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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.


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.


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


  • 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.

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.


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

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

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.





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

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.


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.

Pizza on the braai

I’ve heard of people making pizzas on the braai, but never really saw the point until I tried it last night. What a treat!

The Base

1.        Go to your local supermarket’s bakery and ask them for a bag of dough. You shouldn’t pay much more than R10 for this.
2.       Cut the dough into squares (+/- 4×4 cm) and cover with a damp cloth to let it rise.
3.       Using a rolling pin roll each cube into a flat base just before putting it on the braai.

While your dough cubes are rising, make the fire in your Monolith or Kettle Braai and put the pizza stone on. If you have a temperature regulator, try to get the temperature as close to 220°C as possible.

The Sauce


1 Medium Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
20 ml Tomato Puree
1 Can Diced Tomato
Pinch of Oregano

1.       Sautee the chopped up onion and add the garlic once the onion starts to caramelize.
2.       Add Tomato puree and whole can of diced tomatoes.
3.       Add salt, pepper and oregano to taste.
4.       Simmer for 20 minutes.

Some people add 5 ml sugar to their sauce, but I will leave it up to you to decide if you want it or not.

Getting the pizza onto the braai without all the toppings falling off seems tricky, but it’s actually quite easy.  Do it this way:
Sprinkle some flour on tin foil and roll the dough out onto the foil. Before putting your toppings on put your rolled out base on the braai for about a minute or two so that the dough sets. Once it has set, take it off and add your sauce and toppings. It’s much easier to get it onto the braai with a spatula now.


A lot of mozzarella, other than that, be creative.

Put the pizza on the hot pizza stone (also sprinkled with flour) for 8-10 minutes. Delicious and fun to make. Enjoy.

How to butterfly a chicken

We live in a time where it is so easy to buy a microwave meal, processed foods or a whole roast chicken, and that’s probably why most people never learn the basics of preparing whole foods.  To live a more healthy and organic life does not necessarily need to be more expensive or take much longer, you just need to put in the effort. With a little patience and practice, you can master butterflying a chicken in 10 minutes.

The great thing about a whole chicken is that it is much cheaper than buying breasts or drumsticks separately, and you can always use what’s left over for lunch the next day. All you need is a sharp pair of scissors – I always have a sharp pointed pair of scissors handy in the kitchen because they are great for cleaning prawns as well, and more versatile than normal scissors. If the raw chicken makes you squeal, use gloves for this exercise.

  1. Remove the neck from the body and trim away any fat along the cavity.
  2. Removing the Backbone
    Turn the chicken upside down so that the back is facing up and the drumsticks point towards you, and then use the scissors to cut along the backbone on both sides. Remove the backbone completely.
  3. Remove any access fat found in and around the carcass.
  4. To clean simply rinse thoroughly under running water.
  5. Put the chicken down skin-side-up and point the wings towards the legs.

That’s it! Now just spice it however you prefer and pop it on medium coals for 40-50 minutes. Voila

Satay Sauce

The Satay Sauce originates in eastern cooking and was developed in countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and China. In the west it is particularly popular in the Netherlands. A satay sauce goes well with braaied food, especially with chicken.

What you need:

  • 1 tsp oil (If you can find peanut oil, that. Otherwise normal sunflower oil will do.)
  • half small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic glove, crushed
  • 1 small, fresh chili, finely chopped
  • half a cup of crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tot soy sauce
  • 1/2 tot fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tot brown sugar

What you do:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onion until soft and golden.  Add garlic and chili and cook for a further minute.
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir to combine.  Stir frequently and keep sauce on medium heat until it starts to boil. It is not ready or you can further heat and stir until it has thickened to your liking.

Springbok Carpaccio with Tataki Sauce

Jeremy Freemantle and the African Relish Team hosted us in the previous episode of Jan Braai for Erfenis and has graciously sent us these recipes to share with you.


