The braaibroodjie is the highlight of many a braai. Those not yet emancipated by the fact that you don’t need meat at every braai, frequently braai meat as a pretext when all they actually want is braaibroodjies. This recipe is the traditional way to build a braaibroodjie; you could also refer to it as the ‘original’.
There is only one original recipe for braaibroodjies: they have chutney, onion, tomato, cheese, salt and pepper as filling and they are buttered on the outsides. You do not omit any of these ingredients, nor do you enter into a discussion with an uneducated person who intends to butter them on the insides as opposed to the outsides.
Many people braai the broodjies right at the end, after the meat. The advantage is that the coals are then quite gentle but the disadvantage is that your meat then rests until it is cold.An alternative trick is to have two identical braai grids. Braai your meat in the bottom one and your braaibroodjies in the other, resting right on top of the meat grid. When you want to turn the meat, frst remove the top grid with the braaibroodjies in it. Turn both grids and then replace, meat grid below, bread grid on top. The heat will reach the bread and start to melt the cheese but the meat will protect the bread from the direct heat and getting burnt. Right at the end, when you remove the meat, give the bread solid direct heat for about a minute on each side to get some colour
- 12 bread slices
- 240 g Cheddar cheese (sliced or grated)
- 2 or 3 tomatoes (2–3 slices per braaibroodjie, sliced)
- 1 onion (sliced into rings)
- salt and pepper
Build the braaibroodjies: Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread (these sides will be outward-facing in the assembled braaibroodjie). Place half the bread slices butter-side down; spread chutney on them and evenly distribute all the cheese, tomato and onion on top. Grind salt and pepper over that. Cover 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 and all other fillings to be completely heated 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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