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Irish Soda Bread

JanBraai Irish Soda BreadFrom an effort point of view, there are three types of bread: flatbread, bread made with yeast, and bread made with baking soda. Flatbread types use no raising agent whatsoever and are consequently flat like roti. Then there is yeasted bread that uses some form of yeast to make it rise. To activate this yeast takes time and you need to knead the dough. Our third bread category uses baking soda to create bubbles in the dough to make it rise. Unlike yeast, baking soda does not need to be kneaded to do its work. In fact, many expert bakers agree that when using baking soda, not only should you knead the dough as little as possible, you should actually not knead it at all! I know what you’re thinking and yes, this is super fantastic news.

The baking soda needs something to react with and we will use buttermilk for that something, as it will also add some taste to the bread. Although you can quite successfully bake a lily-white soda bread, I prefer the taste and coarse texture of wholewheat and oats. When you’re travelling the backroads and get hold of a truly great jar of jam at a farm stall or market, this is the bread it deserves.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 6–8)

  • butter (for oiling the potjie)
  • 3 cups Nutty Wheat flour (or wholewheat flour)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bottle buttermilk (2 cups)


  1. Smear the inside of your no. 10 flat-bottomed baking potjie generously with butter.
  2. Put all the ingredients, except for the buttermilk, into a mixing bowl and mix well.
  3. Now add the buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is combined. Remember, not only is it unnecessary to knead the dough, it is better not to. So as soon as everything is properly mixed you are good to go.
  4. Flop the dough into the prepared potjie, dust the top of the bread with some extra flour (this is purely for cosmetic purposes) and use your favourite and sharpest pocket knife to cut a cross in the top of the bread. As with the flour dusting, this cross is only for cosmetic purposes and makes no real contribution to the taste of the end product. (But we all know good-looking food tastes better.)
  5. Now close the lid and bake for about 45 minutes until done. You want some coals under the potjie and some coals on the lid. When any particular coal loses motivation, discard it and replace with a new one. There is no particular risk in baking the bread too slowly but if you rush it, it might burn so rather err on the side of caution.
  6. After 45 minutes, remove the lid taking care not to spill too much ash onto the bread. A bit of ash is fine, again, for cosmetic purposes. Insert the tip of a knife into the bread and if it comes out clean, the bread is ready.
  7. If the bread does not stick to the potjie at all and comes out whole, great. If it sticks to the bottom of the potjie a bit, don’t worry. Take a spatula, go in on the lines of the cross you cut earlier and take it out in quarters.


This recipe works with any combination of 4 cups of flour. You could drop the oats and go with just 4 cups of Nutty Wheat or wholewheat flour. Or use 2 cups of Nutty Wheat and 2 cups of normal white flour. You get my drift.

Ierse Soda Brood

JanBraai Irish Soda BreadWat moeite betref, is daar drie tipes brood: platbrood, brood wat met gis gemaak is, en brood wat met koeksoda gemaak is. Platbrood gebruik hoegenaamd geen rysmiddel nie en is daarom plat; byvoorbeeld ‘n Indiese roti. Dan is daar gegiste brood wat gis in die een of ander vorm gebruik om dit te laat rys. Om die gis aan die gang te kry kan ’n tydjie neem en jy moet die deeg knie. Ons derde broodkategorie gebruik koeksoda om borrels in die deeg te maak sodat dit kan rys. Anders as met gis, is dit nie met koeksoda nodig om die deeg te knie om sy werk gedoen te kry nie. Om die waarheid te sê, die meeste bobaas-bakkers stem saam dat wanneer jy koeksoda gebruik, jy nie net die deeg so min as moontlik hoef te knie nie, jy moet dit eintlik glad nie knie nie! Ek weet wat jy dink, en ja, dis superfantastiese nuus.