What you need:

  • 180g Springbok fillet
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Coriander seeds
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Kikkoman  soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • mixed baby herbs, to garnish

(Serves 2)

What you do:

Make a mixture of Maldon sea salt, crushed coriander seeds and freshly crushed black pepper and rub this all over the venison fillet. Braai the fillet until lightly brown on all sides, being careful not to braai the meat too much, it should be sealed outside and raw inside. This should take no more than 3 minutes in total.  Set aside to cool.

For the Tataki sauce:

Mix together the soy sauce, honey, garlic, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Set aside. Whisk well together.

For the mustard emulsion sauce:

Combine the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, egg yolk, 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon water. Using a hand blender, aerate this mixture until it forms a light froth on top. Set aside.

Using a very sharp knife, cut the cooled venison into thin slices and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with the Tataki sauce . Froth the mustard emulsion dressing once more and sprinkle the foamed emulsion over the sliced springbok. Garnish with mixed baby herbs and edible flowers.


Pork Spare Ribs

There are three reasons why pork spare ribs taste so great. First, their relatively high fat content which bastes and flavours the meat as it braais; secondly, the high bone-to-meat ratio which means that the bones impart further flavour to the meat as they heat up during the braai; thirdly, that sweet and sticky sauce we usually enjoy with them. But marinades and sauces that contain sugar burn easily, so there are two things that can go wrong when you braai spare ribs:

  1. You remove them from the fire when you think the marinade is starting to burn, but then find the insides still raw.
  2. You braai them until the inside is done, but by that stage the marinade is burnt.

There is a very easy way to get around these two problems, which is to braai first and marinade later. Don’t marinade or baste the ribs, just braai them and remove them from the fire about 5 minutes before they are ready. Generously smother them in the sauce, then return them to the fire and complete the braai. The ribs will be properly cooked inside and your sauce will be nicely glazed without being burnt.

What you need (feeds 4)

  • 1.5 kg pork spare ribs
  • ½ cup honey (or golden syrup)
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tot apple juice
  • ½ tot soy sauce
  • ½ tot paprika

 What to do

  1. Prepare the sauce: Mix all the ingredients (except for the ribs) together in a bowl. If there is anything else you wish to add to the sauce, do so.
  2. Braai the whole spare ribs over medium heat for 30 minutes until almost done.
  3. Remove the ribs from the fire and place on a cutting board. Cut into single ribs.
  4. Toss the ribs into the sauce bowl and coat them well. Use a spoon and/or shake the bowl around. Leave for a minute or three so that the exposed, meaty parts of the ribs can bond with and absorb the sauce.
  5. Braai the now generously basted ribs for between 2 and 10 minutes until all the sauce is warm and glazed. If during the cutting you saw that the ribs are basically done and will start to dry out, just braai them for a minute or two until the sauce is glazed, but if you saw they still have a way to go, make it closer to 10 minutes or even longer, also exposing the two recently cut sides of each rib to heat by letting them face the coals.

Honey adds a unique flavour to this recipe but you could also substitute golden syrup.

© Jan Braai (photo & recipe)

Peri Peri Sauce

The use of peri-peri chillies and sauces filtered into South Africa from our Portuguese-speaking neighbouring countries Mozambique and Angola. The peri-peri (also called African Bird’s Eye or Piri-Piri) chilli is a member of the capsicum family of chillies. Compared to the average chilli it’s quite small and very hot. If you can’t get hold of it, use any small and potent chilli. But best is to get yourself a plant and cultivate them at home; they grow quite easily in most parts of South Africa.

In real braai life you will use peri-peri sauce often. It goes particularly well with braaied steak, chicken, fish and prawns. Due to the combination of ingredients it will easily last for weeks inside your fridge and the flavour gets even better after standing for a few days. I suggest you make it in large quantities.

