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Browse recipes by: All Recipes, Beef Recipes (21), Chicken Recipes (18), Fish Recipes (16), Lamb Recipes (14), Pork Recipes (12), Sauces Recipes (1), Vegetarian Recipes (21), Venison Recipes (1)

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con carne works equally well for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. Perfect for a surf trip, hunting trip or anywhere else you might want to serve a warm and spicy meal to a hungry crowd! The nice thing is that it actually improves after standing a few hours, so you could prepare it in your potjie, and then go into the sea or veld, and upon your return when everyone is cold and hungry, you can just warm it up and bask in the glory. Don’t be put off by the fairly long list of ingredients – the method makes up for it as it’s very straightforward. Serve it as is or with a piece of bread.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)

  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 red pepper (seeds and stalks removed, then chopped)
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (or cayenne pepper)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tot tomato paste (or 1 50 g sachet)
  • 1 can borlotti beans (drained and rinsed under cold water)
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed under cold water)
  • 1 tot vinegar
  • 1/2 tot sugar
  • 1/2 tot salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream (250 ml tub, to serve)
  • fresh coriander leaves (to serve)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Heat the oil in a potjie over a hot fire. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper and fry for 5–10 minutes until the onions are soft and the edges start to turn a bit brown.
  2. Tip in the mince, stir and break up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Fry for about 10 minutes until the beef starts to ‘catch’ on the bottom of the pan, taking care not to let it burn.
  3. Add the carrot, paprika, cumin, chilli powder and coriander, and stir well.
  4. To this, throw in the tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, chickpeas, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, and then stir well.
  5. Bring the mixture to the boil, then cook for about 15 minutes, stirring every now and then to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  6. Remove from the fire and serve with a dollop (ja, I know, I don’t like the word ‘dollop’ either, but the editor insisted that it’s the best way to describe it; so there you go, ‘dollop’ made it into the final draft of my book) of sour cream and some fresh coriander leaves. Alternatively, you could take the potjie off the fire, let it rest somewhere with the lid on, and reheat it a few hours later before serving.

AND …

If you’re planning to prepare this meal when you’re on the road, don’t pack all the bottles and packs of spices. Just measure them out at home and throw them together in one small bag or container.

Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

Paella on the Braai

Catering and kitchen shops sell a type of fireproof steel pan that is perfect for the preparation of this dish, so perfect in fact that this pan is widely referred to as a ‘paella pan’. Paella actually means ‘pan’ and this is where the name of the dish comes from. Failing that, any normal cast iron pot also does the job.

What you need (feeds 8 great people)

Please note that as with most dishes cooked on a braai, paella ingredients are not exact. Take these ingredients as a guideline.

  • 8 chicken pieces (thighs and/or drumsticks)
  • 2 kg shellfish (in the shell – like black mussels and prawns. If you’re using just meat without shells, 1 kg is sufficient)
  • 500 g fresh fish fillets (cut into blocks)
  • 250 g spicy cured sausages (sliced or chopped – like chorizo or pepperoni)
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 peppers (chopped – green, red or yellow)
  • 2 cups rice (uncooked)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock (3 cups is 750 ml which is also the size of a wine bottle)
  • 1/2 cup black olives (pitted)
  • 250 g peas (they come in frozen packets of this size)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tot parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges

What to do

  1. In a large pan on the fire, fry the onions and peppers in the oil for 3 minutes. Your coals should be just hot enough to actually fry the onion. As the steel of the pan is much thinner than a cast iron pot, it will be a bit more sensitive to heat.
  2. Add the rice and mix well. All the rice should be thinly coated with oil. If this is not the case, add a bit more oil. Fry the rice for a few minutes until it turns pale golden in colour. Now add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, chilli powder and chopped tomatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and cover the pan with a lid or with tinfoil. The rice should now cook until soft, which will take about 35 minutes in total.
  4. Slightly reduce the heat under the pan by scraping away some coals. You are allowed to lift the lid now and again to stir the rice, and to monitor that it is not burning. Should everything seem a bit quiet, scrape a few extra coals back under the pan.
  5. After 20 of those 35 minutes, add the seafood, spicy sausage, olives and peas to the pan. Stir it in and cover the pan again. The seafood will cook in these last 15 minutes. Monitor your liquid level and add the wine if the pan becomes dry. If the wine is in and the pan still dry, start adding small amounts of water. On the side, and timing it to be ready with the rest of the dish, braai the chicken pieces in a grid over coals. This will take about 20–25 minutes.
  6. When the rice is soft, sample the dish and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Arrange the chicken pieces on top, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve immediately.
Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

How to braai venison – Hoe om wildsvleis te braai

This is my go to marinade and recipe for braaing venison. Whether it’s Springbok, Kudu, Gemsbok or anything else. Works very well with the sirloins (rugstringe) or with deboned leg.

