By Shakerah Bhagalia, mom to 4 beautiful children, loves travelling, wife to a braai connoisseur who shares her endless curiosity about the culinary world and which has led to the birth of their gourmet braai catering company called @Tiklys. Her multi-skilled and ever helpful personality has proved her an invaluable Jozikids staff member.
Every South African can relate to the aroma of braai. The hunger sensation that churns when you smell the boerewors fired up at the local Spar, or soccer tournament is proof enough of the greatness of this simple Proudly South African cuisine. Whilst the simplest form is still the Boerie Rolls, over the last few decades, braais have evolved to cater for prestigious events too.
With the onset of Summer, National Braai Day couldn’t be more welcome. Whether you’re packing a picnic basket, or having guests over, here’s some great Braai Tips to make sure you have a successful braai.
- Keep it clean – use a lemon cut in half to clean your braai grid. You may want to use an onion in the similar way. Always spray the grid with a degreaser (like Spray and Cook) once done – this makes for easy, clean use the next time round
- Don’t rush – true BraaiMasters will choose coals over gas any time. Start the fire a little earlier and be sure to only start braai-ing once the coals have whitened.
- Almost anything can be fired up – choose a menu that is suitable for your guests or family. Always go with chicken first as this takes the longest to cook. Steak usually requires high heat initially but cooks in minutes – the best steak is never overcooked. Ribs should be slow cooked and smoked
- Remember salt toughens the meat – you can always add salt at the end but never too much in the beginning. Keep meat soft – never freeze.
- The more the merrier – braai definitely has a social feel, and tastes better in a crowd too.
On the lighter side:
For you to do:
- Draw up a guest list and send out invites- make sure you have the RSVP list in order
- Settle on a menu – then organise your day to fit in a butcher trip, supermarket and greengrocer.
- Marinate and prep as much you can in advance. If you are going on a picnic, pack a day before and keep fridge things on just one or two shelves so every small item is remembered.
- Set the serving tables as well as his working area.
- Make sure you have enough drinks for the men standing around the heat.
- Then stand back and watch as he helps himself to a drink, puts on the meat and gets the credits for the best braaimaster!
For your partner/ assistant to do:
- Drink and fire it up.
- Quietly smile when you get all the credits, knowing it was her that actually did all the work
A sweet ending:
– 4 or more firm bananas
– 4 Bar One bars
– Mini Marshamallows
– Mini Ginger biscuits
– Some Foil
– Vanilla Ice cream or Custard
Split the Banana peel in half – lengthwise. Stuff with sliced Bar One and toppings of choice. Wrap each banana individually in a piece of foil. Place on coals and Voila. Dessert is served in a matter of minutes.
Whether you choose simple or fussy, remember to please share your favourite braai recipe with us.