What you need

  • 8 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • ½ cup oil
  • ½ cup grape vinegar (red or white)
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tot paprika powder
  • 1 tot chilli powder
  • 1 tot salt
  • a few small hot chillies (peri-peri/African Bird’s Eye – chopped)

What to do

  1. Finely chop the garlic and throw this into a glass bottle or jar with the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, water, paprika powder, chilli powder and salt. Shake well until the ingredients are mixed and all the salt dissolved.
  2. Now taste the sauce and if you want it hotter, add one or more finely chopped chillies to the sauce and shake. You can add as many chillies as you wish and if, like me, you like quite a lot of burn then it might be wise to mix two batches, one with fewer chillies.
  3. Do not touch your eyes or any other sensitive parts of your body while you are making this sauce as the traces of chilli juice left on your hands will burn those sensitive parts. Go and wash your hands to get the chilli juices off them, and then still be careful.
  4. The sauce can be used immediately but will improve with age and last in your fridge for weeks. You will use the sauce as a marinade, basting sauce or normal dipping sauce on braaied food.

Pan braaied steak flambe

This recipe was pioneered during the great Braai Tour of South Africa in 2011. It was Day 34 of the tour and all members of the touring party was understandably used to a very high level of braaing. Normal meat for normal people wasn’t cutting it anymore. For the first time in quite a while it was just the six members of the touring party, nobody else. We were in Baviaanskloof and sleeping in a cave; we had about 3 kilograms of rump steak between the six of us and the film crew wanted something special as this was also the last braai of a TV episode. I went with pan braaied steak flambe for starters (this recipe) and steak prego rolls for mains. After the episode aired there were quite a few emails asking for the recipe. Here it is.

The actual braai took place in the dark, and as we were filming during that for the TV show, no flashlight photography was possible.


  • Matured Rump steak (100 grams pp for starters, 200 – 300 grams pp for mains)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Klipdrift
  • Cream (optional)
  1. Pat salt and pepper into/onto both sides of the steak.
  2. Place the pan over the flames. This recipe works very well as a starter as it is best prepared whilst the fire is still burning. Use an old pan, or a cast iron pan, or whatever pan you generally use on the fire.
  3. Generously add some olive oil to the pan. You might even want to put the oil in the pan before putting the pan on the flames.
  4. As soon as the oil is really really hot, place the steak in the pan. Take care not to splash some of the boiling hot oil on yourself. The pan can stay on the flames during this whole process.
  5. Turn the meat after about 2 minutes and remove from the fire after about another 2 minutes (very thin steak shorter, very thick steak longer).
  6. Add a generous dash of brandy to the pan, take the pan back to the flames and slightly tilt so that the brandy can catch fire.
  7. Remove the pan from fire and let the meat rest for a few minutes.
  8. Cut the steak into strips (in the pan, or on a cutting board) and return the meat to the pan, so that it can further absorb some of the sauces in the pan.
  9. Serve as is, potentially grinding additional sea salt onto the meat if needed.
Additional Advice
  • Originally I served this recipe as is from the pan to everyone around the fire. If you are going to plate it, let the meat rest on a cutting board before you slice it up. Whilst the meat is resting add a dash of cream to the sauce in the pan, bring to boil and use that combined sauce (essentially consisting of olive oil, meat juice, salt & pepper & cream) on the plated steak strips.
  • You can obviously also just add cream to the sauce even when serving straight up from the pan.

Breakfast Braai

With the early morning games of the Rugby World Cup around the corner, we’ll all be having many breakfast braais in the next few weeks. This is how it’s done:

Just before serving the braaibroodjies, insert one sunny side up egg.


  • cheese (I prefer aged cheddar)
  • tomato
  • onion
  • chutney
  • salt & pepper
  • butter
  • eggs (baked sunny side up in a pan)

The braaibroodjie (braaied toasted sandwich) is arguably the highlight of any braaing experience. Many South Africans braai meat simply as an excuse to also have braaibroodjies. The traditional braaibroodjie is done by making a sandwich with cheese (I prefer aged cheddar), tomato, onion, chutney, salt & pepper with butter on the outside. Braai this sandwich in a closed grid over very mild coals until the outsides are golden brown and the cheese is melted. If you’re having a breakfast braai then bake some eggs sunny side up in a pan on the braai or stove, and when your braaibroodjies are finished gently pull them open and insert one egg into each. You now have a breakfast braaibroodjie.


Thin boerewors braais for about as long as braaibroodjies. When both are done, insert some of the former into the latter.