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg deboned venison meat
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tot parsley
  • 1 tot lemon juice
  • 1 tot balsamic
  • 1 tot soy sauce
  • 1 tot brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 medium sized chopped onion
  • A few lengthwise-sliced cloves of garlic.
  • A few sprigs of rosemary

Method

Make small incisions in the meat and stuff the garlic and rosemary into these holes. Alternatively, just add the garlic and rosemary to the marinade. Place meat in a plastic bag and arrange onion pieces to cover all sides. Add marinade; push out most of the excess air and seal bag (a tight knot is sufficient). Place bag in fridge for 12 – 48 hours and turn every few hours if you find that the top part of the meat is not covered by marinade. Remove, shake off excess marinade and braai over medium to hot coals until just shy of medium. Rest the meat a few minutes before slicing. Slice across the grain, always.

Additional Advice

If you have more than 2kg of meat then increase all the marinade ingredients proportionally until the meat in the bag is covered by marinade on all sides. Be cautious with rosemary, it has a distinct taste and is hated by many. If you can taste the rosemary in a meal, you added too much. This recipe also works very well with a deboned leg of lamb.

Beef trinchado potjie

Apart from being the first tourists to dock a ship at Mossel Bay, the Portuguese are also famous for a few culinary achievements. One of their best is the rich garlic and chilli-flavoured beef stew known as trinchado. Theoretically, the quantity of ingredients in this recipe means that you can serve 8 people, but in my experience it’s one of those meals that are just too good, which means everyone wants second helpings.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6–8)

  • 2 kg steak cubes (I use a combination of rib-eye and rump, cut into 4 cm cubes)
  • 2 tots soy sauce
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 2 tots butter
  • 2 onions (finely chopped)
  • 10 garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
  • 1/2 tot cayenne pepper (or chilli powder)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup brandy (no, not a typing error)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (no, not a typing error)
  • 1/2 tot salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • a big handful of pitted black
  • olives (this is not an exact science)
  • 1 cup cream (250 ml tub)
  • grated rind of a small lemon

WHAT TO DO

  1. Pour the soy sauce over the steak cubes. Now you need to fry the meat to seal in the juices and you’ll have to do this in batches. Generate some proper heat in your potjie by placing flames directly under it. Then add a tot of oil and a tot of butter and fry about one-third of the meat, or as much as fits in the bottom of the potjie. You could of course fry all of the meat at once if your potjie is big enough. Take the cubes out and keep to one side. Add another tot of oil and butter and fry the next third. By the time you get to the last batch of steak cubes there will be enough oil and fat left in the potjie.
  2. When the last batch of meat is browned, put back all the other meat into the potjie, unless you fried it all at once. Add the onions, garlic, cayenne pepper and bay leaves; then fry for about 10 minutes until the onions are soft.
  3. Pour in the beef stock, brandy, wine, salt and pepper. Heat until the sauce starts to simmer, then cover with a lid and continue to gently simmer for 1 hour until the meat is very tender.
  4. Remove the lid and stir in the olives, cream and lemon rind. Bring to the boil and then cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered, until the sauce starts to get thicker.
  5. Remove from the fire and let it stand for a few minutes before serving. The generous amount of sauce is part of this meal and should be enjoyed with the meat, so serve trinchado in bowls and eat the sauce with spoons when necessary.

AND …

I know it sounds like a bit of a mission to grate lemon rind, but in some instances you really have to do it, this being one of those cases. Grating the rind of a lemon is really not a challenging job; it smells nice and it’ll make you look like the type of expert who reads this book. It adds a unique flavour to this dish that would just not be the same without it.

tailor-made braai salt

At some stage during your ascendancy to the braai throne in your backyard, you will want to start mixing your own tailor-made braai salt. This might happen on one of those days when Bafana, the Springboks and the Proteas play on the same day and you are tired of eating meat flavoured with the same commercially bought spice for the seventh time; or it might happen right now. Use the recipe and ingredients listed below as a broad guideline rather than as an exact list. View it as a point of departure on your journey. Play around with the quantities, leave something out, add something else. To state the blatantly obvious, if you add more of something, the mixture will have a stronger taste of that, and if you add less, it will taste less of that. Normal supermarkets sell all of these spices in ground format, which makes mixing them easier but if you can’t find something, go to a speciality spice shop.