Die koeksoda het iets nodig om mee te reageer en in hierdie geval is karringmelk daardie iets, want dit sal ook die brood ’n bietjie smaak gee. Al kan jy met sukses ’n leliewit-sodabrood bak, verkies ek die smaak en growwe tekstuur van volgraan en hawermout. Wanneer jy met die agterpaaie reis en jy kom by ’n plaasstal of mark op ’n regte lekker fles konfyt af, is hierdie die brood wat hy verdien.

This recipe is also available in English here.

WAT JY NODIG HET (vir 6–8 mense)

  • botter (om die pot mee te olie)
  • 3 koppies Nutty Wheat (of volgraanmeel)
  • 1 koppie hawermout
  • 1 teelepel koeksoda
  • 1 teelepel sout
  • 1 bottel karringmelk (2 koppies)
  • jou nommer 10-platboompotjie


  1. Smeer die binnekant van jou nommer 10-platboompotjie rojaal met botter.
  2. Gooi al die bestanddele, behalwe die karringmelk, in ’n bak en meng deeglik.
  3. Nou gooi jy die karringmelk by en roer met ’n houtlepel totdat alles gemeng is. Onthou, dis nie net onnodig om die deeg te knie nie, dis beter om dit oor te slaan. Sodra alles ordentlik gemeng is, is jy reg om aan te gaan.
  4. Smeer die binnekant van jou nommer 10-platboompotjie met genoeg botter. Dop die deeg in die geoliede potjie uit, strooi ’n bietjie ekstra meel bo-oor (dis net vir die mooiheid) en gebruik jou gunsteling- en skerpste knipmes om ’n kruis bo-op die brood te sny. Soos met die meelstrooiery, is die kruis net vir die mooi en maak nie regtig ’n bydrae tot die smaak van die eindproduk nie. (Maar ons almal weet dat kos wat goed lyk, beter smaak.)
  5. Sit nou die deksel op en bak vir omtrent 45 minute tot gaar. Jy wil ’n klompie kole onder die potjie hê en ’n klompie op die deksel. Wanneer ’n kool moeg is, raak ontslae van hom en vervang met ’n wakker een. Daar is nie ’n besondere risiko daaraan om die brood te stadig te bak nie, maar as jy dit afjaag, kan hy brand, so wees eerder rustig.
  6. Ná 45 minute, haal die deksel af en pasop dat jy nie te veel as op die brood mors nie. Steek die punt van ’n mes in die brood en as hy skoon is wanneer jy hom uittrek, is die brood reg.
  7. As die brood glad nie in die potjie vassit nie en in een stuk uitkom, mooi so. As hy effe aan die bodem van die potjie klou, moenie bekommer nie. Vat ’n spatel en druk hom in op die lyne wat jy vroeër in die brood gesny het en haal hom in kwarte uit.


Die resep werk met enige kombinasie van 4 koppies meel. Jy kan die hawermout uitlos en net die 4 koppies Nutty Wheat of volgraanmeel gebruik. Of gebruik 2 koppies Nutty Wheat en 2 koppies gewone wit meel. Jy weet wat ek bedoel.


JanBraai Sweet Chilli Bacon Pineapple and Cheese BurgerThis 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)


  • 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


  • 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)



  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. Simmer for about 6 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved completely; the exact time will obviously depend on your coals or flames.
  4. 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.
  5. The sauce is now ready. Remove from the fire, let it cool slightly while you braai the meat and then serve.


  1. Form the mince into 4 evenly sized patties with your hands and flatten out.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Assemble the burger with your freshly homemade sweet chilli sauce as the crowing glory.

Bread Pudding Potjie

JanBraai Bread PuddingThere 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


  1. 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.
  2. Leave the butter outside your fridge for a few hours to soften as this will make the next step immensely easier.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Now scatter the rum-marinated raisins over the slices of bread in the potjie.
  7. There is no reason to discard the raisin-infused rum. Pour it on ice with something like ginger beer and enjoy as a cocktail.
  8. Whisk the eggs. A fork is fine, you don’t need an actual whisk – this is not a cooking school exam.
  9. Now mix the coconut milk and the vanilla essence with the whisked eggs.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Bobotie Potjie

janbraai bobotieBobotie 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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve with rice and chutney on the side.