In addition to braaibroodjies, boerewors rolls are one of the true classics of the South African braai; a fresh piece of braaied boerewors in a hotdog roll. The boerewors braaibroodjie gives you the best of both worlds. Whilst braaing your braaibroodjies, braai some thin boerewors as well. When both are done, gently pull each braaibroodjie open and insert a few short pieces of boerewors into each. Your guests will not be disappointed, you will not be disappointed, and your life might have just changed.

how to braai snoek

This is the ultimate snoek braai recipe and include various snoek braai tips and advice on decisions at different stages of the snoek braai. A collection of knowledge from various famed snoek braaiers result in this snoek braai recipe and description. Once you have mastered what follows below it stands to reason that you will experiment and develop your own special way of braaing snoek using this as a foundation.

Snoek should be braaied open. Oil the skin side and pat salt & pepper into the flesh side.


  • 1 fresh snoek
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 150 ml apricot jam
  • 100 ml butter or olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 25ml soy sauce (optional)
  • 50 – 100 ml white wine (optional)
  • Dash of chilli sauce (optional)

This is how a snoek should look when it's ready.


  1. When you buy your snoek, ask for it to be cleaned and for the head and tail to be cut off.
  2. When starting the actual snoek braai process at home, wash the snoek under cold running water.
  3. Now the snoek needs to be dried. This can be done in one of three ways:
    • By hanging it in a cool area with a draft blowing over it. Hanging up a snoek is not always easy if you don’t live in a fisherman’s village on the Weast Coast so an easy way of hanging the snoek to dry is by already putting it in the grid that you will be braaing it in, and hanging the grid on a hook in a cool place with a slight draft, for example under a tree;
    • By salting the snoek with coarse sea salt that will absorb all the water;
    • By blotting it with paper kitchen towels.
    • Whichever of these methods you use, do make sure that flies cannot make a pre-emptive strike and that your snoek has some defence system against aerial attack by flies.
  4. Using a small pot on the fire or on a stove, lightly fry the chopped garlic in the butter. Then add the apricot jam and lemon juice. If you want to add some of the optional ingredients, do so now. Heat and stir until everything is melted and mixed.
  5. If you salted the snoek in step 3, you now have to shake off all the course sea salt. Most of the big visible pieces need to be shaken off as a tooth can be broken on them. Obviously some of the salt would have transferred onto the snoek so keep this in mind when adding extra salt in one of the next steps. This “pre salting” of snoek with coarse sea salt is loved by some and hated by others. You need to test whether it works for you.
  6. A snoek should be braaied “open”. Smear the skin side of the snoek with oil so that it does not stick to the grid and now place in the grid, skin side down. There are two ways:
    • Straight onto the grid. Coals will need to be slightly gentler as the skin might burn easier. More heat goes straight into the fish as it will not be deflected by the foil. You definitely need to pay more attention and make sure you don’t burn the fish. The skin side of the fish will end up slightly crisper.
    • Foil on grid and fish on foil. Coals can be hotter as the foil protects the fish from getting burned. Another advantage of doing it on foil is that you can fold up the sides of the foil, which saves any basting and sauce that runs off the fish. The fish will then partly “boil” in the sauce (a good thing). Fish braaied on foil is also easier to lift completely onto a serving tray still on the foil.
  7. Grind salt and pepper onto the flesh side of the snoek and lightly pat it onto the meat.
  8. Braai time: Whether you are using foil or whether the skin side went straight onto the grid, a snoek should be braaied for about 15 minutes in total. This time can slightly deviate depending on heat of coals, height of grid and size of snoek. The skin side of the snoek will be down for about 80% of the total braai time. You can test whether the snoek is ready by inserting a fork in the thickest part and slightly turning the fork. If the flesh flakes, the snoek is ready.
    • When braaing with foil I would braai 10 minutes skin side down, 3 minutes flesh side down (and during this time remove the foil from the skin side) and then a final 2 minutes skin side down to brown the skin.
    • When braaing without foil I would go 12 minutes on skin side and then turn and give 3 minutes on flesh side to brown flesh side. There is a far greater risk of burning the snoek here, so you may also want to turn it more often. If you do, then you need to baste it after each turn, so make sure you have enough basting sauce by adding the white wine, or simply increasing all the ingredients of the basting sauce.
  9. Basting the snoek: The basting should happen during the time that the flesh side is up. Use a brush or simply drip it onto the fish with a spoon. You can baste as often as you wish until all the basting is used. Should you find that you would like to use more basting, then increase the basting part of the recipe next time.

