and including the Friday night.
  • Transport of 1 suitcase or bag weighing no more than 23kg per person from one overnight stop to the next.
  • All food – breakfast, lunch, dinner – including wine, beer and cider. If you have any special dietary requirements, firstly, reconsider entering Tour de Braai. Secondly, if you do enter, please tell us beforehand and we will quote you a reasonable surcharge for the additional ingredient and personal cost we will incur to look after your special needs.
  • All catering on route during the rides. Please note that there will not be extensive sugar and carb fuelled stops every few kilometres on route. Every hour or two there will be the opportunity to fill your water bottles and perhaps eat an apple. Ride at a pace you can handle and stay in your fat burning zone and you will be fine until the braai stop. As circumstances dictate, the braai stop can feature any combination of food, water, coffee, beer, cider & wine. The catering at Tour de Braai is expansive, you will be very well fed.

CK_080517_TourDeBraai_4176CK_080517_TourDeBraai_4253
Non rider / supporter packages

  • There are a limited number of non-rider entries available for non riding spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends or friends at R17 000 each. Non rider package include everything except the daily sports massages, cycling shirts and shuttle services. Non riders are expected to have their own transport and are welcome to join us for the en route scenic stops and braais. An SUV/bakkie type of vehicle with some gravel road credentials is advisable but not compulsory.

tdb8Bicycles that would work for Tour de Braai

  • In short, Gravel Bikes, Cross Bikes, Adventure Bikes, Mountain Bikes all work. For the May 2017 Tour de Braai many participants used gravel adventure bikes with 38′ or 40′ tubeless tires which seems to be the smart choice. Otherwise just use your mountain bike. 
  • On the flat sections of gravel the gravel bikes are much faster. On the downhills the mountain bikes are much faster. On the uphills speed approximately matches your relative abilities and fitness. On Tour de Braai there are no technical sections and no single track whatsoever but if you are technically challenged or worried about running out of gears on the hills, bring a mountain bike and you can grind it out in the granny gear on the uphills, freewheel on the downhills and focus all your energy on enjoying the scenery.
  • Going up Montagu Pass on Stage 1 as well as up and down Rooiberg Pass on Stage 3 are incredible experiences and will be highlights of the Tour for everyone. On a gravel bike these will be the moments where you will be tested, in a good and fun way. You will need to focus on managing your cadence, body position, weight distribution on the bike and choosing the right line. It is physically challenging and mentally engaging but one of the better and most pure experiences you will ever have on a bike.
  • If you are a fit and able cyclist and own a gravel, cross or adventure bike or you’re looking for the perfect excuse to buy one, Tour de Braai is your opportunity.

tdb11How fit do you need to be?

  • Tour de Braai – Travel on Gravel is not designed to be the toughest challenge of your life. It’s designed to be the most fun week of holiday on a bicycle of your life. Arriving fit is not only a good excuse to get in shape but means that you will enjoy the week as it’s designed to be enjoyed.
  • To put it in the most South African context possible, if you can ride a sub-3 hour Cape Town Cycle Tour (Argus) you are 100% there. If you can ride a 3:30 Cape Town Cycle Tour you are definitely there. If you can ride a sub-4 hour Cape Town Cycle Tour you will be absolutely fine. If a sub-4 sounds challenging to you, you will find Tour de Braai doable, but challenging. Not to worry, that is why a daily sports massage and the healing qualities of free wine and beer are included in your entry fee.