You might like to serve sliced banana, coconut or chopped tomatoes with the bobotie.


Bloody Mary BurgerMillions 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)


  1. Heat the oil in your fireproof pan and fry the onion and red pepper until soft. Add the paprika and fry for another minute.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. During the final stages of the braai, toast the insides of the buttered rolls.
  6. 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!


Coq Au vinFrom my personal experience, this classic French dish is even better cooked in a potjie on a fire, using South African wine. The rule of thumb when cooking with wine is that you should use wine of the same quality that you drink. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to open a new great bottle of wine especially to make this potjie. It just means that if you had a braai dinner party and are left with some half-finished bottles of wine, this is exactly the meal you should cook on one of the days thereafter. You need one bottle of red wine in total, which can be a blend of more than one wine as long as they are all of a decent standard.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6 hungry guests)

  • 2 tots oil (or butter)
  • about 20 small pickling onions (peeled and whole)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • parsley equal in volume to the carrot (chopped)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 packet smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 packet whole button mushrooms (about 250 g)
  • 2,5 kg chicken pieces (any mixture of thighs, drumsticks, breasts)
  • 1 tot cake flour
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1 tot tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper (coarse, freshly ground)
  • 1 tot parsley (chopped)


  1. If your chicken pieces have skin on them, pull off all the skin that is easy to remove, for example on the thighs and breasts. Leave the skin on the difficult ones like drumsticks; it’s definitely not worth the effort to get it off them.
  2. Put your potjie over medium coals and add the oil or butter. As soon as there is heat, add the whole onions, carrot, parsley, thyme, bacon and mushrooms. Fry until the bacon starts to turn golden brown.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and fry for a few minutes until they brown slightly.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over everything, and stir to coat all of the chicken pieces.
  5. Next add the red wine and the tomato paste, and stir well. Put the lid on the pot, and simmer for about 60 minutes until tender. Now remove the lid and let the sauce reduce until you are happy with the consistency.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir well. Take off the fire, add the chopped parsley and serve with cooked white rice.


Just to confirm, in case you were in any doubt, you serve this meal with red wine.


Coq Au vinIn my ondervinding word die? beroemde en klassieke Franse dis die beste berei in ‘n potjie op ‘n vuur met Suid-Afrikaanse wyn. Wanneer jy wyn in jou kos gebruik, behoort dit van dieselfde gehalte te wees as wyn wat jy sal drink. Dit beteken natuurlik nie dat jy ‘n goeie bottel wyn spesiaal vir die? resep hoef oop te maak nie. As jy mense met ‘n braai onthaal het en daar is ‘n paar halfgedrinkte bottels wyn oor, is di?t die dis wat jy moet maak. Jy het altesame een bottel se rooiwyn nodig, maar dit kan ‘n mengsel wees solank alles van billike gehalte is.

The English version of this exact recipe is available here.

WAT JY NODIG HET (vir 6 honger gaste)

  • 2 sopies olie of botter
  • omtrent 20 klein uitjies (soos wat jy sou inle?; afgeskil en heel)
  • 1 wortel (opgekap)
  • pietersielie (fyngekap, dieselfde volume as die opgekapte wortel)
  • 4 takkies vars tiemie
  • 1 pakkie gerookte streepspek
  • 1 pakkie heel knopie- sampioene (omtrent 250 g)
  • 2,5 kg hoenderstukke (enige mengsel van dytjies, boudjies en borsies)
  • 1 sopie koekmeel
  • 1 bottel rooiwyn
  • 1 sopie tamatiepasta
  • 2 teelepels sout
  • 2 teelepels swartpeper (grof, varsgemaal)
  • 1 sopie pietersielie (fyngekap)