Additional snoek braai advice and tips

  • There is a constant risk that the fish will stick to the grid, so gently shake whichever side of the grid is on top at any stage of the braai to loosen it from the meat.
  • Serve the snoek skin side down, flesh side up.
  • It can be dished using a spatula. Break rather than cut through the snoek (as you would for example do with a pizza) as cutting through the snoek would also cut the bones into smaller parts, which can get stuck in your throat. Normal uncut snoek fish bones are quite large and you will easily spot them.
  • Snoek is best served with a side of soetpatats, which when translated into English is sweet sweet-potatoes.

How to braai the perfect steak

How to braai the perfect steak.

The one thing that you really should be able to comfortably braai perfectly at your own house is a steak. If you stick to a few basic guidelines and pay attention to what you are doing, this is a skill that you will master in no time. Once you can comfortably braai a steak perfectly at home, the knowledge, skill and experience can also serve as the foundation for doing it anywhere else, in whatever strange braai conditions life might throw at you. Braaing the perfect steak assumes that the actual steak that you are braaing is of a certain quality. However good you braai it, a bad piece of meat is never going to turn out great.

1) The steak should be at room temperature by the time it goes onto the fire.

  • If is was/is in a fridge, take it out well in advance, and leave it in the shade or indoors. (When you make the effort to buy great steaks, you are probably not going to freeze them, but should the steaks that you want to braai be frozen, transfer them from the freezer to the fridge at least a day in advance to allow them to thaw at a gentle pace).
  • Its already 100% protein, so cover it with a cloth to keep the flies and bugs away. If there are dogs, place it well outside their reach.

2) You need copious amounts of extremely hot coals.

  • If, and this is preferable, you are making a real fire with real wood, make a big fire from the outset. Do not make a medium sized fire and add more wood later. By the time the second batch of wood has burned out, the coals of the first batch will be half dead. Once the meat goes onto the fire, the process will be over quickly, so if you want to stand around the fire and discuss life with your guests for a few hours before you eat, make a medium sized fire by all means. But when you intent to braai, add lots of wood, wait till its burned out, and braai.
  • If there was only wet wood available at the petrol station and you are using charcoal, light quite a lot of it. For a small braai, consider half a bag. Its not uncommon for me to use a whole bag of charcoal when braaing steaks for a dinner party.
  • If you are wondering whether you have enough heat, then the answer is probably no. For these easy steps to a perfect steak to work, you need peace of mind that your coals are extremely hot. This is important.

    To braai the perfect steak you need lots of really hot coals.

3) The exact height of your grid is not important. Anything between 5 and 15 centimetres is fine.

  • The important thing is that you when you braai steaks at your own house, you always braai them on the same height, and that you know exactly what that height is.
  • When you are braaing at a new location, you should compare the height of the grid to the height of the grid when braaing steaks at home, and adjust braaing time accordingly.

4) Steaks should be done medium rare.

  • If you really prefer your steaks rare and aren’t just saying it to try and sound rougher than everybody else ordering medium rare, then you should not be ordering rare steaks anyhow. There are two great dishes for you to try. Steak Tartar, and Beef Carpaccio.
  • If you prefer your steaks medium, then start buying better quality steaks, learn how to braai them better, and acquire the acquired taste of enjoying them medium rare.
  • If you prefer your steaks medium well or well done, then why exactly are you reading this? You are surely quite capable of messing up meat all by yourself.
  • If one of your guests wants their steak medium, and you prepared enough extremely hot coals to start with, then there will be quite enough heat to get her steak medium by the time everybody else has been seated and served.
  • If one of your guests wants their steak medium well or well done, refuse.