tdb1Dress code off the bike

  • None

Dress code on the bike

  • For many participants of a classy, prestigious and bespoke event like Tour de Braai part of the fun is the fantastic photos you will have real time access to, free of charge; photos to use for memories, but also to make your friends and family jealous by posting them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. A poorly dressed rider spoils the photo and the fun for everyone. As such, there are certain style guidelines that you are expected to adhere to out of respect for your fellow riders:
  • Cycling shorts – Under no circumstances are you allowed to wear branded cycling shorts that clash with your shirt of the day in colour, design or any other visual quality. It is advisable to stick with plain black cycling shorts and you may only deviate from this if your non plain black shorts are part of a sponsor, club or tribe kit and is part of a set that matches the shirt you are wearing on the day.
  • Socks – No long, knee-length socks of any colour and similarly no long ‘compression’ socks. Socks may reach no higher than the bottom of the calf muscle and can be any colour or colours that fits, accentuates or compliments the overall look of your kit on the day. Irrespective of length or any other criteria above or below, absolutely no red socks are allowed on Tour de Braai. It spoils the saturation of photos.
  • Buffs – Absolutely no ‘Buffs’ or similar neck or headscarf cloths. If you want to accessorise, wear a casquette.
  • Should you have any doubt regarding the suitability of the clothing you intend wearing on any particular day, simply tweet a photo of yourself wearing that kit to @njclelland who will advise whether it’s acceptable and whose decision is final and binding.
  • It is entirely acceptable, in fact advisable to settle on one look for the week. You do not need to look different every day. Two of the three riders on Tour de Braai 2016 managed the whole week with one set of kit by acting like professional tour riders of the 70s. Straight after each stage you take a complete shower with soap and shampoo whilst still wearing your kit. Then rinse your kit and then rinse yourself. It worked for the legends of the 70s and it will work for you. You will receive 2 pro cut very high quality Tour de Braai cycling jerseys at registration so you will be fine, really.

Roommates

  • Due to capacity constraints all accommodation is on a shared room basis. On the entry form you are very welcome to tell us which other participant (whether that participant is on the rider or supporter package) you would like to share a room with.

CK_080517_TourDeBraai_0054What next?

  • Firstly complete the entry from below. We will review it and give you feedback on your successful entry within days. It’s first come first serve but please bear in mind we cannot review entires during a tour, only once we are back in office.
  • Please note that space is extremely limited and your spot on the Tour de Braai is not guaranteed until we’ve notified you of your successful entry.
  • Next you will be sent banking details via email and will have to pay the entry fee.
  • Once that is done you’re officially in. It’s time to dust of the bike or buy a bike, braai often to make sure you are braai fit and we will see you at Tour de Braai registration (the welcome braai) in George on Sunday 5 November!

Posted in Braai Tour | 7 Comments

Coffee-Spiced Steak

Jan Braai Coffee SteakWhen exposed to the searing heat of a braai fire, ground coffee beans develop a flavour that complements braaied steak really well. Curiously, it actually makes a beef steak taste even more like a beef steak. The ingredients list of the spice mix in this recipe also contains sugar, which helps the spice mix as a whole to caramelise properly. The downside is that sugar burns quite easily on the fire when it is exposed for too long to the high-heat coals you want to braai steak on. You want the sugar to just caramelise and not to over-caramelise, which is a diplomatic phrase for burn! Therefore, braai the steaks until almost done, take them off the fire and toss with the spice mix and then it’s back to the fire for just a few final minutes to finish it off.

WHAT YOU NEED
(feeds 6)

6 sirloin steaks
olive oil or melted butter (for dressing)

FOR THE SPICE MIX

1 tot good-quality ground coffee
1 tot dark-brown sugar
½ tot salt
½ tot ground pepper
½ tot paprika
½ tot ground coriander
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dried oregano

WHAT TO DO

  1. Light a massive wood fire.
  2. Now mix all the spice ingredients together. That means everything in the ingredients list of this recipe, except the steak and the olive oil.
  3. Keep the spice mix on the side. This rub will go onto the meat just before the steaks are finished braaing – not yet.
  4. Braai the steaks over hot coals for 5 minutes in total, turning only once. Remove from the braai and generously spice the steaks all over with the spice mix. You can use your clean hands or a spoon to pat and rub the spice into and onto the steaks.
  5. Return the steaks to the fire and braai for no more than 4 minutes, 2 minutes per side until the spices and specifically the sugar start to caramelise.
  6. Remove the steaks from the fire and drizzle with melted butter or olive oil. This gives it a nice shine and adds flavour.
  7. Let the steaks rest for a few minutes. Then carve them into thin strips and serve to your guests.
Posted in Beef, Recipes | Leave a comment