WHAT YOU NEED (makes almost 1/2 cup of braai spice)

  • 1 tot salt (I like to use high-quality salt flakes and then crush them.)
  • 1/2 tot ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tot paprika
  • 1/2 tot crushed garlic powder
  • 1/2 tot ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or chilli powder)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice (pimento)
WHAT TO DO
  1. If some of the ingredients are too big or coarse, solve the problem by taking them for a spin in your coffee grinder or give them some love in your pestle and mortar.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a glass jar, then close the lid and shake it well. Use as needed to season steak, chops or chicken. The salt mix also works very well as a dry rub on large meat cuts like beef brisket or pork belly.
  3. Over time you might develop more than one mixture for different meats. For chicken you might want to drop the cloves and the nutmeg and add an item like parsley.
  4. Perhaps your pork spice will also have some mustard powder in it, for example. But then you would have to kick out one of the other ingredients, as there are already ten, which is a nice round number. Who wants his own tailor-made braai salt with eleven ingredients?
AND …

The creative process does not stop at choosing the ingredients. You might also want to spend some time or money on choosing a nice glass container or stainless steel shaker to keep your tailor-made braai salt in.

Beef Burger with bacon and a cheese sauce

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)

For the cheese sauce:

  • 2 tots butter
  • 2 tots cake flour
  • 2 cups milk (full cream, obviously)
  • 1 tot Dijon mustard
  • at least 1 cup grated mature cheese (1 cup of grated cheese is
  • about 100 g, but err on the side of extravagance – I use a mixture of
  • Cheddar, Parmesan and whatever else happens to be in my fridge)
  • salt and black pepper to taste (not all cheese has the same salt content)

For the burgers:

  • 1 kg good-quality beef mince
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • salt and pepper (optional)
  • 1 packet smoked streaky bacon (200–250 g)
  • 6 hamburger rolls (sliced open and buttered on the insides)
  • lettuce leaves (washed and drained)
  • 2 large tomatoes (sliced)

WHAT TO DO

Make the cheese sauce:

  1. Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat and then add the flour. Stir until the flour is mixed smoothly with the butter, and then cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time.
  2. Pour in the milk bit by bit while stirring vigorously to incorporate it completely and make a smooth sauce. A wooden spoon should work fine, but if you struggle, use a metal hand whisk. Never leave the sauce unattended; believe me, I speak from experience. If at any time you feel you’re losing control, decrease the amount of heat reaching the pot and first fully combine everything already in the pot before adding more milk.
  3. As soon as all the milk has been incorporated, toss in the mustard and cheese. Stir well until the cheese has melted.
  4. Take the pot off the heat and test for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if the sauce needs it. Some cheeses are very salty already and the sauce will only need a decent grinding of black pepper. Keep the sauce aside until the burgers are ready. Reheat and stir just before pouring it over the burgers – and don’t worry about that ‘skin’ forming on top of the sauce, for it stirs away. Alternatively, make the sauce while braaing the patties.

Make the burgers:

  1. Divide the mince into 6 balls, then use your clean wet hands to shape them into patties. Always flatten them a little more than you think, because they will shrink and thicken in the middle during the braai. Brush them with olive oil on both sides.
  2. Put the patties on an open grid and season the top with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, then carefully (yet confidently) flip them over with a metal spatula. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side – 10 minutes in total. To be clear, you only turn the patties once on the braai. Every time you turn them, there is a risk of breaking them. Don’t fiddle with the patties while they are on the braai, because it only makes you look like a beginner.
  3. While you’re braaing the patties, also braai the bacon until crispy. You can do this in a pan, or you can lay the rashers out on the braai grid, and also only turn them once. Take care not to drop any bacon through the grid onto the coals.
  4. Put the sliced rolls buttered side down on the grid, then toast until they are golden brown. Take them off the fire. Don’t burn the rolls; it happens easily.
  5. To assemble the burgers: Put a piece of lettuce and 2 slices of tomato on the bottom half of the roll. The strips of crispy bacon go on next, then the braaied patty. Top it off with a generous helping of warm cheese sauce.
Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

fillet with red wine sauce

It’s a well-recognised fact that braaied steak goes well with red wine. What is further undisputed is that a steak braaied over the coals of an open wood fire has a unique, rather good taste. What we’re doing here is combining these universally accepted truths to create something that is, dare I say it, beautiful!