5) Take the time when the steaks go onto the grid and take them off after about 7 minutes.

  • Steaks cut to a thickness of 2,5cm to 3cm, braaied on extremely hot coals and a 10cm grid height take about 7 minutes in total to become medium rare.
  • After 2 minutes turn the steaks. After another 2 minutes, turn them again; now turn after 1:30 more minutes, and then a final 1:30. They are now ready.
  • It’s perfectly acceptable to ask someone else to keep the time.

6) Use braai tongs, not a fork, to turn the meat. A fork will make holes in the meat, and you might lose some juice.

7) After the first turn of the meat, you may start salting, spicing or basting the meat.

  • Adding salt before this might cause the salt to draw out some of the moisture in the meat. This is a high school science concept known as osmoses.
  • Rubbing salt or spice into the meat shortly before the braai will not draw out any significant amount of moisture and is thus fine. There is a risk that some ingredients in the spice will burn on the extremely hot coals though.
  • Adding salt before the braai does not make the meat tough. Buying bad quality meat makes the meat tough.

8) If you are using a closed grid (toeklaprooster) then all the steaks will obviously be turned at the same time. If you are turning the steaks one by one then turn them in the order that they went onto the grill and also remove them from the grid in that order.

9) Meat needs to “rest” a bit after the braai, before you eat it.

  • This gives the juices in the meat the opportunity to settle down, and not all run out when you cut the meat.
  • What you need to watch out for when resting meat is that it does not end up cold by the time you eat it. There are two easy ways to counter this problem. Heat the bowl that you are placing the meat into when taking them from the fire; and heat the plates you will be eating the steaks from.
  • By the time that everybody have been seated and served, the meat has rested enough.
  • Do not put the steaks in an aluminium braai bowl with lots of other meat and into an oven where they will steam cook for another hour whilst some fool is braaing his frozen chicken. Your steaks will be ruined by the time you eat them.

After having followed the above steps you need to make an honest assenement of whether the steaks were perfect. If they were not, you need to repeat the above steps, making slight adjustments until you have fine tuned your technique to perfection. The most obvious mistakes to make:

  • If the steaks are burnt black on the outside, there is a very good chance that its not the meat, but the marinade or spices that are burnt. The easiest way to get rid of this problem is by using a different, or even better, no marinade in future.
  • If the steaks are done medium or well, then they were probably cut to thin. Use steaks that are thicker in future, or, braai the same steaks but for a shorter time.
  • If the steaks look great when you slice it and look at it from the side, but are quite tough to chew, then they probably come form a badly raised animal, or they were not aged properly, or both. Buy your steaks at a different place in future.
  • If the steaks are underdone, then your fire was not warm enough. Repeat the process, and really go all out with that fire next time. You will be surprised how much heat a piece of un-marinated meat can withstand for 7 minutes without getting burned.

Once you can perfectly braai steaks at your own house, it’s easy to do it anywhere else as well. If there are less than ideal coals, try to set the grid very low. If the steaks are cut exceptionally thick, braai them longer and vice versa when they are cut especially thin. If the grid only has one setting and that is very high, allow a little extra braaing time.

The Rotherhamburger

My friend Seth Rotherham is many things including editor of, DJ on 2Ocensvibe Radio, owner of 2Oceansvibe media and GQ’s best dressed man in 2010. Then there is also the Butlers pizza named after him (The Rotherham). But none of this really makes him a real man as defined by people living in Bellville, De Aar, Bloemfontein or Pretoria. That changes today, with the official launch of the Rotherhamburger. Seth hosted me for a braai at the 2Oceansvibe Radio studios this morning for what was my final braai in Cape Town before leaving to the next stop of the Braai4Heritage tour, the wine capital Stellenbosch. At the braai this morning I launched “The Rotherhamburger, inspired by Seth Rotherham”. The Rotherhamburger is a decadent chicken burger topped with feta, bacon, mozerella and salami.


