When you’re braaing, staring into the orange flames of a fire, you are taking a break from life. Similarly, when you are taking a break in the classical sense of the word, at school or work, you literally are taking a break. And so I conclude that braaing and taking a break are similar spiritual animals. Naturally, then, one of the most iconic break-time sandwiches should be done in braaibroodjie format. The Marmite/Bovril/Oxo and cheese sandwich does not have to be your ultimate favourite; you just need to have developed the basic palate to appreciate that it’s a very good flavour combination, hitting many of the right parts of your tongue at the right time.
Use this concept as a braaibroodjie though – buttered on the outsides and braaied golden brown on the heat of coals from your fire, adding a smoky golden crust and perfectly melted cheese centre – and you are hitting not just many but all of the right taste buds at exactly the right time. Take a break – eat a braaibroodjie!
- 12 bread slices
- butter or olive oil
- Marmite or Bovril
- 240 g Cheddar cheese (sliced or grated)
- Build the braaibroodjies: Spread butter or olive oil on one side of each slice of bread (these sides will be outward-facing in the assembled braaibroodjie). Pack half these slices buttered-side down and spread with a normal amount of Marmite or Bovril, and top that with Cheddar cheese. Close the braaibroodjies with the remaining bread slices, buttered sides facing upwards.
- ‘Braaibroodjies is draaibroodjies’. Braaibroodjies should be turned often and are braaied in a closed, hinged grid. If you don’t have one, buy one – preferably with adjustable heights to compress each unit perfectly. You want medium-paced, gentle heat and the grid should be relatively high. Your aim is for the cheese to be melted by the time the outsides are golden brown. Slightly opening and closing your hinged grid a few times after the first few turns of the braai process helps the braaibroodjies not to get stuck to the grid.
- Once done, slice each braaibroodjie in half. Generally, I believe that the correct way to slice braaibroodjies is diagonally and the correct time to serve is immediately.
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