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)

  • 1 kg fillet steak (or slightly bigger)
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1/2 onion (chopped as finely as you can)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped very finely)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tot flour
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 2 tots sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional – to taste)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Light a relatively big fire using your favourite braai wood.
  2. Remove the steak from its packaging. Rinse it under cold running water and pat dry with kitchen towels. Cut it into four equally sized portions and then season them well with salt and pepper. Don’t be shy with the pepper. Cover the steak to keep it safe from flies and proceed to the next step.
  3. Place a medium-sized flameproof pan or potjie over the fire. You want a pretty high heat but it must not be searing hot, so just use some of the burning logs under the potjie, not all of them.
  4. Melt the butter and then fry the onions, garlic and thyme leaves for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and starts to turn brown. If you’re a regular user of this book and are tuned in to the finer things in life, fry the onions first and add the garlic about 1 minute before the next step.
  5. Add the flour and stir well, then immediately add the red wine, stock, sugar and vinegar. Mix well, bring to the boil and then boil over high heat to reduce the liquid by half. Stir often. Depending on the size of your pot and the heat of your fire, this should take 15 minutes, but it could be slightly longer or slightly shorter. While the liquid is reducing, it should thicken and become a rich sauce. Taste the sauce at this point and season with salt and pepper. Keep in mind that some beef stocks are already quite salty, so you might not need salt at all. When you’re happy with the texture of the sauce, remove from the fire.
  6. While you’re waiting for the sauce to reduce in step 5, braai the steaks over very high heat for about 8–10 minutes. Braai them on all four or six sides. That’s right, when you slice a 1 kg fillet steak into 4 pieces the shape of the fillet steaks can have four or six sides.
  7. Serve the steaks on warm plates and pour the red wine sauce over them.

AND …

The truth of the matter is that you could serve this sauce with any other cut of beautifully braaied steak. Personally, I’m quite attached to serving it with fillet because although fillet is so wonderfully tender, the sauce gives it that little kick of extra flavour it needs.

Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

Bunny chow

Culinary-wise, and I don’t mean this in a negative way, the bunny chow is probably the single biggest contribution Durban in KwaZulu-Natal has made to South African society. The bunny chow is essentially curry served in a hollowed-out piece of bread loaf, and I like to use a curry made with boneless meat for it. Although not quite Upington in the middle of summer, this curry is quite hot, so be ready for that. If you want it mild, use less chilli powder and if you’re a hardened Durban curry eater, use more.

WHAT YOU NEED (makes 4 quarter-loaf bunnies)

  • 2 tots oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot masala (hot curry powder)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 500 g boneless lamb (or mutton, cut into cubes or strips)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tot fresh ginger (finely chopped or grated)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes (cut into small cubes)
  • 2 carrots (cut into slices)
  • 1/2 tot sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 loaf fresh white bread (you need absolutely stock-standard normal white bread, and you need it unsliced so that it can be cut to specification)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (chopped, to serve)
  • 1 punnet coriander leaves (to serve)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Heat the oil in a potjie over a medium-hot fire and fry the onion for about 5 minutes until it becomes soft. Then add the masala and (optional) chilli powder and fry for 1–2 minutes until the pan becomes sticky. If at any stage during step 1 or 2 you have too much heat in the potjie and things start to burn (in a black way, not a chilli way), add a very little bit of water as a counter-attack – but only do this if it’s really necessary. We need the flavour to develop by means of getting a bit sticky at the bottom of the potjie.
  2. Add the meat, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
  3. Throw in the tinned tomatoes, chopped potatoes and carrots, sugar, salt and pepper, then stir, scraping the bottom of the potjie with your spoon to loosen any and all sticky bits.
  4. Cover with a lid and simmer over medium-low coals for about 30 minutes, stirring now and again so that the bottom of the potjie doesn’t burn. If no amount of stirring is going to stop the dish from burning, it means your potjie is too dry. Add a bit of water to rectify this but go easy. You’re making curry, not soup.
  5. After 30 minutes, take off the lid and stick a fork into the potatoes to make sure they’re cooked through. As soon as the potatoes are soft, the meal is essentially ready. Cook uncovered for a few minutes to allow the sauce to become a thick gravy. As soon as this happens the curry is ready, so take the potjie off the fire. Taste and adjust with a bit of extra salt if it needs it.
  6. Cut the loaf of bread into quarters and then scoop or cut out the centres of each quarter loaf, essentially creating a ‘bowl’ of bread for the curry. You’re basically creating four bowls of bread. Fill the hole of each quarter loaf with the curry and sauce. Serve the scooped out bread centre and a salad of tomato and fresh coriander leaves on the side.

Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

Shish Kebabs

Shish kebabs are a Turkish version of what we generally call sosaties. The Turks love to skewer spicy marinated meat with tomatoes, peppers, onions and mushrooms, and I reckon they’re on the money. Let the meat marinate overnight to allow the flavours to develop to their full potential, and for the meat to absorb them properly.