National Braai Tour Information

image by Nick Muzik © www.NICKMUZIK.com2017 National Braai Tour Route

This is the route we intend to take but if factors within or beyond our control change, we might take a different route. We’ve chosen this route to take you through some of the most beautiful parts of the greatest country in the world. The distance from the point of registration to the last campsite is just over 1000 km, that is if you never take a wrong turn (though with some of the magnificent scenery along the way, you may want to).

Saturday 9 September – registration

Registration is at the Tsogo Sun Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town on Saturday 9 September. You can register at any time between 12:00 – 18:00. Registration is compulsory. You get everything you need and lots of cool stuff you don’t need at registration. We will all sleep at the Cullinan Hotel on Saturday night and your accommodation is included in your entry. Each team of four will get two double rooms. The #braaitour starts as soon as you are registered. At 18:00 we will have the official opening and welcoming event at the open pool area of the Cullinan Hotel. We have an official dress code for the launch party and it’s called the ‘South African Flag’. We would like you to wear any combination of colours from our beautiful South African flag. Bonus points for being creative, fun and extreme. This will be the first time you as a team will showcase how awesome you are and meet other participants.

Sunday 10 September, Cape Town – Cape Agulhas

At 08:30 on Sunday 10 September we line up in front of the Tsogo Sun Cullinan hotel under very festive conditions and depart in convoy to the the southern tip of Africa where we set up camp for the night. There will be some things happening in between Cape Town and Agulhas but that is not important for the purposes of what you need to know now.

Monday 11 September, Cape Agulhas – Kam’Bati River Lodge close to Swellendam

A short braai stop interrupted drive and we set up camp and overnight at the confluence of the Sonderend River and Breede River.

Tuesday 12 September – Kam’Bati River Lodge close to Swellendam – Calitzdorp Spa

The natural warm water of this spa is well known for its healing properties and people come from over the world to relax and braai. Naturally, there will be a bit of port to aid in the relaxation.

Wednesday 13 September – Calitzdorp Spa – SANPARKS Wilderness

From Calitzdorp Spa we will go via the Cango Caves and the Outeniqua mountain range and in the heart of South Africa’s famous Garden Route, a captivating world of lakes, rivers and beaches gently unfolds against a backdrop of lush forest and lofty mountains for our overnight stop. These are all elements that characterise the Wilderness Section of the Garden Route National Park.

Thursday 14 September, SANPARKS Wilderness – Forever Resort Keurbooms River

Keurboomstrand takes its name from the indigenous keurboom tree which is native to a small, narrow strip along the southeastern coast of South Africa particularly along the Keurbooms River. The keurboom has beautiful, pinkish-mauve to violet-pink, sweetly scented, pea-shaped flowers which are produced in profusion in spring to early summer – this is the reason why the National Braai Tour brings you to Keurboomstrand at exactly this time of the year.

Friday 15 September, Forever Resort Keurbooms River – Sanparks Storms River Mouth

“The place of much water”, is the Tsitsikamma Section of the Garden Route National Park. The heartland of the park stretches some 5km to sea, protecting a wonderland of inter-tidal life, reef and deep-sea fish. We camp and braai right next to the sea with breathtaking views.

Saturday 16 September, Sanparks Storms River Mouth – The Willows Resort, Port Elizabeth

Rugged, rocky outcrops right on the beach on the “wild side” of the Nelson Mandela Bay coastline.This is our last night of the tour and the central lapa area is where a memorable final night of braai, atmosfire, prize giving and festivities will transpire.