  1. As jou hoenderstukke vel aan het, trek dit af in die geval van stukke waar dit maklik is om te doen, soos dytjies en borsies. Los maar die vel aan moeilike stukke soos boudjies.
  2. Sit jou pot op medium hitte en voeg die olie en botter by. Sodra daar hitte is, voeg jy die uie, wortels, pietersielie, tiemie, spek en sampioene by. Braai oor medium hitte totdat die spek goudbruin begin raak.
  3. Voeg die hoenderstukke by en braai vir ‘n paar minute tot effens bruin.
  4. Strooi die meel oor alles en roer om die hoenderstukke daarmee te bedek.
  5. Voeg die rooiwyn en tamatiepasta by en roer deeglik. Sit die pot se deksel op en laat prut vir 60 minute tot sag. Haal die deksel af en laat ‘n bietjie van die vog uit die sous verder afkook.
  6. Voeg sout en peper by na smaak. Haal van die hitte af, voeg die pietersielie by en bedien met gekookte wit rys.

EN …

Net om te bevestig, indien jy dalk wonder, jy bedien die gereg saam met rooiwyn.

Beef Wellington

Jan Braai Beef WellingtonEverything tastes better on the braai, in this case it’s the classic Beef Wellington.

What you need:

  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 250g mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 300 – 500 g steak (rump, sirloin, fillet)
  • 400 roll of puff pastry
  • grated cheese (optional)
  • smoked ham (optional)

What to do:

  1. Finely chop the onion and mushrooms. Add olive oil and/or butter and the finely chopped onion and mushrooms to a pan and fry until the mushrooms lose their moisture and starts to brown. Then add the thyme.
  2. Add some or all of the cream to the pan and let this mushroom, onion and cream sauce reduce to a fairly thick paste.
  3. Trim the steak of your choice (rump, sirloin or fillet) of all sinews and fat and braai over very hot coals for about 8 minutes until medium rare. Let the steak rest a few minutes and then thinly slice.
  4. Unroll the thawed puff pastry on a cutting board. Spread the mushroom and cream paste on half the surface of the pastry and lay the slices of steak on top of that. Generously season with salt and pepper.
  5. Optional step: finely chop smoked ham and grate some cheese. Add this on top of the current residents of the puff pastry.
  6. Fold the uncovered half of the pastry over the filling and use a fork to press all open sides of the pastry closed and seal it.
  7. Now braai in a hinged grid over medium coals for about 20 minutes until ready. You want the pastry golden brown and crispy and all ingredients heated and melted throughout. As puff pastry braais there will be a moment where it seems to ‘melt’ and sag into the grid. Don’t panic. After this it will firm up again and start to cook.

Gebraaide Beef Wellington

Jan Braai Beef WellingtonAlles proe beter op ’n braai, en in die gaval is dit die klassieke ‘Beef Wellington’. Hier is die resep soos ek hom in die Bolandse dorp Wellington gebraai het. Die vulsel bestandele was so ’n bietjie te veel vir een rol pasty deeg, so mettertyd sal ek die resep hier onder nog ’n bietjie aanpas deur 2 rolle deeg (een onder en een bo) of minder vulsel bestandele te gebruik. Jy kan enige van die twee opsies uitoefen wanneer jy hom die naweek by die huis maak, en dan vir my terugvoer gee.

The English version of this Beef Wellington recipe is available here.

Wat jy nodig het

  • 1 ui (fyngekap)
  • 250g sampioene (fyngekap)
  • 1 koppie (250ml) room
  • 1 rol pasty deeg (ontdooi)
  • 300g – 500g steak (rump, sirloin of fillet)
  • kaas (opsioneel)
  • gerookte ham (opsioneel)
  • olyf olie
  • sout & peper

Laat Waai!

