At some stage during your ascendancy to the braai throne in your backyard, you will want to start mixing your own tailor-made braai salt. This might happen on one of those days when Bafana, the Springboks and the Proteas play on the same day and you are tired of eating meat flavoured with the same commercially bought spice for the seventh time; or it might happen right now. Use the recipe and ingredients listed below as a broad guideline rather than as an exact list. View it as a point of departure on your journey. Play around with the quantities, leave something out, add something else. To state the blatantly obvious, if you add more of something, the mixture will have a stronger taste of that, and if you add less, it will taste less of that. Normal supermarkets sell all of these spices in ground format, which makes mixing them easier but if you can’t find something, go to a speciality spice shop.
- 1 tot salt (I like to use high-quality salt flakes and then crush them.)
- 1/2 tot ground black pepper
- 1/2 tot paprika
- 1/2 tot crushed garlic powder
- 1/2 tot ground coriander
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or chilli powder)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground allspice (pimento)
- If some of the ingredients are too big or coarse, solve the problem by taking them for a spin in your coffee grinder or give them some love in your pestle and mortar.
- Put all the ingredients in a glass jar, then close the lid and shake it well. Use as needed to season steak, chops or chicken. The salt mix also works very well as a dry rub on large meat cuts like beef brisket or pork belly.
- Over time you might develop more than one mixture for different meats. For chicken you might want to drop the cloves and the nutmeg and add an item like parsley.
- Perhaps your pork spice will also have some mustard powder in it, for example. But then you would have to kick out one of the other ingredients, as there are already ten, which is a nice round number. Who wants his own tailor-made braai salt with eleven ingredients?
The creative process does not stop at choosing the ingredients. You might also want to spend some time or money on choosing a nice glass container or stainless steel shaker to keep your tailor-made braai salt in.
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