Sunday 17 September

The tour is now over and after one of the best weeks of your life you will now return home, be that by vehicle or after dropping off a rental and flying out from Port Elizabeth Airport.

Out of Office

Registration will take place from 12:00 (lunchtime) on Saturday 9 September 2017 at the Tsogo Sun Cullinan Hotel, right in the heart of Cape Town. (The Address is: 1 Cullinan St, Cape Town City Centre, Tel:  021 415 4000) From this moment onwards, until you wake up in Port Elizabeth on Sunday 17 September, you are effectively on tour, so please clear your schedule for the entire duration. Should you wish to explore the beautiful City of Cape Town, please do so before registration.

What don’t you need to bring?

A detailed list of everything we provide you with at registration will be inserted here well in advance of you packing for the tour. Our aim is to make sure you have just about everything you need to enjoy and successfully complete the National Braai Tour. On a holistic level, all you need to bring is a vehicle that fits four people plus baggage, a tent(s) that sleeps four, four camping mattresses & sleeping bags, four camping chairs and clothes & toiletries for the week.

All food, braai equipment, cutlery, wood, firelighters, branding, toys and the like will be provided at registration or on a daily basis as relevant. Everything we give you becomes your property and you get to keep it all after the tour. Some non-perishable food items for the week will be handed out at registration while perishable items including meat, dairy products and the likes for specific meals and recipes will be handed out to you on a daily basis.

What’s included in the tour fee?

There are no VIP lounges and no one will get coffee in bed. Freshly prepared breakfast and coffee are provided to you every morning from 07:00 – 08:45. We will have a daily on route stop around lunch time, what we refer to as a #primebraai. The food you receive there is also included in your entry fee.  All ingredients and equipment for your main braai of the day are handed out daily between 16:00 – 17:00 at the campsite where you camp on that day. All camping fees, entrance fees and parks fees are included. Any tour paraphernalia is included.

We reckon you can easily survive the week on the food we provide you with, in fact, you will more than likely have leftovers. However should you have a eating disorder and still feel peckish, we do pass towns and shops on all days. Support the local economy in the platteland, and in the unlikely event that you need to stock up, we encourage you to do so in the towns we pass through.

Typical day on #braaitour

Whilst we sometimes deviate for specific reasons of fun, the typical day starts at 07:00 when the campsite, better known as ‘#braaitour village’ comes to life. You have until 08:45 to have breakfast, break up camp and load your vehicles. At 08:45 we all gather in the central area of the #braaitour village for the daily briefing and at 09:00 we depart in convoy. This is the only time of the day that you are expected to drive in convoy. From the moment you pass the gates of the campsite at 09:00 you are free to drive at your own pace to the next destination, which will usually be a braai or heritage spot along the route to the next campsite. You are expected to be at the next campsite by no later than 16:00 and all routes and heritage tasks are designed to make this well within everyone’s abilities. The #braaitour is not a race or a rally, it’s an adventure. You are very welcome to arrive at the #braaitour village long before 16:00 and enjoy the atmosphere but there are no prizes for arriving early. Take your time and enjoy the heritage, braai opportunities and scenery along the way. From 16:00 until 17:00 you will need to go to the central #braaitour kitchen where you will collect your meat and other ingredients for the main braai of the day. Fires are expected to be lit by 17:30 in time for sunset and further instructions and expectations regarding the official braai of the day will be communicated to you in due course.

Central Atmosfire and Bar Area

The #braaitour bar will open from 16:00 every day with limited service. At 19:00, it will be even more operational with barmen and a wider choice of drinks. All drinks at the #braaitour bar are complimentary and we serve most things you can reasonably expect to find at the above average South African braai. Should you have a very specific acquired and expensive taste to certain alcoholic beverages or we don’t serve anything you like, you are welcome to bring your own.