  1. Braai die fyngekapte ui en fyngekapte sampioene in ’n pan saam met olyfolie of botter. Gooi dan van of al die room by en laat dit afkook totdat dit ’n dik pasta vorm.
  2. Sny alle oortollige vet en senings van die vleis af en braai die steak oor baie warm kole tot medium-rou. Laat die steaks ’n paar minute rus en sny dit dan in dun repies.
  3. Rol die pastydeeg uit op ’n snyplank en smeer die sampioen room mengsel oor helfte daarvan. Pak die repies steak bo op dit en geur behoorlik met sout en peper. Indien jy so voel kan jy ook kaas en ham bygooi, maar dit is opsioneel.
  4. Vou nou die skoon helfte van die deeg bo-oor toe en druk die kante van jou pasty vas met ’n vurk.
  5. Braai vir omtrent 20 minute oor medium warm kole in ’n toeklaprooster tot gaar. Die gereg is gereed as die deeg goudbruin en bros is, en die bestandele deurwarm en gesmelt is. Soos jy pastydeeg braai ‘smelt’ dit op ’n stadium en begin dit in die rooster insak. Moenie bekommerd wees nie. Net hierna begin dit gaar word en dan raak dit meer verm.

Pork Neck Curry

JanBraai Pork Neck Curry

I have absolutely no idea how this curry tastes when it’s cold or what it’s like the next day. It always gets completely polished off during the eating of the meal. Your ratio of great food to effort is very high here too and if it takes you more than 1 hour from the first step to serving the meal, you’re doing something wrong. The pork neck chops are tender to begin with so there’s no need for hours of simmering. The two tots medium curry powder used in the recipe is not a printing error so do add all of it. Medium curry powder really does not have a lot of chilli in it. Adding this much packs the meal with spice and flavour while still keeping the mouth-burn levels way below anything that should concern you or your guests.

What you need (feeds 4)

  • 8 pork neck chops 1 lemon (juice)
  • 1 tot oil or butter
  • 2 onions
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • ginger, equal in volume to
  • the garlic (grated)
  • 2 tots medium curry powder
  • 2 tots apricot jam
  • 2 tots tomato paste (or a 50 g sachet)
  • 1?2 tot salt
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup cream

What to do:

  1. Cut each pork neck chop in half, throw them in a bowl, and squeeze the lemon juice over them. Toss around to distribute the lemon juice evenly.
  2. Heat the oil in your potjie and fry the onions for about 4 minutes.
  3. Now add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, and toss together for a minute.
  4. Add the pork chops and fry in the potjie until all of them have a bit of colour.
  5. Add the apricot jam, tomato paste and salt, and stir in.
  6. Now pour in some of the water and use it to scrape loose all the sticky bits on the bottom of the potjie. Once you’re satisfied with your efforts, add the rest of the water and mix it in.
  7. Heat the potjie to a simmer and close the lid. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and let it continue to simmer until half of the liquid has reduced and evaporated.
  8. Stir in the cream and let it continue to simmer until half of the liquid has reduced again. Practically speaking, let the potjie boil without the lid until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.
  9. Remove the potjie from the fire and serve with basmati rice, yogurt and chopped cucumber, tomato and onion.


This recipe also works well with chicken. Use a pack of 4 thighs and 4 drumsticks, pull off and discard their skins, drizzle with the lemon juice, and continue from step 2.

Steak with biltong cream sauce

JanBraai_SS_IMG_009Whilst visiting the Inyati rest camp in the Sabi Sands game reserve I prepared the recipe below on the braai. On that particular occasion the biltong and cream sauce was served with braaied Springbok fillet steaks, but you can just as successfully serve this sauce with normal beef steak. As I don’t have a particularly nice photo of the finished meal, I decided to rather post a picture of the lion cubs we saw later that day after having our meal of braaied Springbok steaks with biltong and cream sauce. The lions had Impala on the menu that day if I remember correctly, but again, posting a pic of their food is probably not family friendly either so here a pic of them having their after dinner drink.

Biltong and cream sauce – What you need

  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped, grated or blended biltong
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon beef stock (dry, not liquid stock)
  • 1 cup fresh cream

Biltong and cream sauce – What to do

  1. Sauté the onion in the butter and oil for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the biltong to the pan and let it sweat for a minute or 2.
  3. Add the salt & pepper and half of the cream and stir through.
  4. Sprinkle the beef stock over the contents of the pan and stir through.
  5. Add the rest of the cream, stir and let simmer whilst you braai the steaks until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.
  6. Braai the steaks until medium rare and serve the sauce on the steak.


