Ingredients (serves 6)
- 4 prime rib steaks (preferably dry-aged)
- 4 whole garlic bulbs (the ones with oversized cloves)
- olive oil (the proper high-quality, extra virgin, cold-pressed South African type)
- coarse sea salt
- Make a very hot fire. Bigger is absolutely better.
- Now to braai the garlic. You can rinse them under running water and that’s about it. We are not peeling them and they will go to the braai area as is. When the fire starts to perform its main purpose in life, which is to produce braai coals, scrape some of those coals from the fire and place them all around the garlic bulbs. If you really want to, you can even try and balance one coal on top of each bulb as well but it’s not really necessary. Our aim is to bake the garlic all the way through, so that it’s soft and mushy on the inside, by the time we braai the steak. If a coal burns through the skin of the garlic here and there it’s not a crisis; it caramelises the flesh, adds character, and looks cool on photos. Garlic bulbs standing very close to a raging fire, surrounded by red-hot coals take about 30 minutes to cook all the way through.
- Take the steaks out of the fridge when you start to braai the garlic. If there’s a lot of blood or juice in the packaging when you remove the steaks, wash the meat under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Remember the dogs (when you’re at home) and hyenas (when you’re in the bush) and keep the meat out of their way. Also cover the steaks to protect them from aerial attack by flies. Some people braai steaks straight from the fridge; I prefer them to be closer to room temperature when they hit the grid.
- Braai the steaks on very hot coals for about 8 minutes in total, turning either once or three times. Make sure both sides face downwards roughly the same length of time. Use a watch to time it. If your steaks take longer than this to become medium rare, your coals probably weren’t hot enough. With prime rib, you could also balance the steaks with their bone side facing the coals for a minute. Before or during the braai you can also toss some coarse sea salt onto both sides of the steaks.
- Remove the steaks and plate them. Drizzle with olive oil immediately so that the heat the steaks have from being braaied releases some flavours in the oil.
- Remove the garlic bulbs from the fire and dust the ash off them. Serve one whole soft braaied garlic bulb with each steak. Guests can now squeeze the soft cooked garlic flesh out of the bulbs and enjoy it with the steak. Add more olive oil and salt to taste.
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