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Pasta Potjie

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During my formative years of high school, my father expected me to start taking over part of the braai duties, like making the fire. As I progressed in my braai career, I was later even allowed to turn the grid, on his instruction from a chair of course. At that time my mother also started teaching me a few kitchen fundamentals, like how to make a lasagne. During this era of my life, one of our family’s favourite restaurants served a pasta that I absolutely loved. So much so that at that young and inexperienced age I embarked on a research and development project to recreate that dish at home. It so happens that you can prepare this meal extremely successfully in a classic three-legged potjie on the fire. Truth be told, it’s even better this way.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4–6)

  • 500 g pasta
  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 tot butter
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 packet bacon (250 g, chopped)
  • 1 punnet mushrooms (250 g)
  • 4 chicken breast fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cream
  • fresh green herbs (chopped, optional for serving)
  • lemon wedges (to serve, optional)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Place your classic potjie on the fire and boil the pasta in salted water until 80% done. The trick here is to not boil it all the way, as we’re going to add it back to the meal later for a second round of cooking. Drain the partly cooked pasta from the pot and preserve some of the liquid in a cup.
  2. Put the potjie back on the fire and add the oil, butter and chopped onion. Sauté the onion for a few minutes until it starts to get a nice colour.
  3. Now add the chopped garlic, chopped bacon and mushrooms to the pot. Depending on the size of the mushrooms and how much you like to make extra work for yourself, you can either chop or not chop them. Stir-fry until the bacon and mushrooms are cooked.
  4. While the bacon and mushrooms are cooking, scrape some coals from the fire and braai the 4 chicken breast fillets. You can season them with normal salt and pepper or your favourite braai spice. Chicken breast fillets take about 6 to 10 minutes to braai, so this meal is going to come together very nicely at the end!
  5. Back to the pot: Once you are happy with the bacon and mushrooms, add all of the 80% cooked pasta from step 1 back to the pot and add the cream to it. Stir through paying specific attention to the fact that the pot should not run dry and burn. If at any stage the pot looks a bit dry, add some or all of the pasta water you preserved in step 1 or consider impact players like butter and olive oil.
  6. Once the chicken breasts are braaied, remove them from the fire and artfully slice them diagonally into strips. Now mix the chicken breast strips into the pasta.

AND…

If you’re so inclined and attuned to the finer details, the meal can be finished with a drizzle of high-quality South African olive oil, fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Reblogged 1 day ago from braai.com

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Braai Masters of the Cape Winelands: Braai recipes and wine-pairing tips from the West Coast to the Karoo by Wines of South Africa (2011-09-01)

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Paella

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Catering and kitchen shops sell a type of fireproof steel pan that is perfect for the preparation of this dish, so perfect in fact that this pan is widely referred to as a ‘paella pan’. Paella actually means ‘pan’ and this is where the name of the dish comes from so get yourself one of them. Failing that, any normal cast-iron pot also does the job.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 8)

  • 8 chicken pieces (thighs and/or drumsticks)
  • 2 kg shellfish (in the shell – like black mussels and prawns. If you’re using just meat without shells, 1 kg is sufficient.)
  • 500 g fresh fish fillets (cut into blocks)
  • 250 g spicy cured sausages (sliced or chopped – like chorizo or pepperoni)
  • 2 tots olive oil
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 peppers (chopped – green, red or yellow)
  • 2 cups rice (uncooked)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 4 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 cups fish, chicken or vegetable stock (3 cups is 750 ml which is also the size of a wine bottle)
  • 1 cup black olives (pitted)
  • 250 g peas (they come in frozen packets of this size)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tot parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon wedges

Please note that as with most dishes cooked on a braai, paella ingredients are not exact. Take these ingredients as a guideline.

WHAT TO DO

  1. In a large pan on the fire, fry the onions and peppers in the oil for 3 minutes. Your coals should be just hot enough to actually fry the onion. As the steel of the pan is much thinner than a cast-iron pot, it will be a bit more sensitive to heat.
  2. Add the rice and mix well. All the rice should be thinly coated with oil. If this is not the case, add a bit more oil. Fry the rice for a few minutes until it turns pale golden in colour. Now add the garlic, paprika, turmeric, chilli powder and chopped tomatoes and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and cover the pan with a lid or with tinfoil. The rice should now cook until soft, which will take about 35 minutes in total. Slightly reduce the heat under the pan by scraping away some coals. You are allowed to lift the lid now and again to stir the rice, and to monitor that it is not burning. Should everything seem a bit quiet, scrape a few extra coals back under the pan.
  4. After 20 of those 35 minutes, add the seafood, spicy sausage, olives and peas to the pan. Stir it in and cover the pan again. The seafood will cook in these last 15 minutes. Monitor your liquid level and add the wine if the pan becomes dry. If the wine is in and the pan still dry, start adding small amounts of water.
  5. On the side, and timing it to be ready with the rest of the dish, braai the chicken pieces in a grid over coals. This will take about 20–25 minutes.
  6. When the rice is soft, sample the dish and add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Arrange the chicken pieces on top, garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve immediately.
Reblogged 1 week ago from braai.com

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Fireworks: Recipes, Techniques, Advice by Jan Braai (2014-08-04)

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Creole Chicken Curry

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While on holiday in Mauritius a few years ago, my brother-in-law and I used to skip the tourist traps and head to the eateries the locals favoured to eat some proper traditional Mauritian curry called cari poule. Although authentic Mauritian curry powder isn’t readily available in South Africa (or anywhere else but Mauritius for that matter), you can substitute it with any mild curry powder with added fennel and cardamom. Best practice is to marinate the chicken for a few hours before you start, or even overnight.

