Tag Archives: braai

Grilled lamb skewers with lemon, honey & mustard

8 Dec

Grilled lamb sosaties with Dijon & wholegrain mustard, honey, fresh lemon juice & rind, and garlic. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.

As we are enterting festive season, most of us would just want to light a fire and spend some time outdoors with the promising smell of something amazing on the hot coals. These lamb sosaties are easy to braai and really deliver on the flavour factor – sweet and tangy honey mustard with fresh lemons and garlic.

The marinade will also work well on lamb/mutton chops, or even on chicken. Enjoy the start of your holiday (if you’re lucky enough to have some time off), put your feet up and exhale!

Ingredients: (serves 6)

1,2-1,5 kg boneless leg of lamb
juice and finely grated rind of 2 small lemons
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) honey
2 tablespoons (30 ml) wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard
salt & pepper


Cut the lamb into bitesize cubes of about 2,5 x 2,5 cm and set aside.
Make the marinade: In a deep glass bowl of about 1,5 liter capacity, add the juice and rind of the lemons, the garlic, olive oil, honey, mustards and season with salt & pepper. Mix well, then add the meat cubes and stir to coat.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid, and marinate for 1-3 hours in the refrigerator.
Remove the meat from the fridge and skewer the blocks on sosatie sticks to make 6 or more skewers. Braai over hot coals until charred on the outside and slightly pink on the inside. Serve hot with more lemon wedges, and a side salad or braai broodjie.

Another festive collaboration with SA Lamb & Mutton.

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Mediterranean-style lamb boeries

28 Nov

Lamb sausage boeries with roasted aubergine, feta and a herb yoghurt dressing. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.


Everyone’s a fan of a classic boerie roll and it’s such an easy way of entertaining. Wow your crowd this December with a Mediterranean take on a classic South African favourite: lamb sausages on a soft hotdog roll, with roasted aubergines, salty feta and a fresh, herby yoghurt dressing. Just delightful!

For the aubergines:

2 medium size aubergines
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
5 ml dried origanum

For the herb yoghurt dressing:

375 ml (1,5 cups) double cream yoghurt
2 small bunches fresh herbs (about 40 g), like mint, coriander and/or parsley (save a few for topping)
about 10 ml (2 teaspoons) fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper

To assemble:

about 500-600g lamb boerewors (6 x 20 cm)
6 soft hotdog rolls, sliced lengthways
butter, for rolls


Roast the aubergines: Preheat oven to 230 C. Use a sharp knife to dice the aubergines into 1 x 1 cm blocks. Place them in a mixing bowl and add the oil. Season with salt, pepper & origanum. Stir to coat all over, then top into a shallow baking tray and spread it out in a single layer. Roast for 10-15 minute until golden brown, then remove from the oven and cover with foil to steam further on standing (or transfer to a container covered with a lid).

Make the dressing: Place the yoghurt, herbs, lemon juice and some salt & pepper in a food processor. Mix until you have a relatively smooth green dressing. Transfer to a squeeze bottle (if you have one) or a jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble: Grill the boerewors over hot coals or in a hot pan. Spread the rolls with butter, then top with the grilled aubergine, wors, feta, a drizzle of the yoghurt sauce and some fresh herbs. Enjoy at once.

This recipe was created in collaboration with SA Lamb & Mutton.

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Grilled harders with smoked paprika butter

15 Jan

Scored whole harders, brushed with smoked paprika butter and braaied over hot coals. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.


My father is a fisherman. He retired from a corporate job 12 years ago, relocating to Keurboomstrand and fishing as often as he likes. Not only is he a good fisherman, he is a cunning hunter who knows the sea and its currents, the shifting beaches and the favourable winds, the lesser traveled trails and the unforgiving rocky coastal territory. He is a fisherman in heart and soul.

When I was young, I went fishing with my father and brothers often. I caught small fish like “strepies”, galjoen and harders. One of my favourite early food memories is of my dad helping me to pan-fry a whole small galjoen at our camping site one December – one that I had caught myself. Bliss.

This year, I want to eat more fresh fish. Sustainably caught fish are at the top of my list. Although harders are on SASSI’s orange list because of damaging huge drag nets, smaller batches are being hand-caught by many fishermen and you can buy them fresh from various fish shops and harbours.

For this shoot, I had my very first opportunity to scale, gill and gut fresh harders from scratch – quite an adventure. It is not difficult at all, so give it a google and try it yourself! But if you’re not in the mood for a mess, ask your friendly fishmonger to take care of it.

