Posted on August 17th, 2012
I have a few South African friends who live in Dublin and who like nothing better than a good braai and I thought I’d take the opportunity to tell you a bit about this most traditional of traditions. It’s such an institution that there is even a national braai day in South Africa! Hopefully we will have a fabulous Indian summer and you can invite some friends over to sample these tasty wares.
First and most important is the meat. Of course marinated chicken skewers and beef will always feature at a braai, but the sausages are the most crucial. If you happen to live near Dublin there is, believe it or not, a South African butcher’s on Parnell Street where you can get these delicious boerewors as well as many other delicacies to slap on the braai.
Apart from the meat there are the side dishes. Essential items are: pap (traditional polenta/porridgy stuff made from ground maize), Mrs Balls chutney (absolute must) and roosterkoek (dough balls). A good potato salad is also an easy but important part of the mix. Baby new potatoes with a dollop of mayonnaise and some spring onions works for me every time. It’s always the first salad to be finished and only takes about ten seconds to make.
If people are getting peckish before the meat is cooked toasties are a handy little “aperitif”. Basically they are what they sound like, a toasted sandwich cooked on the braai. Butter the outside of 2 slices of white bread and layer cheese, tomato and onion slices in between. Cook the sandwich on the grill till the bread is toasted and the cheese has melted.
Onto the last remaining topic and one that’s obviously close to all our hearts – what to drink at a braai. Pinotage is a must for braais as it so flexible and goes well with most things. Nederburg Pinotage is great value red wine that would be a good choice. If you fancy a refreshing white then I would recommend a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a Rosé, Two Oceans do both and are widely available, or a Chenin Blanc go well with grilled meat. I like Fleur du Cap which is also pretty easy to find.