WHAT YOU NEED (makes 6–8 kebabs)

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 tot ground cumin
  • 1/2 tot ground paprika
  • 1/2 tot ground coriander
  • 1/2 tot dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

For the kebabs:

  • 1 kg steak (rump, sirloin, rib-eye or fillet, cut into 3 cm by 3 cm cubes) or 1kg lamb meat
  • 2 onions (cut into large chunks, with layers separated)
  • 2 peppers (green, yellow or red – seeds and stalks removed, and cut into square chunks)
  • 250 g small button mushrooms (whole)
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes

WHAT TO DO

  1. Throw all the ingredients for the marinade together in a marinating bowl and mix well. Toss the beef cubes into the mix and stir until all the pieces are coated in marinade. Cover the bowl and marinate for at least 3 hours (on your counter or somewhere in the shade), but preferably overnight. Whenever you feel like it, you can visit the meat and stir it around before putting it back in the fridge.
  2. Around the time that you’re lighting the fire for your braai, remove the marinated meat from the fridge and wash your hands for the assembling process. Skewer the beef cubes by alternating with pieces of onion, peppers, whole mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, packing them tightly together. Brush the assembled kebabs with any leftover marinade.
  3. Braai the kebabs for about 8 minutes over hot coals. The kebabs can be quite fragile, so braaing them in a hinged grid that you close gently is the way to go.
Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

 

Lamb Rogan Josh

This is a superb curry with a rich and exotic flavour. Amazingly all the spices you need are available at normal South African supermarkets. Each ingredient serves a purpose in creating the aromatic end product. Take a deep breath and just follow the steps – this is one of the easier yet more impressive potjies you will make in your life; the meat doesn’t even need to cook off the bone, as you’re starting with deboned meat.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)

  • 2 tots vegetable oil
  • 1 kg boneless lamb meat (cubed – cut a leg or shoulder into cubes; alternatively I just buy enough leg chops, cut them into blocks and discard the bones)
  • 2 onions (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 whole cloves (the spice, not garlic)
  • 6 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • fresh ginger (crushed or chopped, equal in volume to the garlic)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tot paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • fresh coriander leaves (for garnish)

WHAT TO DO

Heat the oil in a potjie on the fire. Add the meat cubes in batches and fry them over high heat for a few minutes until they get a nice brown colour. You will probably need two batches. Take them out of the pot and keep on a plate out of the way of dogs or hyenas. We will put the meat back in the pot later. Leave any fat or juices in the pot for the next step.

In the same pot, add the onions and fry for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, peppercorns and cloves, and fry for about 1 minute. Right about now you will smell some great things happening in the pot as the heat starts to release fragrances from the spices.

Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for another minute, then add the coriander, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt. Stir these in well. The mixture might be fairly dry at this point, which means things could burn, so don’t have big flames under the pot. It also means you should move along quickly to the next step.

Put the lamb (and any juices that gathered with it on the plate) back into the potjie – it should moisten up the dry bottom. Stir right to the bottom and loosen any sticky bits with the spoon. If you’re struggling, you can add a very small amount of water to help you scrape loose everything sticking to the bottom of the pot. As soon as you’re done go to the next step.

Add the yoghurt while stirring continuously to mix it well into the dish.

Cook for 1–3 minutes, then add the water, and stir until you have a sauce as smooth as the Protea cricket players. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and gently simmer over low heat for about an hour until the meat is tender and the sauce has reduced to form a rich gravy. If your fire is too hot, the gravy will reduce too quickly and become a burnt paste, which would be a tragedy. Watch the heat carefully and stir a few drops more water into the pot if really necessary.

Take the pot off the fire and serve with basmati rice (see page182) and some fresh coriander leaves.

 AND …

Cardamom pods are like referees in rugby matches. Without them the meal cannot exist, but they are not particularly pleasant things to encounter. They are at their best if you don’t actually notice that they’re there. If you spot one in the finished product, pick it out and throw it away. It has served its purpose of adding flavour to the meal.

shepherd’s pie recipe

The big difference between shepherd’s and cottage pie is that shepherd’s pie is made with lamb or mutton, whereas cottage pie is made with beef. It’s a technical thing but this is a technical braai website. Logic dictates that you are free to use beef instead of lamb for this recipe, but just remember to refer to the dish as cottage pie then. For the best results use leftover braaied lamb or beef or a mix of the two. In the latter case it’s called a ‘shepherd’s cottage pie’ and it has a bit of a personality disorder, but it still tastes great. This recipe is from my second book ‘JanBraai – Red Hot’ (JanBraai – Vuurwarm) which launches in August 2013. It is the recipe as seen on Episode 2, Series 3 of ‘Jan Braai vir Erfenis’ on kykNET.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)

For the meat filling:

  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium carrots (chopped or grated)
  • celery equal in volume to the carrots (chopped)
  • 1 tot cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm beef or mutton stock
  • 500 g braaied lamb meat (de-boned, trimmed of excess fat, and chopped; about 3 cups of chopped lamb meat)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tot chopped parsley