Madras CurryOne of the best things about Britain is not British at all; it’s Indian. The Brits love their Indian curries and the Madras curry, named after the South Indian town with the same name (now called Chennai) is right up there. The dish has some distinctive flavour notes (as those wine-tasting people would say), which you’ll pick up if you make it with all the correct ingredients as listed below. Madras curry is traditionally very hot, so if the thought of a chilli makes you sweat, rather move along to something else or stay here for a delicious meal but leave out the chilli powder. The spices listed below are all things that should be standard items in your kitchen, so if you need to buy some don’t worry, they won’t go to waste – you’ll use them for many other recipes. This recipe was voted their favourite by participants of the 2014 National Braai Tour.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 4–6)

  • 2 tots vegetable oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tot cumin seeds (or aniseed – but not star anise)
  • 1/2 tot ground coriander
  • 1/2 tot chilli powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tot paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tot garam masala
  • 1 kg beef (boneless, cut into chunks)
  • 1/2 tot salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot crushed fresh ginger (or grated)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 punnet fresh coriander leaves (to serve)


  1. Heat the oil in a potjie over a medium-sized fire. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes until it’s soft but not brown.
  2. Now the spices go in: cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, coriander, chilli powder (optional), paprika, turmeric and garam masala. Stir for a minute until it starts smelling irresistible. Right about now what I call the ‘word of nose’ phenomenon will kick in. Your neighbours will start calling to invite themselves over for dinner. Stay focused and look at the bottom of the potjie, which might seem very dry. Proceed immediately to the next step.
  3. Add the beef, salt, pepper, garlic and ginger. Fry for a few minutes until the meat starts to brown on all sides. The beef will release some juices. Use this to scrape away any sticky bits of spices at the bottom of the potjie. If you struggle, add a very small amount of water to help you.
  4. Pour in the tomatoes, coconut milk and lemon juice. Bring to a very slight simmer, then cover and cook over a few coals (no flames) for 90 minutes until the meat is tender. Don’t confuse tender meat with a government tender. Tender meat is a good thing.
  5. Serve on rice with a yoghurt and cucumber sauce called raita and fresh coriander leaves.

AND … If your potjie is fairly small and the meat will not be able to brown properly all at the same time, do that in batches first, before you brown the onions. Then set the browned meat aside and simply add it back to the potjie in step 3.

Pork Chop Carbonara

Pork Chop CarbonaraWhat we have here is the recipe for my Braaied Pork Chop Carbonara. I obviously found inspiration for this one in the classic Italian pasta from Rome, the Bacon Carbonara. It is interesting to note that Carbonaro is the Italian word for Charcoal Burner. Now as we all know, there is one thing better than a charcoal burner, and that is a wood burner, otherwise known as a braai fire. The original recipe from Rome uses Italian bacon like guanciale or pancetta but to my mind a braaied South African pork chop is vastly superior in quality, taste and texture so what we have here is an improvement on the original recipe. The recipe works well with both fresh and dry pasta, but as egg is a core ingredient my personal feeling is that fresh pasta works better, so go for that if you can hold of it.

What you need (serves 4)

  • 4 Pork loin chops (deboned) or 4 Pork Neck Chops
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 tot Olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 250 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 125 ml Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 250 ml fresh cream
  • 400g – 500g Linguini or Spaghetti
  • Extra Parmesan for garnish
  • Fresh Parsley for garnish

What to do:

  1. Braai the pork chops over medium-hot coal for about 12 minutes until done. Pork chops should be braaied until medium, with an internal temperature of 71 °C. Season with salt and pepper before or during the braai.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water according to the instructions on the packet. Use fresh pasta if possible.
  3. Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms for a few minutes, add the garlic and fry until the mushrooms are soft.
  4. Beat the eggs and properly mix that with the cream. Also mix the grated cheese with that.
  5. Remove the pasta from the heat when cooked and drain. Add the pasta to the same pot or pan as the mushrooms and pour over the mixture of beaten eggs, cream and cheese while the pasta is still hot and mix well. The heat of the pasta and mushrooms will cook the egg. This is a signature part of this dish.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Diagonally slice the pork chops into thin slivers and serve on top of the pasta. Garnish with extra parmesan and fresh parsley.