I love the idea of plating whole fish instead of neatly filleted little steaks. Just score the skins and brush them with a delicious smoked paprika butter. Braai over medium hot coals until done. Serve with fresh bread or boiled potatoes and a fresh green salad.

Ingredients: (serves 6)

  • 6 fresh harders, gilled & gutted & scaled
  • 125 ml butter, melted
  • 10 ml smoked paprika
  • 5 ml chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • juice of a lemon (plus extra lemon wedges, to serve)
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the harders under running tap water and pat dry.
  2. Use a sharp knife to score the skin on the fillet sides.
  3. Mix the melted butter, paprika, chilli flakes, garlic and lemon juice. Season generously with salt & pepper.
  4. Brush the butter mixture all over the harders, then braai them on a grid over medium-hot coals (turning often) for 8-10 minutes or until just cooked. Baste with the butter often. Don’t overcook.
  5. Serve warm.
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Afritalian braaibroodjies

4 Dec

Freshly braaied ciabatta sandwiches with fior di latte, tomato, basil, onion and chutney. Photography by Tasha Seccombe.


It is officially summer in the southern hemisphere – the season to go alfresco! I have not made braaibroodjies in a while, although I’m such a fan. For those who don’t live in SA, a “braaibroodjie” is a tomato and cheese sandwich that is grilled over hot coals as part of a festive barbecue.

So, the classic South African braaibroodjie that I grew up with in Stellenbosch looks like this: two slices of store-bought soft white/brown bread, butter, chutney, cheddar cheese (grated for an even melt), thinly sliced onion, sliced tomato, salt & pepper – some might not do chutney, some might not do onion, some might add mayo, some might butter their broodjies on the outside, there are so many variations. My folks even used to do some sweet braaibroodjies on the side when we were kids, which consisted of buttered bread with cheddar and apricot jam. Those were freaking delicious too.

This time I want to bring some Italian flair into the equation, but keep a few South African essentials. So this is what my Afritalian braaibroodjie looks like: two slices of good quality wood fired ciabatta, butter, chutney, sliced fior di latte, thinly sliced onion, sliced tomato, salt & pepper and fresh basil leaves. It’s almost like a pizza Margherita and a braaibroodjie in one – the best of both worlds, in my opinion.

Here’s to some fresh fireside ideas for summer! I’d love to hear how you’ll be doing your braaibroodjies this festive season. Give me a shout in the comments below.

Note: Some people prefer buttering their bread on the outside, some only on the inside, some on both sides. I only butter on the inside. Do whatever you like.

Ingredients: (makes 1 sandwich, adjust quantities accordingly for more)

  • two slices good quality ciabatta (Italian-style slipper loaf)
  • butter, for spreading
  • about 5-10 ml fruit chutney
  • two slices of fior di latte (fresh milky mozzarella)
  • two slices of ripe tomato
  • a few thin slices of onion
  • salt & pepper
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves


Assemble the braaibroodjies by buttering your sliced bread (see note above), then spread evenly with chutney on the inside of one of the slices. Arrange sliced fior di latte, tomato & onion in layers, then season with salt & pepper and add basil. Top with the other slice, then braai on a grid (preferably closed hinge) over medium-cool coals, turning often, until golden brown on both sides and gooey on the inside. It is important that the tomato must have enough time to warm up and the cheese must be melted completely. Remove from the heat and serve at once.

More notes: Choose a ciabatta that is not too “holey” in texture, otherwise you might lose your filling in the process. The tomato will continue to soften the bread on standing as it releases liquid. This slight sogginess is part of the beauty of the braaibroodjie. Also, if you prefer to enjoy your basil leaves uncooked, add them right at the end just before serving. Enjoy!

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Biltong & herb garlic bread

26 Sep

Golden, toasted, buttery garlic bread with biltong & herbs.


You might not know this, but Montagu Dried Fruit and Nuts recently also added biltong to their repertoire. They asked me to play around with their biltong range and I came up with a few easy recipes that will leave your guests asking for more.

The first one is this moorish buttery garlic bread with fine biltong and fresh herbs. Now look, I’m a huge fan of a garlic bread as part of a braai. This recipe seems very simple, but the results are out of this world! The biltong adds a savoury note that works so beautifully with the garlic butter – it’s just pure gold.

Be sure to buy the best loaf of ciabatta or sour dough bread that you can find. A day old loaf works even better. Enjoy!

Drenched with buttery biltong and garlic with a touch of fresh herbs, this loaf is the stuff dreams are made of.