The Rotherhamburger by Jan Braai, inspired by Seth Rotherham, as pictured at its launch in Cape Town by Jan & Seth.

Ingredients (makes 4)

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 hamburger rolls
  • 8 slices salami
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • crumbled feta feta cheese


  1. Light the fire.
  2. Spice the chicken breasts with your favourite chicken spice.
  3. When the coals are ready braai the chicken breasts until medium (about 10 minutes) and fry the bacon in a pan on the fire or in a pan on a stove.
  4. Assemble the burger as follows: Salami, feta, chicken breast, mozzarella, bacon. (The chicken and bacon will melt the mozzarella, thus logic dictates that you can also assemble it: bacon, mozzarella, chicken, feta, salami).


  • If you use good quality salami and bacon it will make the burger taste even better.
  • Chicken breasts dry out easily when overcooked.

Leg of lamb potjie

I was recently (at the time of writing a few minutes ago) asked for a leg of lamb (skaapboud) potjie recipe on Twitter. That medium allowing only 140 characters, I thought it better to answer the question here. I’ve done a few leg of lamb potjies in my life, but never from a recipe. Leg of lamb is such a great meat to start with that you need to stick to the basics of potjie making and the result will be awesome.

This potjie might or might not have contained a leg of lamb at the time of taking the photo.


  • 1 Leg of lamb (on the bone, I assume, but off the bone also fine and will be ready sooner).
  • 2 chopped or sliced onions
  • 3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 stick of chopped celery
  • 1 kg of chopped tomatoes
  • about 5 peeled & cut potatoes
  • about 5 peeled & cut carrots
  • Whichever other interesting vegetables are on hand. This could be green beans, baby marrow, mushrooms, peppers, sweet potato, etc. Anything really.
  • Dried fruit
  • Olive oil or butter
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Place the pot on the fire and heat the olive oil or butter.
  2. Add the onions, garlic & celery and fry for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the leg of lamb, and brown on all sides. If the pot is too warm and the meat is burning, add a few tots of wine. (At the time of writing it was 28 December, I assume there is some leftover wine in your fridge).
  4. Grind salt & pepper onto all sides of the meat.
  5. When the meat is brown, add all the tomatoes.
  6. Put the lid onto the pot, and gently simmer for 1 hour.
  7. Open the lid, smell the pot, pat yourself on the back.
  8. The piece of meat should lie roughly in the middle of the pot.
  9. Pack all the potato pieces and then all the carrot pieces around the meat.
  10. Now all other vegetables that have to be eaten cooked (for e.g. sweet potato & pumpkin) as well as the dried fruit. Grind salt & pepper onto the top layer of what you see.
  11. Do not stir the pot, but gently ensure there is enough liquid in the bottom, and that it’s not burning. If unsure, add a bit more wine.
  12. Replace lid and simmer for another hour or 2.
  13. Now add all the vegetables that one can eat uncooked (e.g. mushrooms, baby marrows, peppers).
  14. Replace lid and simmer for another half hour.
  15. Remove pot from fire and prepare to serve with rice or, and I prefer this, fresh bread.
  16. You will still need to slice the meat. Either in the pot, or on a cutting board on the side.

Other comments

  • Do not stir the pot at any time. This will break the vegetables and make you look like an amateur.
  • At the end of the process, just before serving, you should have minimal free flowing liquid in the pot and a nice thick sauce surrounding the bottom vegetables. We are not making soup. Using chopped tomatoes instead of water at the start will greatly aid you in this goal at the end.

Kassler parcels


  • 6 kassler steaks
  • mustard
  • butter
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 pineapple rings (from a tin)


  1. Lubricate 6 pieces of tinfoil, big enough for a kassler steak each, with Olive Oil, Butter or Spray&Cook.
  2. Smear both sides of the steaks with a little mustard and place on tinfoil.
  3. Top with a pineapple ring with a clove stuck into it.
  4. Place a dollop of butter in the middel of each ring.
  5. Fold the sides of the pieces of foil upwards to make parcels and put on the fire for 20 – 30 minutes until done.
  6. Enjoy

Thanks Tanya

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