@janbraai Steak and Stout Beer Potjie PieThe Irish have their own version of National Braai Day, called St Patrick’s Day – the day their country comes to a standstill and has one big party. I’ve been to some St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Dublin as part of my ongoing research and development of National Braai Day. Every single pub in Ireland serves a fantastic pie made with steak and stout. I’ve adapted their recipe to suit our local braai conditions. You make the pie filling in a potjie and you braai the pastry on a grid over the coals. Alternatively, just serve the awesome contents of your potjie on a bed of mash or with a piece of baguette bread!

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)

  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 kg steak (chuck is best, other- wise rump; cut into blocks of 2 cm × 2 cm)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tot cake flour
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 sticks celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot chopped mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley; or use 1?2 tot dried mixed herbs)
  • 1 can or bottle stout (about 400 ml)
  • 250 g button mushrooms (halved)
  • 1 packet puff pastry (400 g, completely thawed)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large flat-bottomed potjie over a hot fire. Add the steak cubes, salt and pepper and stir. Shake in the flour, and then stir well to distribute the flour evenly over everything. The bottom of the pot will seem a bit dry, but don’t worry too much about it. Fry for about 5 minutes until the pieces of flour-coated meat turn golden brown.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, celery and herbs, then fry for another 5 minutes.
  3. Now pour in the stout. Stir to loosen any sticky bits on the bottom of the pot, and then bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, cover the pot, and then simmer over low heat for 1 hour. It is very important to keep the heat low. ‘Low heat’ means a few coals, and no flames of any significance under the pot.
  5. When the pie filling in the potjie is nearly ready (after about 1 hour of total cooking time), unroll the puff pastry from the packet. Now you have two options: either cut the pastry into the shape of the bowls you’re going to serve the pies in, or cut it into squares that you will put on top of the filling on plates or in bowls. Braai the pastry shapes in an oiled, closed hinged grid for about 20 minutes over very mild coals. Turn the grid often until the pastry is golden brown and crispy. Don’t braai them too fast, as there is a good chance they will burn if you do. The pastry will look like it is starting to ‘melt’ at first; don’t worry, it will soon firm up and become easier to handle if you just carefully turn it quite often. This part is optional, you can also just serve the filling on a bed of mash potatoes or with pieces of baguette bread.
  6. When the filling is ready, take the potjie off the fire and stir well. The liquid should be thick and glossy. If not, cook uncovered for a few minutes to let it reduce and thicken. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Serve by dishing up the filling into bowls or onto plates and then put the braaied pieces of pastry on top of each of them. You could also serve the pies with mashed potatoes if you like.

AND … Although Guinness is the internationally famous example of stout, it’s by no means the only one. You can make this recipe just as effectively with a local favourite like Castle Milk Stout.

Citrus Flavoured Malva Pudding Potjie

Malva PuddingThis recipe is a adaption of my original malva pudding potjie recipe that appears in my 2nd book, Jan Braai – RedHot (Afrikaans edition called Jan Braai – Vuurwarm).  The dough and baked part is identical to the original recipe but I’ve added some freshly squeezed satsuma juice (you can use satsuma, orange, naartjie or any of their family members) for a new take on the old classic.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)

For the batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1?2 tot bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tot apricot jam
  • 1 tot vinegar
  • 1 tot melted butter
  • 1 cup milk

For the sauce:

  • 1?2 cup cream
  • 1?2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1?2 cup freshly squeezed juice
  • 1?2 cup butter


