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Comprehensive step by step instruction and recipe on how to braai perfect steak – by Jan Braai.
This recipe is a adaption of my original malva pudding potjie recipe that appears in my 2nd book, Jan Braai – RedHot (Afrikaans edition called Jan Braai – Vuurwarm). The dough and baked part is identical to the original recipe but I’ve added some freshly squeezed satsuma juice (you can use satsuma, orange, naartjie or any of their family members) for a new take on the old classic.
WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)
For the batter:
- 1 cup flour
- 1?2 tot bicarbonate of soda
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tot apricot jam
- 1 tot vinegar
- 1 tot melted butter
- 1 cup milk
For the sauce:
- 1?2 cup cream
- 1?2 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 1?2 cup freshly squeezed juice
- 1?2 cup butter
WHAT TO DO
- Light the fire. You need fewer coals than when braaing steak, but you’ll need a steady supply of coals once the pudding is baking. Now use butter to grease your no. 10 flat- bottomed baking potjie. You can see a picture of this kind of potjie in the photo collage above.
- Sift the flour and the bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir in the sugar (you don’t need to sift the sugar).
- In another mixing bowl, whisk the egg very well. Now add the jam, vinegar, butter and milk, whisking well after adding each ingredient.
- Add the wet ingredients of step 3 to the dry ingredients of step 2 and mix well.
- Pour the batter into the potjie, put on the lid and bake for 50 minutes by placing some coals underneath the potjie and some coals on top of the lid. Don’t add too much heat, as burning is a big danger. There is no particular risk in having too little heat and taking up to 1 hour to get the baking done, so rather go too slow than too fast. During this time, you can add a few fresh hot coals to the bottom and top of the potjie whenever you feel the pudding is losing steam.
- When the pudding has been baking for about 40 minutes (about 10 minutes before it’s done), heat all the sauce ingredients in a small potjie over medium coals. Keep stirring to ensure that the butter is melted and the sugar is completely dissolved, but don’t let it boil.
- After about 50 minutes of baking, insert a skewer into the middle of the pudding to test whether it’s done. If the skewer comes out clean, it’s ready.
- Take the pudding off the fire and pour the sauce evenly over it. Believe me, it will absorb all the sauce – you just need to leave it standing for a few minutes. Serve the malva pudding warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, a dollop of fresh cream or a puddle of vanilla custard. A good way to keep it hot is to put it near the fire, but not too close – after doing everything right, we don’t want it to burn now.
Marina Braai Salt, the original braai salt of South Africa will be the official braai salt of the National Braai Tour. The tour takes place from 13 – 20 September 2014 and will see participants travel through South Africa on a eight day celebration of South African heritage around camp fires, doing what we do best, braaing! With the iconic orange Marina Braai Salt bottle a regular face at many a braai throughout South Africa, it was decided to include Marina in the official line-up of associated brands for the tour. The tour is about celebrating heritage around a fire, and Marina is part of that braai heritage.
With South Africa’s premium supplier of high quality beef products (and most importantly steak!) Sparta Beef being the main sponsor of the tour, all participants will braai premium quality steak every day; and on some days more than once. Due to the fact that the natural taste of the steak is what we want the focus on, it was fitting to have a condiment sponsor for the tour that focuses on a natural product like salt. We do not want to mask the fantastic flavour of Sparta steaks with cheap sauces and artificial flavourings. Just add a bit of high quality salt, to bring out the flavour.
For more information and to enter the National Braai Tour 2014, click here.
It was in a restaurant in Plettenberg Bay, after finishing a delicious a plate of calamari that I enquired of the waiter if she could please ask the chef for the recipe. The waiter came back a few minutes later and said no, it’s a secret. And so I set out to research recipes and secrets for grilled salt & pepper calamari, and I delved into the story behind the perfect sesame seed calamari. What follows below is not a replication of any specific recipe or technique, but rather the culmination and compilation of lots of little bits of information that was discovered.
What you need
- Good quality calamari. During my research a very famous South African chef told me that there is no secret to making great calamari that he knows of, the trick is simply to buy good quality in the first place. I have no pointers on this. Go to a fishmonger that you consider to be good and buy there. If it turns out rubbish, go to a different high end fishmonger the next time. The calamari I used was fresh, as in not frozen. As with most seafood I think fresh is alway better than frozen.
- Cake Flour (1 cup)
- Sesami Seeds – Black and White (3 tots i.e 75ml)
- 5ml Salt
- 5ml Pepper
- 5ml Chilli Flakes
What to do
- Put the calamari in a bowl and add milk to just cover the calamari. Many sources claim that leaving calamari in milk prior to cooking it will tenderise the calamari, and make it less tough on the byte. I have no idea if this is true, but there is absolutely no harm in doing it, so on the off chance that it makes a difference, my advice is, if you have the time, let the calamari swim in milk for an hour. Then drain it and proceed to the next step.
- Mix the flour (one cup should be sufficient for the quantities of calamari you will make at home) with the sesame seeds, salt, pepper and chilli flakes. If you are the type of person that orders lemon and herb chicken at Portuguese restaurants, go easy on the chilli.
- Now toss pieces of calamari into a plastic bag with some of the seasoned flour and shake. This will give each piece of calamari a light dusting and cover of flavoured flour.
- Now you braai the calamari in oil in a pan over hot coals. It really only takes a minute of two for the calamari to be done, and you only need to turn each piece once.
- Serve with lemon wedges and wasabi mayonaise. To make wasabi mayonaise you mix mayonaise with a bit of wasabi.
We were at The Lofts Boutique Hotel on Thesen Island in Knysna, feeling quite chuffed with life and the hotel management said it would not be a problem if we wanted to braai on the deck. The only question was, what to braai in such a decadent setting. Now earlier in the day we got a very nice sourdough bread from Il de Pain, the renowned bakery on Thesen Island, and I wanted to use that as part of the meal. So the decision fell on creating a few super luxurious braaibroodjies. Normal white toaster bread was replaced by slices of the world class Il de Pain sourdough bread, chutney was swopped for a mixture of French style mayonnaise and whole grain mustard. Onion was replaced by spring onion and tomato was replaced with sun-dried tomatoes. Naturally we needed cheese and the decision fell on 18 months matured cheddar. For team spirit I also added gypsy ham into each unit. Forget about butter on the outside, for these creations you use olive oil on the outside.
What you need
- Slices of fresh sourdough bread
- French style mayonaise
- Whole grain mustard
- Gypsy ham
- 18 months matured cheddar
- sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- spring onions
- olive oil
What to do
- Go for a oval shape sourdough bread as opposed to a round one. This way all the slices will be the same size. Slice the bread fairly thin, the same thickness as normal toaster bread. One has a natural tendency to slice these types of bread thicker, so be conscious of avoiding that.
- Lay out half of the bread slices on a cutting board and liberally spread with the French style mayonaise and whole grain mustard.
- Add the gypsy ham, slices of cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and chopped spring onions. Do not be stingy with any of the ingredients, this is a super luxury braaibroodjie and not only should the quality of ingredients reflect it, but also the quantity.
- Add the top layers of bread and drip or spread olive oil on them.
- Place in a hinged grid (toeklaprooster) and braai over medium-low heat coals. After the first turn, also spread olive oil on the other outside, the side which was at the bottom when you assembled the units. Continue to braai over the gentle coals, turning very often, until the cheese is melted and the braaibroodjies are golden brown on the outside.
- It goes without saying that you serve these beauties with glasses of ice cold Methode Cap Classique. The South African – vastly superior – version of what the French call Champagne.