Big campfires will be burning and live music will be playing. This is where you will then perform the most important part of the National Braai Tour, to unite around a fire with your fellow South Africans to celebrate and share our heritage. This task can be performed until you make your way to your tent and we see you again at 07:00 the next morning for breakfast.

One vehicle per team

You may tow a trailer or the like behind your vehicle but you cannot bring two vehicles per one team of four persons. In our experience it’s entirely possible to do the tour without the trailer if you pack clever and light but this is really up to you.

Can your team be branded or sponsored?

No. The structure and model of the National Braai Tour is that our official sponsors pay for large chunks of the awesome experience you will have during the tour. Unfortunately you cannot ambush that with your own team sponsor. All entries are sold to private persons and you are taking part as such. Should you wish to upgrade your private entry to that of an official sponsored team, please get in touch our able team at braaitour@braai.com and providing you can afford it, we will consider selling you the upgraded official sponsor package.

Can you book your own chalets or guest houses instead of camping?

Yes. This is for your own cost and your own responsibility. All camping fees for all nights are included in your entry fee, and your hotel stay at the Tsogo Sun Cullinan is also included in your entry fee. If you want to sleep in cottages or guesthouses along the way on any other night it is entirely your own issue. Please familiarize yourself with the exact location of the daily campsite if you decide to book other accommodation. Kambati for example is not in Swellendam but what will be a difficult 30km drive out of town after a braai and late night atmosfire session. You should want to camp every night but you definitely want to camp at Kambati.

Team Clothing

You are encouraged to wear your own team clothing or daily team costume throughout the course of the #braaitour, but it is not compulsory. You are allowed to apply printing or embroidery on your clothing with your team name and or logo. Please note that it is highly recommended that you wear the team outfits representing any colour or colours of the South African flag for the registration party at the Cullinan Hotel at 18:00 on Saturday, 9 September.

Any questions?

We look forward to welcome you on the National Braai Tour in September. Should you have any other questions, please feel free to direct them to braaitour@braai.com. We will regularly update this posting on this website will information that becomes available or to address any questions frequently asked by participants on points we forgot to touch upon yet.

Please note that entries for the 2017 National Braai Tour are sold out. If you would like to enter and get onto the waiting list, here is the link http://braai.com/braaitour/enter2017/

Posted in Braai Tour | Leave a comment

MASSAMAN BEEF CURRY POTJIE

Massaman Curry

The massaman flavour combination has been around for centuries and has truly stood the test of time. It’s traditionally and best made in a potjie on the fire, and it’s made with beef, as opposed to chicken, lamb or pork. Think of it as a combination of a Thai and Indian style of curry. Characteristically you first make the massaman paste, then fry that in coconut cream, and then you add the meat and potatoes. This is the most complex curry potjie recipe in this book but well worth the effort. The results are quite phenomenal. I like to use a cut like chuck steak for this meal as it has a lot of flavour, can stand up to cooking for a while, and the intramuscular fat means the meat does not dry out too much. For me a cut like rump becomes too dry and something like oxtail takes prohibitively long to become tender.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4)

  • 1 punnet fresh coriander (30 g)
  • ½ cup salted cashew nuts
  • 4 cardamom pods (whole)
  • 4 cloves (whole)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • ginger, equal in volume to garlic (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tin coconut cream
  • 1 kg chuck steak meat (deboned and cut into cubes)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime (juice and zest)
  • 1 tot brown sugar
  • 2–3 medium potatoes (500 g, cut into wedges for looks not taste)
  • 2 red onions (cut into wedges for looks not taste)

