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Comprehensive step by step instruction and recipe on how to braai perfect steak – by Jan Braai.
What is Chisa Nyama? What is Chesa Nyama? What is Shisa Nyama?
This recipe started out life when my parents had a particularly large crop of chillies in their herb garden. You can only use that many chillies in your curry potjies and so we decided to try and make sweet chilli sauce with some of the red devils. Practice makes perfect and before long there was the sweet chilli sauce recipe below, which as you will see once you make it, is very good! I feel that a properly braaied beef burger is the perfect vehicle to carry this sauce to your mouth, and that braaied bacon and pineapple are the best fellow passengers it could possibly wish for.
WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4)
FOR THE SWEET CHILLI SAUCE
- 5 chillies (any type or a combination, with a few extra on standby)
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar (or rice vinegar or white grape vinegar)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tot cornflour mixed with 1/2 tot water
FOR THE BURGER
- 1 kg beef mince (buy steak and mince at home or ask your butcher)
- 4 hamburger rolls
- salt and pepper (freshly ground)
- 1 packet streaky bacon (250 g)
- 1 pineapple (peeled and sliced into rings)
- butter (for the rolls)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (grated)
- salad leaves tomato (sliced)
WHAT TO DO
MAKE THE SWEET CHILLI SAUCE
- Chop the chillies finely. If you don’t want too much burn in the sauce, remove some or all of the seeds. If you like it hot, leave the seeds in. If you think the chillies you have are quite mild, use more than 5 chillies. If you think the chillies you have are particularly potent, use your common sense and good luck!
- Throw the chopped chillies, garlic, vinegar, water, sugar, salt and soy sauce into a small flameproof pan or potjie, then stir well and bring to a simmer over some coals or a few flames. Naturally this can also be done on a stove.
- Simmer for about 6 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved completely; the exact time will obviously depend on your coals or flames.
- Mix the half tot of cornflour with a half tot of water in a suitable cup, glass or mug. Add the cornflour mixture to the sauce and stir until the sauce gets thicker. This will take about 1 minute.
- The sauce is now ready. Remove from the fire, let it cool slightly while you braai the meat and then serve.
MAKE THE BURGER
- Form the mince into 4 evenly sized patties with your hands and flatten out.
- When you braai the patties, the biggest challenge is keeping them in one piece. Put them down very gently on the grid, do not press on them, do not handle them any more than is necessary, and turn them with extreme care. Start on very high heat to seal them quickly, hopefully before they have the chance to ‘sink’ into the grid. Braai for about 8 minutes in total. Once on each side during that time is enough. As the meat starts to cook it releases fat and juices and usually loosens itself from the grid. Season the patties with a grind of salt and pepper while they are braaing.
- While the patties are braaing, also place the bacon on your grid and braai until crispy. Also braai the pineapple slices for 5 minutes on each side so that they caramelise and sweeten.
- As the elements on the grid become ready, remove and use that empty space on the braai grid to toast the insides of the rolls after you’ve buttered them.
- Assemble the burger with your freshly homemade sweet chilli sauce as the crowing glory.
There are two reasons why you should make the recipe we have here: It’s very easy and it tastes great. Your weapon of choice is a no. 10 flat-bottomed baking potjie. Everything that can possibly go wrong when making bread pudding is taken care of by the preparation method in this recipe. It is foolproof, it is the best bread pudding recipe in existence, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If there were a World Cup of Bread Puddings, this one would not be knocked out in the semi-finals. It would win the trophy.
WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 8)
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 1/2 block butter (250 g)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 12 slices normal white bread
- 4 eggs
- 1 tin coconut milk (400 ml)
- 1 tot vanilla extract
WHAT TO DO
- Marinate the raisins in the rum for at least an hour before you start work on this recipe, but a day of marinating is also fine.
- Leave the butter outside your fridge for a few hours to soften as this will make the next step immensely easier.
- Mix the soft butter, sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and liberally spread this mixture on one side of all of the slices of bread. Make sure you butter each slice right to its edges. Ration yourself so that there is enough cinnamon butter for all the slices but make sure that by the end you have used it all up.
