Steak with pap and chakalaka – Test Kitchen Carbon

Beef, Recipes



About 800g of steak (rump or rib eye)


  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups maize meal
  • 1 tsp salt
  • butter to fry the pap in


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bell pepper (green, yellow or red, chopped)
  • 1 carrot (grated)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped and crushed)
  • Ginger (grated)
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 tin or sachet tomato paste (around 50 g)
  • 1⁄2 cup liquid (water, wine, beer, cider or juice)
  • salt and pepper


  • 2 tots salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • 1 tot bovril or OXO
  • 1 tot brandy
  • 1 cup (250 ml) fresh cream


  1. Make the pap in your potjie: Pour 2 of the 3 cups of water and the teaspoon of salt into a pot and get the water boiling. If you’re cooking with a fire, place the pot on the flames; if you’re making it on a stove, set the temperature to whatever the highest setting is.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the 2 cups of maize meal with the remaining cup of water. The water you use should be normal room temperature water from a tap or bottle. My father taught me this step – it is important and should be done properly. If you throw all the maize meal straight into the boiling water your chances of lumps forming in the porridge are greatly increased.
  3. As soon as the water in the pot boils, stir this maize meal-and-water mixture into the boiling water using a wooden spoon. Mixing it in properly should take you between 1 and 2 minutes.
  4. Put the lid on the pot and let it simmer for 25 minutes on low heat. On a fire this means removing the pot from the flames and placing it on a few coals.
  5. You may check on the pap once or twice during this time to make sure it’s simmering (not boiling – too hot; or standing still – too cold) but don’t lift the lid too often as too much water will then escape in the form of steam. After 25 minutes the pap will be ready.
  6. Make the chakalaka: Heat 2 tots of oil in your fireproof pan or pot and saute the onion, pepper and carrot until soft. Then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another minute. Add the curry powder and tomato paste and fry for a minute to release the flavours of the spices. When things become too sticky at the bottom of the pan, add a dash of water to loosen the sticky bits and scrape all along the bottom to ensure nothing burns. In principle, the chakalaka is ready but will get better with time, so add half a cup of liquid, stir that in and let it simmer while you braai the patties. During this time, add salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Make the sauce: Melt the butter in your pan or potjie on the fire, add the black pepper and let this melt and braai for about 2 minutes. Add the bovril and brandy, mix this well and then add the cream. Let this simmer gently and season with more salt and pepper if needed but it should be ok.
  8. Braai your steak directly on very hot coals until medium rare with an internal temperature of 52’C. Use tongs to scrape off any coals sticking to the meat but this is usually surprisingly minimal. Let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes while you reheat all your side dishes.
  9. While the meat is resting, use a big cookie cutter and cut 4 equal size pap circles. Fry the pap in your pan with butter until the outer layer is nice and brown and crispy.
  10. Plate your meal: start with the pap round at the bottom, place chakalaka on the pap and then slices of steak. Pour the sauce all around the dish and garnish with fresh micro herbs.