For the mashed potato topping:

  • 4 large potatoes
  • enough water for boiling the potatoes in
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper

WHAT TO DO

  1. In a flat-bottomed cast-iron potjie on the fire, fry the onion, carrots and celery in the butter for about 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the cake flour and stir in before adding the warm meat stock and stirring that in.
  3. Now add the meat, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and parsley. Put the lid partially on the potjie (leaving a gap) and simmer gently until the sauce thickens. This can take about 45 minutes but the time will vary widely depending on a number of factors, among them how hot your fire is. During this time, do steps 4 and 5.
  4. Peel the potatoes and boil them in salted water in a separate pot for about 30 minutes until they are tender. A teaspoon of salt is enough to make the water ‘salted’. I really don’t like peeling potatoes, and thus I usually don’t. If you don’t want to peel them either, then don’t, but at least feel guilty about it.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the water and use a potato masher to do the job it’s made for. Add butter and milk to the mashed potatoes, then season with salt and black pepper and mix well. The texture should be smooth and fluffy.
  6. Back to the potjie of meat on the fire: When the sauce has thickened, take off the lid and top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes from step 5, spreading the mash into a fairly even layer to cover the surface. It’s entirely acceptable if the top surface of the mash is a bit rough and not completely smooth. In fact, it’s considered stylish.
  7. Put the lid on the potjie and put lots of hot coals onto the lid. At this stage you don’t want any heat under the pot anymore. Now bake the shepherd’s pie in the potjie like that for the next 20–30 minutes until the top layer becomes slightly golden brown from the hot coals on the lid. You will obviously have to take off the lid to see whether this has happened. Don’t let any ash fall into the potjie, as it won’t add the kind of flavour you’re looking for here. At this point the meal is ready to be enjoyed immediately.

 AND …

If you don’t have any leftover braaied meat but still want to enjoy this pie, you can successfully substitute the braaied meat with 500 g fresh beef mince bought at a butcher or supermarket. Add your mince after step 1, then fry it for 5–8 minutes until it is nicely brown. Then continue with step 2 where you add the flour and stock, and follow the rest of the recipe (just ignore the part where you would ‘add the meat’ in step 3). It is not advisable to add uncooked mince to the potjie after the stock has been added, as the mince will then boil instead of fry, and the meal won’t taste very nice.

Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

Chicken Burger Recipe

The thing to do with chicken breasts is braai them and make chicken burgers. You obviously need the breasts to be skinned and deboned; these are also known as chicken breast fillets. The typical chicken breast fillet is a bit lopsided with a bulky part and a thin point, so put the breast fillet on a chopping board and give it a few gentle whacks on the thick part with a meat tenderising mallet before the braai. This will make it uniform in thickness, which makes for easier braaing and will soften the meat for biting through when it’s on the burger. If you hit it too much, it will disintegrate, and you will be left with chicken mince. You don’t want that so do be gentle with the mallet. This is stating the obvious, but a chicken burger contains meat, salad, dairy and starch, so it really is a balanced meal all on its own.

 What you need (per burger)

  • 1 chicken breast
  • salt and pepper (or braai salt)
  • olive oil
  • 1 hamburger roll
  • 2 slices of tomato
  • 1 lettuce leaf
  • cheese
  • mayonnaise
  • peri-peri sauce

What to do

  1. 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 more uniform in thickness and this step will make the meat easier to braai, better looking on your burger and softer to bite.
  2. Spice 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 the bowl with them and toss the fillets around until all are coated.
  3. Braai the meat for about 6–10 minutes 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.
  4. Assemble the burger: Buttered roll, chicken breast, cheese, peri-peri sauce, mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce leaf. When assembling burgers I always like to place the cheese right next to the patty so that the heat of the meat can melt the cheese.

How to make potato wedges (as seen on photo with burger)

Parboil potatoes in salted water until just soft, but not too soft: a fork should just be able to go in – this will take about 20 minutes. Drain very well, i.e. get all the water off. Cut into wedges, toss around in olive oil, and generously sprinkle the wedges with coarse sea salt. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 200C until brown and crispy – this will take about 25 minutes. Serve with your chicken burgers.