- Now cut the slices diagonally into halves, giving you 24 triangles. If you cut each one separately you need to slice 12 times but naturally you can stack them and slice a few at a time.
- Arrange all of the bread triangles in the pot. There is no right or wrong way to do this, simply pack them into the potjie in whatever way you please.
- Now scatter the rum-marinated raisins over the slices of bread in the potjie.
- There is no reason to discard the raisin-infused rum. Pour it on ice with something like ginger beer and enjoy as a cocktail.
- Whisk the eggs. A fork is fine, you don’t need an actual whisk – this is not a cooking school exam.
- Now mix the coconut milk and the vanilla essence with the whisked eggs.
- Pour this mixture over the bread and his friends in the pot. Put the lid on the pot and let the wet stuff soak into the dry stuff for a few minutes before baking.
- With the lid still closed, bake for 30 minutes until firm and golden-brown. This is a very easy process where you just need some coals underneath the pot and on top of the lid. Our aim here is that the sugar melts, the egg cooks and that the whole dessert is piping hot throughout. By the time all of this is done, the top exposed parts of the bread will be nice and crispy. These well-buttered but now crispy parts of bread add texture to the final product. As we buttered all slices of bread properly at the outset, they will not be dry, just crisp. It’s one of the reasons why this is the best bread pudding ever.
You can serve it as is or with ice cream or whipped cream.
The National Braai Day initiative is proud to announce an exciting new chapter in the growth of our ambitions to make 24 September South Africa’s greatest national day of celebration.
From 2015 onwards a light-hearted campaign to choose the South African of the Year will be run by the National Braai Day initiative in the build-up to 24 September, with the winner being announced on the day.
“The South African of the Year is someone who with a single phenomenal achievement made you extremely proud of being South African,” says Jan Braai, the man behind the National Braai Day initiative and now the South African of the Year project.
“Our intention is to highlight exceptional performances by South Africans that for a brief moment in time brought the country to a standstill,” says Braai, “those special moments where the hearts of the nation beat together united in pride.”
The 2015 candidates for South African of the Year are AB de Villiers, Wayde van Niekerk, Trevor Noah and Team MTN-Qhubeka.
De Villiers is nominated for his 149 against the West Indies earlier this year, which included the fastest century ever in a One-Day International of just 31 balls.
Last month Wayde Van Niekerk stunned the athletics world when he shot to a dramatic gold medal in the 400m at the 2015 IAAF World Championships. His blistering time of 43.48 seconds makes him the fourth fastest person ever to run the 400m and the fastest non-American in that discipline.
Trevor Noah, already a household name in South Africa, reached greater heights in 2015 when it was announced in March that he would replace Jon Stewart as the host of Comedy Central’s popular ‘The Daily Show’.
On 18 July, a day globally recognised as Mandela Day, Team MTN-Qhubeka, the first South African and African team to ever compete in the Tour de France, made history when team member Steve Cummings sprinted to a surprise victory on stage 14. In doing so, Team MTN-Qhubeka became the first South African and African team to win a stage of the Tour de France.
“These sensational achievements embody the spirit of the greatest nation on earth,” says Braai.
The South African of the Year will be chosen by public vote on the social media platform, Twitter. Voting opens today and will run until midnight on 23 September with the winner being announced on the 24th while millions of South Africans are united around fires.
To vote, send a tweet with the name or Twitter handle of your candidate to @janbraai and include #vote in your message. Votes will then be automatically picked up and counted by the African agents for Twitter, Ad Dynamo.
The South African of the Year is a registered trademark, but in tune with the National Braai Day initiative is being run as a non-profit project with the sole purpose of enhancing the National Heritage Day public holiday as South Africa’s national day of celebration.
Bobotie is a South African classic and an important part of our culinary heritage. It’s also one of my favourite meals, but this doesn’t make me special: everybody loves bobotie. As with many other South African cult hits, you can cook it very successfully in a potjie on a braai fire. I believe it’s your moral duty to perfect the art of making bobotie. It’s a great way to show off when you cook for visitors to South Africa.
WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)
- 1 tot oil
- 3 onions (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
- 2 tots medium strength curry powder
- 1/2 tot ground turmeric
- 1 kg beef mince, ostrich mince or venison mince
- 1/2 tot salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup apricot jam
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup almond flakes
- 1 tot vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 5 bay leaves
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- rice (to serve)
- chutney (to serve)
WHAT TO DO
- Heat the oil in a flat-bottomed potjie over a medium-hot fire and fry the onions and garlic until the onions are soft but not brown.
- Add the curry powder and turmeric, then fry for a minute – the bottom of the potjie will look quite dry, but don’t let the mixture burn.
- Chuck in the mince and fry for about 10 minutes, stirring it to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon. The mince should change colour from red to light brown, but shouldn’t turn dark yet. The meat should release some juices – use these juices and your wooden spoon to loosen any sticky bits on the bottom of the potjie.
- Add the salt and pepper, apricot jam, raisins, almond flakes and vinegar/lemon juice. Stir well, bring to a slow simmer and put on the lid. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring once in a while to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn.
- Now remove the lid and flatten the mixture with the back of your spoon so that it’s even across the bottom of the potjie. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a small mixing bowl, then pour over the bobotie. Stick the bay leaves into the egg mixture. Cover with the lid and put a layer of hot coals on top of the lid. At this stage you only want coals on the lid, not underneath the potjie. Cook for 30 minutes and the bobotie should be ready.
- Serve with rice and chutney on the side.
You might like to serve sliced banana, coconut or chopped tomatoes with the bobotie.
Millions of people around the world enjoy the combination of ingredients that makes up the Bloody Mary cocktail. As you know, every single one of those ingredients also goes well with a pure 100% beef patty that was braaied on the coals of a wood fire. This brings us to our next magic trick; we’re making a hot sauce based on the classic cocktail and serving it with braaied burgers.
WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4)
- 1 tot olive oil
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 1 red pepper (sliced or chopped)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tin tomato cocktail juice (200 ml)
- 1?2 tot Worcestershire sauce
- 1?2 tot Tabasco sauce
- 1 lemon (juice)
- salt and black pepper
- 1 kg beef mince
- 4 hamburger rolls butter
- fresh lettuce leaves
- 4 celery sticks (for garnishing)
WHAT TO DO
- Heat the oil in your fireproof pan and fry the onion and red pepper until soft. Add the paprika and fry for another minute.
- Add the tomato cocktail juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and juice of the lemon, and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- 100% beef mince patties do not need any binding agents like egg or bread crumbs. You just need to braai them like a pro. Start by shaping the mince into 4 evenly sized patties with your hands. If you’re doing this ahead of time, put them on a flat even surface like a plate and keep in the fridge until you braai them. Get the thickness equal all round – we’re not making meatballs remember, and they should not look oval with a hump in the middle when you look at them from the side.
- Braai the patties with care. The only way the patties will break apart is if you break them apart. This happens if they stick to the grid, sink into the grid or you turn them all the time – so don’t let any of these things happen. Put the patties down very gently on the grid and do not press on them. The patties are 100% steak so braai them exactly as you would a whole steak of the same size. Braai them on very high heat to seal them quickly before they have the chance to ‘sink’ into the grid. They should spend about 8 to 10 minutes in total over the coals. Once on each side during that time is enough, and twice on each side is the maximum. Don’t fiddle with the patties to check whether they are sticking. As the meat starts to cook it will release fat and juices and usually loosen itself from the grid.
- During the final stages of the braai, toast the insides of the buttered rolls.
- Assemble the burger, starting with the lettuce on the roll at the bottom followed by the patty. Divide the sauce among the 4 burgers. Add some extra freshly ground pepper and the top half of the roll. Garnish by skewering the burgers with a celery stick, which will not only look cool, but also hold it all together. Serve with additional Tabasco sauce. Cheers!