WHAT TO DO

1.  Wash the coriander and, without thinking about it too much or being too exact, cut it in half with a single stroke of a knife. Keep one half separate for later and finely chop the other half.
2.  Put your potjie over the flames and dry-roast the cashew nuts for a minute or two. Nuts burn easily so focus solely on this task when performing it. Remove and set aside for later reintroduction to the meal.
3.  In the now empty potjie, dry-roast the cardamom pods, cloves, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Again, don’t multitask. Remove from the potjie. From a practical point of view, you might need to use your leather welding or braai gloves to tip the potjie and scrape the spices out as they are too small to simply get out with your wooden spoon.
4.  Crush open and peel the cardamom pods from step 3. Discard the shells and add the insides of the cardamom pods and the rest of the dryroasted spices to your pestle and mortar or food processor. Start working them over, also adding the nutmeg, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic, ginger, salt, oil and the chopped coriander from step 1. Continue grinding away until you have a thickish paste. Give yourself a pat on the back – you have now made your very own ‘massaman curry potjie paste’ (MCPP).
5.  Please note that you can perform steps 1 to 4 even a day ahead of time, should you wish.
6.  Get the potjie back on the flames and add about 2 tots coconut cream (not an exact science) to the potjie. Now fry the MCPP from step 4 in it for a minute or three.
7.  Add all of the beef cubes and toss around, stir-frying for a few minutes to get bits of them seared. Don’t overthink this step; get some searing done and move on to the next step. We’re looking at roughly 5 minutes.
8.  Now add the rest of the coconut cream and the chicken stock and stir well. Use the juices to loosen anything that might be stuck to the bottom of the potjie.
9.  At this point add the bay leaves, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Bring the potjie to a gentle simmer and put the lid on. Leave it to simmer very gently for 1 hour. You want a few coals under the potjie and a few coals on the lid as well. 10.  Lift the potjie lid, stir in the roasted cashew nuts from step 2, the fish sauce, lime juice and zest, and sugar. Also add the potatoes and onion and close the lid. Simmer until the potato wedges are soft, which will take about 20 minutes.
11.  Remove the lid and now let the potjie simmer uncovered until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.
12.  Serve with basmati rice, naan bread, tomato&onion salad and yogurt with cucumber

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SMOG BURGER

smog2Pizza fans will appreciate that this burger is quite clearly inspired by the SMOG pizza; Salami, Mushroom, Onion and Green Pepper. It’s a globally popular flavour combination for wood-fired pizzas and here we’re adapting it for the South African braai fire. Combine the four with some braaied chicken breasts and fresh fire-toasted rolls and you have yourself a winner!

WHAT YOU NEED: (feeds 4)

  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • 4 hamburger rolls
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 2 green peppers (sliced)
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (250g, sliced)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
  • salt and pepper (freshly ground)
  • 8–12 slices of your favourite salami
  • 1 cup cheese (aged Cheddar, sliced or grated
WHAT TO DO:
  1. Make the sauce by heating the oil and butter in a potjie or fireproof pan, then add the onion and green pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until it starts to get a nice colour and then add the mushrooms and garlic. Now toss and fry the whole lot until you like the look of it. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Place each chicken breast fillet flat on a chopping board and lightly pound the thick side with a meat mallet, wine bottle, rolling pin, side of a meat cleaver or any other item of sufficient weight and size. You want the whole fillet to be uniform in thickness and this step will make the meat easier to braai, better looking on your burger and softer to bite. Season each chicken fillet with salt and pepper or your favourite braai salt. Either brush each one with oil or simply pour a bit of oil into a bowl and toss the fillets around in it until all are coated. Braai the meat for about 8 minutes over hot coals until it is done. The nice thing about chicken breast fillets is that you can actually see the meat colour changing from raw to ready on the braai.
  3. Cut the rolls in half and toast on the braai, watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
  4. Assemble the burger in this order: Toasted roll, slices of salami, braaied chicken fillets, cheese topped with a generous helping of the onion, peppers and mushroom sauce. Positioning the cheese between the warm chicken breast and sauce will cause it to melt, which is exactly what we want.
  5. Place the lid on the burger and eat with both of your recently washed hands.
AND…
This flavour combination also works very well when you replace the chicken
breast fillets with homemade 100% beef patties.
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