Recipe & photo copyright: JanBraai

Glühwein Recipe

Glühwein originates in Germany but is also very popular in Austria, which is not surprising as Austria is essentially like a holiday province of Germany if we have to be honest. Glühwein is served in the snow on ski slopes, in mountain huts and at European Christmas markets. Always drink Glühwein hot, and you’ll enjoy it best when the temperature around you is very low, for example around a campfire in the Kalahari or Karoo, while you’re freezing your backside off.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4)

  • 1 bottle red wine
  • rind of 1 orange (peeled off with a vegetable peeler)
  • rind of 1 lemon (peeled off with a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 cup sugar

WHAT TO DO

  1. Mix all the ingredients in an old-school camp kettle or flameproof pot, then put it over a medium-hot fire and bring to a slow simmer.
  2. Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat (slowly) for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved completely. Let it stand for 15 minutes near the fire (perhaps with a few coals under it) so that the drink can stay hot, but is not boiling too rapidly.
  3. Strain through a sieve into mugs and throw away the rind and spices. Always serve hot.

AND …

In Europe, it is not uncommon to add an extra shot of brandy or rum to each mug of Glühwein when you’re really freezing. You might, for example, be really cold if you’ve spent the whole afternoon hunting Springbok in the glacial conditions of the winter’s Karoo veld. Then it’s better to wait for the Glühwein until your rifle is packed away though.

Curry Lamb Chops

The ingredients of this marinade and the long marinating time mean you can use slightly tougher lamb chops like leg, chump and thick rib to make this recipe. After two to three days in the marinade the meat will be amazingly tender and full of flavour.

What you need (feeds 6–8)

  • 2– 2,5 kg lamb chops (I prefer leg but chump or thick rib also work well)
  • 2 tots oil or butter
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • peeled and grated ginger (equal to the garlic in volume)
  • 2 tots curry powder
  • ½ tot turmeric
  • ½ tot salt
  • 2 cups brown vinegar
  • 1 × 450 g tin fine or smooth apricot jam
  • 4 bay leaves (torn)

What to do

  1. Fry the onions in the oil for about 4 minutes until they are soft and golden but not brown.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and turmeric and fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in the vinegar, jam and salt and heat until boiling.
  4. Remove from the heat and let the marinade cool down to room temperature. This takes a few hours.
  5. Place the chops in a marinating bowl, add the torn bay leaves and pour the cooled-down marinade over the meat. Stir thoroughly ensuring all sides of the chops are in contact with marinade. Cover the bowl.
  6. Marinate for at least 24 hours, two or three days is better. Turn the chops every 8–12 hours during this time.
  7. Braai for about 8–10 minutes on hot coals and serve with brandy and coke.

And…

Giving the meat three days in the marinade is the way to go – so if you have the time, don’t settle for 24 hours.

Easter on the braai

I always think that Easter Weekend is when the weather really changes. Summer is officially over come Monday. Terrifying. So while there is still little bit of summer left everything should be cooked on the braai and since chocolate is synonymous with Easter, why not combine the two! This is a fun activity for the whole family.

Ingredients

One big pack of marshmallows
3 Bar-One Chocolates
500ml cold milk
Bamboo skewers

Method

  • Add the milk and chocolates to a medium to small sized cast iron pot and place that pot over medium heat.
  • As the pot heats up, the milk and chocolate should heat up together and the chocolate will melt. Stir continuously until you have one smooth chocolate sauce.
  • Remove the pot from the fire. As the pot is made from cast iron it will keep its heat and the chocolate sauce will stay warm for a while.
  • Put marshmallows on skewers, dip them in the chocolate sauce and enjoy.
  • Encourage your kids to braai some of the skewered marshmallows by holding it over the flames or coals. Braaing marshmallows will teach your kids the fundamental principles of braaing chicken. Gentle heat and turn often; a skin that can easily burn before the inside is done.

Braai Bread: The Vuurvarkie Recipe

A while ago we posted the details of the Vuurvarkie on our Facebook page and the response was overwhelming. I have since tracked down the bread recipe used in the picture. Even though this recipe is for the Vuurvarkie, it works just as well in a normal black pot.

Ingredients:
500g White Eureka Unbleached Stone Ground Flour
15ml Yeast
325ml – 340ml Water
10ml Salt
5ml Sugar (optional)

Put the flour, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl and mix.

Make a well in the centre of the heap and gradually mix in 325ml warm water until the dough comes together. If it seems dry add some more water.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface such as a cutting board – for 5 minutes until it has a smooth texture. Shape the dough like a rugby ball (!!!) and put it into an oiled baking pan and then set it aside to rise for about 40min in a warm place. It should double in size in this time. When it has risen make deep slashes on the top of the dough with a sharp knife and dust with flour.

In the mean time preheat your Vuurvarkie for 30-40minutes. Bake for 40-45min, until golden and cooked through. To test if it is done tap the base of the loaf, if it is ready it will make a hollow sound. Remember not to put too many coals on top of the Vuurvarkie.

Kneading and Proving tips

Knead the dough for at least 5minutes, even up to 10 minutes if you can! This will produce a lighter more airy loaf.