View a short video of how to make this recipe:

Ingredients: (serves 6 as a side dish)

  • 250 g butter, softened
  • 30 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • a handful Italian (flat leaf) parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Montagu powdered beef biltong
  • 1 large good quality ciabatta loaf (or sour dough loaf)


Place the butter in a medium size mixing bowl. Use a fork to mix it to a soft, spreadable consistency. Add the olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Add the biltong, garlic and parsley, then mix well.
Using a large, sharp serrated knife, slice the bread into slices, but not all the way through (they should still be attached at the bottom). Spread the sliced sides generously with the biltong butter mixture, and the last bit over the top of the loaf.
Bake the bread on a lined baking tray in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 200 C, or cover in foil and braai over medium-hot coals, turning it often, until the butter is melted and the bread is golden brown on the outside.
Serve hot on a wooden board, as a side dish with your braai meat and salad.

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Summer feasting with Pork 360: Chinese-style sticky ribs

29 Nov

Chinese ribs

Sticky Chinese-style spare ribs that fall from the bone (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

This is the second recipe in a series of six that I’ve created in collaboration with Pork 360 and Food Lover’s Market. As you might have seen, there’s a new stamp on some pork products in your favourite butcheries: Pork 360. It’s a quality assurance and traceability certification – a guarantee to both the consumer and retailing sector that the producer has a consistent production process that complies with minimum standards and ensures high-quality pork. The Pork 360 projects takes place under the guidance of the South African Pork Producers Association (SAPPO). Watch their video for more info.

In a nutshell: it’s pork you can trust!

This simple recipe for sticky Chinese-style pork spare ribs delivers big on the wow factor – glossy, sticky, dark and toasty pork ribs that will leave you licking your fingers. It works great on the braai but can easily also be cooked in an oven. Serve with a crunchy green salad and lots of paper towels (it’s a deliciously messy affair!).

Tip: Buy authentic Asian pantry ingredients in your local Food Lovers’ Market in the exotic section. This glaze is also great on chicken wings.

Ingredients: (serves 4-6)

  • 125 ml Hoisin sauce
  • 125 ml good quality soy sauce
  • 60 ml rice vinegar (or sherry vinegar)
  • 60 ml honey
  • 60 ml brown sugar
  • 30 ml grated/crushed garlic
  • 5 ml red food colouring (optional, but delivers an authentically Chinese result)
  • 10 ml Chinese 5-spice
  • 2 kg pork spare ribs
  • sesame seeds, for serving (optional)
  • spring onion, finely sliced, for serving (optional)


  1. Mix all the ingredients (except the ribs) together to form a thick, glossy, glaze.
  2. Place the ribs in a large pot and add enough water to cover the meat (cut the ribs in smaller sections if it doesn’t fit the pot). Pour over half the glaze and bring the water to a boil, covered with a lid.
  3. Cook the ribs for about 1 hour until it almost falls from the bone. Remove from the water and place in a large roasting tray (if you are going to cook them in the oven, line the tray with foil). Using a basting brush, brush the ribs generously with glaze on both sides.
  4. For the braai: Braai on both sides until dark and sticky, basting throughout. For the oven: roast at 220 C for 10 minutes at a time, basting throughout and turning them over when necessary. They should be ready in about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
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PEPPADEW® Pasta Sauce Recipe: BBQ marinade for meat

27 Oct

My versatile BBQ meat marinade, suitable for steak, chops, sosaties and much more (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

My versatile BBQ meat marinade, suitable for steak, chops, sosaties and much more (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

I recently had the pleasure of creating two new recipes for Peppadew®, using their convenient pasta sauce range. This is my second recipe: a versatile and fragrant BBQ meat marinade.

There are few things as satisfying as making your own delicious BBQ sauce. This chunky sauce works on almost any meat, from beef steak to lamb chops/sosaties, pork ribs and even chicken. If you prefer a smooth sauce, give it a whizz with your stick blender. Be adventurous and play around with adding more of your own spice combinations, like chinese 5-spice, cumin, coriander or all-spice.

Prep time: about 20 minutes (makes about 3 cups)


  • 1 jar Peppadew® Piquanté Pepper & Garlic Pasta Sauce
  • 1 jar Peppadew® Tomato & Jalapeno Chilli Pasta Sauce
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcester sauce
  • 5-10 ml Tabasco sauce (adjust according to taste)
  • 45 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 30 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & finely grated
  • a knob of ginger, peeled & finely grated

In a medium size pot, mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together. Place on high heat on the stove top, then bring to a boil, stirring often.
Reduce heat to a simmer, then cook for 10 minutes without a lid. Remove from the heat.
Use warm or at room temperature, coating your meat generously before cooking over a hot fire.


