The Braai Freedom Fighter does not play games. It’s a robust burger with little interest in debate and it dominates your plate. You use 100% pure red meat (steak) to make the burger patties, and the sauce is made with the finest red ingredients known to braai kind – significant figureheads like red onions, red bell peppers, paprika, cayenne pepper and tomato. Even the stock we use to bring it all together is beef stock, stock from a red-blooded 100% red meat animal. If the ferocity of the Braai Freedom Fighter scares you, enjoy it with a dollop of fresh sour cream, as the two complement each other very well. Feeds 4.
- 1 kg steak mince
- 4 hamburger rolls (buttered)
- 1 tot olive oil
- 2 red onions (sliced or chopped)
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed and chopped)
- 1 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
- 2 tots paprika
- 2 tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 tot tomato paste
- ½ cup beef stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black
- pepper sour cream (for serving; a 250 ml tub is more than enough)
- parsley (to garnish)
- Heat the oil in a potjie and fry the onions and peppers for about 4 minutes until they start to soften, then throw in the garlic. Onions take longer to cook than garlic, so always fry onions before adding the garlic. This is general advice and is not only applicable to this recipe.
- Add the chilli powder and paprika and toss to release their flavours. Then also add the tomatoes, tomato paste and beef stock, and mix to combine them all. Bring to the boil, close the lid and simmer until you start to braai the patties. Basically you want to let it simmer so that the flavour can develop while the fire burns down and you can start to braai.
- Check every now and then to stir the potjie and make sure it doesn’t cook dry. You want the sauce to thicken but you don’t want it to burn.
- Making and braaing 100% beef patties is comprehensively described for hand-chopped burgers (page 28). In the case of the Braai Freedom Fighter I usually go for homemade machine-minced meat. It’s a little less effort than hand-chopped mince but the Braai Freedom Fighter sauce is so dominant that you will barely notice the difference. Otherwise get good mince from your butcher.
- Form the 1 kg of fantastic mince into four patties using your recently washed hands and braai over very hot coals for 8 minutes, turning only once. Grind or sprinkle sea salt and black pepper on both sides just before, or during the braai. The patties get no other binding ingredients or seasoning.
- When you start braaing the patties, take the lid off the sauce and let it reduce to your liking, adding extra heat under the potjie if necessary to get it reducing more rapidly.
- During the final minutes of the braai, toast the insides of the cut and buttered rolls on the grid over the coals for bonus points.
- Assemble the burgers: Roll, patty, Braai Freedom Fighter sauce, dollop sour cream, chopped parsley.
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