  1. Light the fire. You need fewer coals than when braaing steak, but you’ll need a steady supply of coals once the pudding is baking. Now use butter to grease your no. 10 flat- bottomed baking potjie. You can see a picture of this kind of potjie in the photo collage above.
  2. Sift the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir in the sugar (you don’t need to sift the sugar).
  3. In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg very well. Now add the jam, vinegar, butter and milk, whisking well after adding each ingredient.
  4. Add the wet ingredients of step 3 to the dry ingredients of step 2 and mix well.
  5. Pour the batter into the potjie, put on the lid and bake for 50 minutes by placing some coals underneath the potjie and some coals on top of the lid. Don’t add too much heat, as burning is a big danger. There is no particular risk in having too little heat and taking up to 1 hour to get the baking done, so rather go too slow than too fast. During this time, you can add a few fresh hot coals to the bottom and top of the potjie whenever you feel the pudding is losing steam.
  6. When the pudding has been baking for about 40 minutes (about 10 minutes before it’s done), heat all the sauce ingredients in a small potjie over medium coals. Keep stirring to ensure that the butter is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved, but don’t let it boil.
  7. After about 50 minutes of baking, insert a skewer into the middle of the pudding to test whether it’s done. If the skewer comes out clean, it’s ready.
  8. Take the pudding off the fire and pour the sauce evenly over it. Believe me, it will absorb all the sauce – you just need to leave it standing for a few minutes. Serve the malva pudding warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, a dollop of fresh cream or a puddle of vanilla custard. A good way to keep it hot is to put it near the fire, but not too close – after doing everything right, we don’t want it to burn now.

Braai lasagne potjie

After every braai, if there is any leftover meat, debone and skin the meat. then chop it up finely and add it to the container in your freezer that is specially placed there for this purpose. as soon as you have enough meat in that container, make the braai lasagne potjie. If you don’t have leftover meat, just fry 500g lean beef mince in the potjie as you start the process.

What you need (feeds 4–6)

  • 12 lasagne sheets
  • butter

For the bolognese sauce:

  • 500 g finely chopped leftover braaied meat (any mixture of steak, chops, pork, chicken, boerewors). Failing this, just use 500g beef mince and fry in the potjie until lightly browned.
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup mix of grated carrots and finely chopped celery
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tot tomato paste
  • 1 tot oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

For the béchamel (white) sauce:

  • 3 tots butter
  • 3 tots flour
  • 2 cups stock (vegetable, beef, chicken, etc., whatever you have on hand. Alternatively 1 cup stock and 1 cup milk)
  • 1?2 cup cream
  • 1?2 cup grated parmesan cheese (or aged cheddar, but then use more)
  • 1?2 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper

What to do

  1. Make the bolognese sauce: In the pot that you will bake the lasagne in, mix the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and fry gently in the butter until soft. Some light flames should give you the correct heat. If it boils too rapidly, remove the pot from the flames and heat it with a few coals. Add the meat, wine, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Stir very well then simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring now and then. Keep the cooked sauce in another container until you need it for Step 3.
  2. Make the béchamel sauce: In a separate pot, melt the butter and use a wooden spoon to mix the flour completely into the melted butter. Now add the stock bit by bit while you continuously stir the mixture. When all the stock has been added, let the sauce simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, Parmesan and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Make the lasagne: Fill the cast- iron pot with layers of bolognese sauce, pasta sheets and béchamel sauce. A flat-bottomed pot will result in a neater lasagne but any round- bottomed pot is also fine.
  4. Put the lid on the pot and bake the lasagne for about 50 minutes by placing the pot on a stand over coals and also putting a few coals on the lid of the pot. When all the pasta sheets are completely soft, the lasagne is ready.

Sesame Seed and Chilli Calamari

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

What you need

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

What to do

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

Luxury Braaibroodjies

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

What you need

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

Steak with Smoked Mussel Sauce

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

What you need (serves 6)

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

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