  • This marinade will last in the fridge for at least 1 week in a plastic container or glass jar, covered with a tight lid. It also makes a great dipping sauce for fried potato chips.
  • Don’t be alarmed if the sauce turns quite dark when you braai your meat – the sugar content will make it caramelize and the smoky flavours are delicious. Just watch it closely so that it doesn’t burn.
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PEPPADEW® Pasta Sauce Recipe: Chicken tikka masala marinade

7 Oct

Peppadew® chicken tikka masala marinade for super tender chicken sosaties (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

Peppadew® chicken tikka masala marinade for super tender chicken sosaties (picture by Tasha Seccombe)

I recently had the pleasure of creating a few new recipes for Peppadew®, using their convenient pasta sauce range. This first recipe is an easy tikka masala marinade for chicken, so fantastic for entertaining a crowd over the festive season – you just mix up all the ingredients and your marinade is ready to use.

Marinating boneless chicken in yoghurt and lemon juice is the secret to extra juicy, tender and delicious sosaties. This recipe contains all the right spices for a fragrant mild tikka sauce. Add extra chilli if you love things more spicy!

Prep time: marinating – minimum 3 hours, cooking – 10 minutes.

Serves: 6

You’ll need:

  • 1 jar Peppadew® Green Pepper & Garlic Pasta Sauce
  • 500 ml double cream unflavoured yoghurt
  • 60 ml fresh lemon juice
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • a knob of fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled & finely grated
  • 5 ml ground coriander
  • 2,5 ml ground cumin
  • 5 ml ground turmeric
  • 30 ml garam masala
  • 10 ml salt
  • 5 ml freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 large boneless chicken breasts, cut into large cubes
  • 6 large or 12 medium sosatie sticks/skewers
  • a handful of fresh coriander, for garnish

In a large glass/ceramic/plastic bowl, mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together (except the chicken, sosatie sticks and fresh coriander).
Add the chicken cubes to the sauce and mix well to cover all over. Cover the bowl with a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Bring the meat to room temperature by leaving it on the kitchen counter for an hour. Place the marinated cubes on your sosatie sticks, taking care not to overcrowd the sticks.
Braai the sosaties on a hot fire/grill, turning frequently to prevent burning. Braai until just done (do not overcook), then scatter with fresh coriander and serve hot.

This marinade will also work very well for bone-in chicken pieces. Make small slits in the chicken pieces through the skin, so that the marinade can penetrate the meat. Braai the marinated chicken pieces over a medium hot fire for at least 40 minutes, turning frequently until cooked through and golden brown on both sides.

The versatile Peppadew® pasta sauce range.

The versatile Peppadew® pasta sauce range.

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Steak and chips with garlic mayonnaise

23 Sep

My favourite classic steak and chips with garlic mayo (photography by Tasha Seccombe)

With National Braai Day coming up tomorrow, I thought it would be appropriate to post a recipe for what I’m intending to braai:  a perfect steak. Yes, I also love to braai peri-peri chicken, boerewors, lamb chops, snoek and braai broodjies, but to me steak remains the King of the grill.

After recently working with Jan Braai on his second book “Red Hot“, I quickly got some tips on how to braai the ultimate steak. Jan is a seasoned pro at making fires and braaing anything from meat to mielies to roosterkoek. Read more about Jan’s steak braaing tips on his blog.

There are a few rules that we now always apply when braaing steak at home:

1) Use a low grid over a very hot fire, with some flames licking the meat (or a very hot griddle pan).

2) Turn the meat only once.

3) Braai the steak for only 7 minutes in total (3 1/2 minutes a side), nothing more, nothing less.

If you buy good quality matured meat, you’re already halfway there to creating a mouthwatering plate of food. I prefer to brush my steaks with olive oil before seasoning it on both sides and placing them on the grid – no basting sauce necessary.

Make sure your fries are timed to be ready when your meat has rested for a few minutes, then serve it with garlic mayonnaise (aoli). True simplicity, satisfaction guaranteed. You won’t need anything else.

Happy Braai Day everyone!