If the dough needs to rise twice put it into an oiled bowl and cover loosely with oiled cling film then leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size. This takes anywhere between 30minutes and 2 hours, depending on the temperature and the amount of dough. An airing cupboard speeds this up.

Punch the risen dough to “knock” out the air. Knead again for a few minutes, adding any other ingredients at this stage. Shape and put onto an oiled baking sheet or in a loaf tin. Cover and leave to rise until it has doubled in size. Check up after about 30minutes. Over-proving may cause the bread to collapse in the oven.

Summer holiday Braai ideas

Here are a few delicious and colourful recipes to make on your summer holiday.

  1. Chicken, Feta and Sundried Tomato burger
  2. Grilled Salmon Tacos
  3. Kaapse Snoek
  4. Pizza
  5. Prawn kebabs
  6. Basted Mushrooms
  7. Fish wrapped in newspaper
  8. Greek lamb skewers / Souvlaki
  9. Springbok Carpaccio with Tataki sauce
  10. Garlic, Cheese and Peppadew bread

These recipes have all been covered on the website so just click on the dish and the link will take you to the recipe.

Prawn skewers on the braai

This is a fantastic summer recipe and serves well as an appetizer or with tapas.

Ingredients:

750g King Prawns, deveined with tails still intact
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons lemon juice
50 ml olive oil
15 ml Lemon juice
Sea salt and coarse pepper
1 long red chilli, finely chopped

Aioli:
Mix 100ml mayonnaise with 30ml sweet chilli sauce. Adjust measurements to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Method:
Mix the ingredients together in a non-metallic marinating bowl. Add the prawns and make sure that they are covered with the marinade. Cover with cling wrap and put the marinating prawns in refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.

Thread marinated prawns on skewers and braai on high heat for approximately 2 minutes on each side or until prawns turn pink and are cooked through. If you are using bamboo skewers, make sure that they are soaked beforehand so that they don’t ignite on the braai.

 

Salmon Tacos with Avocado Salsa on the Braai

To see how to prepare the perfect salmon on the braai click here. When you are done, break the salmon into small pieces with a fork and put it on your heated taco with Avocado Salsa. It is simple and colourful. Making the taco’s is also easy: Buy wraps from your local supermarket and let them hang over your oven tray in a folded over position. Bake them for 4-5 minutes on 150°C.

Avocado Salsa:

2 Ripe avocados
1 Large tomato
Sea Salt
Ground pepper
Juice of 1 Lime (lemon if you can’t find limes)
1 Jalapeno chopped (any other chilli is also fine)
1 Medium red onion
A few fresh coriander leaves

Chop the red onion, the tomato and the avo into cubes of about the same size – as big as your pinkie nail should be about right. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and add the chopped coriander and the lime juice. Add salt, pepper and chilli to taste. You can also add more lime juice if you like. Serve with Creme Fraiche. 

Lamb Skewers on the Braai: Greek Souvlaki

Greece: The home of Souvlaki and Hercules

Souvlaki is my favourite dish from Greece and it is a wonderful dish for summer. It can serve as an appetizer or main course and you can make them from any meat or vegetable combination. I prefer lamb.
It is also very healthy and a fantastic addition to your diet menu. Souvlaki is easy to prepare. The lamb should be served pink, so don’t worry about under-cooking.

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1kg lamb shoulder
12 sprigs thyme
8 Oregano leaves
4 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
2 lemons’ zest
2 Lemons’ juice
200ml Olive Oil
50ml Red wine
Paprika

Cut the meat into cubes and trim off excess fat. Put the cubes in a bowl and add the herbs, garlic, lemon zest, half the olive oil, red wine and some salt and pepper. Mix it well so that all the meat gets covered. Cover with Glad wrap and put it in the fridge for at least two hours, overnight if you can.

If you are using wooden skewers let them soak in water for a little while so that the wood doesn’t burn when you braai. I love using rosemary twigs as skewers, so if you have them in your garden, try it and let me know what you think.

Before putting it on the braai, add the lemon juice and remaining olive oil and mix well. Put the meat on the skewers and brush with the marinade while on the braai. Cook them however you prefer to cook your lamb and sprinkle with paprika before serving.

I would suggest preparing the tzatziki just before putting the skewers on the braai, because if you do this the day before the cucumber has to be seeded otherwise the tzatziki gets watery, and this is just too much of a mission.

 Tzatziki:

1 Cucumber, peeled and diced
350g Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix ingredients together in a serving bowl – dish up and serve.

I like my Souvlaki with rocket on the side. In Greece they use the same recipe and serve the meat in pita breads– these are called Gyro’s and they are just as delicious.

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