Monday, October 27, 2008

Saturday Evening Barbeque

Here my daughter-in-law is off to the cafe on my motorbike
My son, the Master Braai-er!

Succulent strips of flame steak just begging to be eaten

A braai is something which South Africans do when they combine their love for the outdoors with good South African meat. A braai, pronounced Br-eye is South African for barbeque and an activity which entails cooking meat outdoors over an open fire while socialising with friends. A braai normally means lots of different cuts of meat: rump steak, pork or lamb chops, pork or lamb ribs and boerewors (farmer’s sausage). All or some of these meats are cooked over on the braai (the metal grill placed over the open fire) and served with stiff maize meal, tomato and onion gravy and salads.

This weekend my younger son and his wife came over for a braai at our home. While I was making a salad, my daughter-in-law decided she’d like to make garlic bread.* * As I didn’t have a French loaf or bread rolls in the house, she asked if she could use my motorbike, (which you can read about here) and rode to the cafe to buy bread rolls. (Note: The whole concept of having a braai , is that everything is very relaxed...)

Contrary to the traditional amount of meat that is cooked at a braai(as mentioned above), my husband had one 500g piece of rump steak cut to his specifications (thick!) by the butcher. Both our sons, like their father, are very good “braai-ers” meaning that they are very good at cooking meat on the braai. On this occasion my son did the braaing in the garden while my husband, daughter-in-law and I sat around the braai fire chatting.

When the coals were red-hot embers, my son placed the piece of steak on the grill slightly to the side. In this manner the braai-er controls the cooking process of the meat. After a few minutes, the meat is turned over. When cooked, the piece is removed and placed on a wooden board to “rest” for five minutes. Then it is returned to the grill for another minute or two. Finally it is removed and placed on the board again.

Normally the conversations stops now and all eyes are on the piece of meat on the board. My son has a razor sharp carving knife and with a surgeon’s precision he slices thin strips of steak from the chunk of meat. We women take this as a sign to open the salad bowl and other accoutrements which were brought outside to the garden table earlier when we set places for all.
The strips of steak look like underdone roast beef and are succulent and tasty. First a few are eaten by hand as “flame steak snacks”. More strips are cut which you add to your plate with the salad and additional food.

A South African braai with a difference.

How to make garlic bread * *
Cut a French Loaf into slices, taking care not to slice right through the bottom.
Mix crushed garlic, salt, ground black pepper and dried herbs into softened butter
Spread butter on each slice ensuring the bread stays in a loaf shape.
Wrap in tin foil and place on the braai until meat is ready.
Alternately you can use hot dog (bread) rolls.


  1. Jo I can honestly say that NOTHING beats a good South Africa steak cooked on the braai - it is pure heaven !

  2. WAAAHL now - I cannot comment on the taste of steak (ha-ha!) but I know that everyone always raves about it, so I take their word for it! I'm sure you can relate to the relaxed atmosphere of braaing - nothing to beat it, and now summer is here, ooh boy, bliss. Hugs Jo

  3. Oh, memories. My cousin made steak for us just like that when we visited South Africa in March.

  4. Oh Hill upon Hill, there is nothing like South African steak done properly on the braai. I see you are from Australia? Where did you visit in SA? Did you enjoy the country this year? We had beautiful rains last summer so the whole of South Africa looked good. Thanks for popping onto my blog. Hugs Jo


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