Ingredients for steaks:

  • 200-300g thick cut mature steak (per person), at room temperature (I prefer rib-eye/rump/sirloin)
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Make a large fire, then wait for the coals to be ready for grilling. A few licking flames will just add to the flavour.
  2. Use a brush to oil the steaks on both sides, then season them well with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the steaks on the grill, then braai for 3 1/2 minutes on each side, turning them only once. This will give a medium rare result.
  4. Set the steaks aside on a wooden plank or plate to rest for 5 minutes, then serve hot with fries and mayonnaise.

Ingredients for potato chips (french fries):

Remember to always be very careful around hot oil – it can be very dangerous.

  • 1 med-large potato per person, cut into chips
  • about 750ml – 1 litre canola oil for frying
  1. Heat the oil in a medium size pot to about 180 C, then fry batches of the chips until they just start to turn a pale golden colour. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Let it cool slightly.
  2. Just when your steaks go onto the fire, fry them for a second time until they are golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain again. Serve hot with sprinkled salt flakes & garlic mayo.

Ingredients for garlic mayonnaise:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30 ml lemon juice
  • 10 ml Dijon mustard
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • about 150-200 ml canola oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely crushed
  1. In a tall cup or plastic container, add the egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Use a stick blender to give it a whizz.
  2. With the stick blender’s motor running, add the oil in a very thin stream, making sure that you create an emulsion that will thicken as you add more oil.
  3. When all the oil has been added, add the crushed garlic clove and whizz again to blend well. Taste the mayonnaise and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Serve with the warm steak & chips.



This post was especially written for The Pretty Blog by Ilse van der Merwe from The Food Fox.

Recipe, food preparation and text: Ilse van der Merwe.

Photography: Tasha Seccombe.

Styling: Nicola Pretorius & Tasha Seccombe.

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Review: Gourmet Braai Festival at Hidden Valley

10 Sep

Hidden Valley Wine Estate against the majestic surrounding mountains (photo courtesy of Manley Communications, photography by Gideon Nel)

I was invited to attend the Hidden Valley Gourmet Braai & Wine Festival on Saturday the 31st of August. Knowing that Chef Bertus Basson would be in charge of the kitchen (and the fires), I couldn’t wait to see what he has prepared for us!

Chef Bertus Basson is one of SA’s culinary greats – famed for the phenominal success of Overture Restaurant at Hidden Valley where he is the chef and co-owner. Overture has been in the Top 10 of SA’s Eat Out Awards 5 times since it opened in 2007. Bertus has also been a judge in the recent tv show The Ultimate Braai Master, so the heat was on to show his true colours on the grid.

Bertus Basson braaing up a storm (picture courtesy of Manley Communications)

After being greeted at the door, I tasted the fabulous new Hidden Gem and Hidden Secret red wines, as well as a barrel selection that has not been bottled yet.

A fully booked Overture Restaurant at Hidden Valley – view from my seat.

We were seated at a long table alongside other food industry friends, and the waiters started to bring out platter after platter of amazing starters, snacks, salads, meats, sides and dessert. Here is the full menu: (R350/person)


Roosterkoek with apricot and almond butter

Smoked Hidden Valley olives

Hidden Valley olive tapenade

Grilled squid with salsa verde, chilli, capers and fennel

Pickled fish with a coriander emulsion and a gem salad


Lamb wors with tomato and crisp waterblommetjie

Bourbon basted smoked pork loin with flour tortillas, sweet corn and avocado

Sugar cured jersey rump with bourguignonne sauce and crisp potato

slaw with dill and mustard cream

Maple roast sweet potato with pecan nuts

Ash roast beetroot with pumpkin and labneh


Tannie Hetta’s apple pie with custard cinnamon ice cream


Smoked camembert with walnut & ginger

I was amazed by Bertus’s ability to turn simple ingredients into an amazing feast. Dishes like the roast beetroot and the maple roast sweet potato were my absolute favourites, although the braaied meats were also really delicious. I also loved the pickled fish – it reminder me of the wonderful curried mussel cracker that my Dad used to make us on December holidays at Keurboomstrand, but Bertus’s coriander emulsion just took it up a few notches.

After this tremendous feast, I am inspired to make roosterkoek again – one of the joys of a real South African braai. This festival was a true celebration of South African braai culture, and I can surely recommend you to join in for the next events. Unfortunately, the tickets are currently sold out, but you can place your name on a waiting list for a possible extra date! Otherwise, there’s always next year…

Thank you Hidden Valley and Manley Communications for this huge treat.

Ready to be sent out to our tables: the beetroot salad (photo courtesy of Manley Communications)

The fabulous pickled fish, as served at our table.

A selection of braaied meat cuts, served platter style to each table (picture courtesy of Manley Communications)

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