WHAT YOU NEED (serves 6)

For the marinade:

  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tot fresh ginger (crushed or chopped)
  • 1 tot fresh thyme leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 tot fresh parsley (stems included, finely chopped)
  • 2 tots medium curry powder
  • 1/2 tot ground fennel (just grind or pound fennel seeds)
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tots vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup water

For the rest of the curry:

  • 2 kg chicken pieces (bone in, remove skin from some of the chicken pieces or the meal will be very fatty)
  • 1 tot vegetable oil
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • fresh coriander leaves (to serve)

WHAT TO DO

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a large marinating bowl, then add the raw chicken pieces and toss to coat on all sides. Cover and let them marinate in the fridge for a few hours, or preferably overnight.
  2. Heat the oil in a potjie and fry the onions until they are soft.
  3. Take the chicken pieces out of the marinade and add them to the potjie. Fry until the chicken starts to get a golden colour (don’t add the rest of the marinade that is left in the bowl just yet). You don’t need to cook the chicken completely; at this point you just want to give it some colour.
  4. Now add the rest of the marinade and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 hour, until the chicken is tender and would start to ‘fall from the bone’ if you manhandled it. So work carefully, or it will actually fall off the bone. Now remove the lid and let the potjie simmer until the sauce has reduced to your liking.
  6. Take the potjie off the fire and serve with white rice, topped with fresh coriander leaves – just tear them off the stalk or chop the whole lot up if you prefer.

AND …

In my experience, you’ll enjoy this curry best with a view of the sea and a side of white rum and coke. Then round it off with an afternoon nap in the shade of a tree.

Reblogged 2 weeks ago from braai.com

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Pulled Pork Potjie

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The concept of pulled pork is very simple. We start with a very cheap cut of meat that is fairly tough. The meat is generously spiced until it has real attitude and we then slow-cook it in a potjie until it’s so soft we can just pull it apart. Pulled pork is not really a meal for two. The size of the meat and time it takes to prepare means that when it’s pulled pork, it’s a party! This recipe is incredibly easy, especially if you follow it. Phone you butcher ahead of time and ask him to prepare a 2 kg piece of deboned pork shoulder. For a competent butcher this is a piece of cake and it’s not a particularly expensive cut of meat either. Failing this, 2 kg of pork shoulder on the bone will work just as well. Supermarkets generally sell pieces of pork meat of roughly this size. Your weapon of choice here is a no. 2 or no. 3 three-legged potjie or a no. 10 flat-bottomed one. You make the dressing sauce ahead of time and you’ll also do most of the work for the pork a few hours in advance. By the time your party guests arrive, all you need to do is occasionally add a few coals under the potjie and of course, serve up a great meal.

WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 10)

TO PREPARE THE MEAT

  • 2 kg pork shoulder (or other piece of pork meat)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tot paprika
  • 1 tot brown sugar

FOR THE POTJIE

  • 1 tot olive oil
  • 1 onion (sliced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 3 cups liquid (see step 6)

FOR THE RANCH SAUCE

  • 1 bottle buttermilk (2 cups)
  • 1 tub sour cream
  • 3 tots chives (freshly chopped)
  • 1 tot Dijon mustard
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

WHAT TO DO

  1. To make the sauce you shake the bottle of buttermilk before opening its top. Now throw that and all the other ingredients for the sauce in a bowl or jug and mix well. Cover whatever the sauce is in and put in in your fridge until you’re ready to serve the meal.
  2. Prepare the meat by mixing all the spices together then rub the spice blend into the pork shoulder.
  3. Get some flames under the potjie, add the oil and onion, and fry the onion for a few minutes.
  4. Now add the garlic and the whole chunk of pork to the potjie.
  5. Brown the pork shoulder on all sides. You can take as long as you like to do this but aim for 10 minutes.
  6. Your cooking liquid should be 3 cups in total – 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of beer, cider, white wine, red wine, apple juice or ginger ale. Add all 3 cups to the potjie and let the potjie heat up to a gentle simmer. Now close the lid. The potjie should bubble very slowly for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is very soft and starts to fall apart by itself. Every half hour or so you can lift the lid and flip the meat over. If at any time the potjie is running dry, add a bit more cooking liquid, using any of the options.
  7. When the pork is done, remove from the fire and let it rest somewhere to relax a bit. Use two forks to pull apart and shred the pork. Taste a piece and congratulate yourself. Now mix all the pulled pork with all the remaining liquid in the potjie.
  8. Your guests can build their own creations by piling a generous helping of pulled pork meat onto a roll, and topping it with ranch sauce, slices of gherkin and slices of onion.

AND…

Make the rolls with 10 soft burger rolls, 4 big gherkins (sliced into thin strips with a vegetable peeler), and 1 red onion (thinly sliced).

Reblogged 3 weeks ago from braai.com

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So, you want to fish?

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A good mixture of stories, information on all common types of fishing in a no-nonsense, matter-of-fact style, cooking, and why people lose fish, fail to catch fish, and survival.

Reblogged 1 month ago from www.amazon.com

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Best South African Braai Recipes by Christa Kirstein (1995-05-31)

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Braai: The South African Barbecue Book

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If anyone knows how to braai, or barbecue, it is Jan Braai, and he knows what people need to know about how to braai: how to make a good fire – with wood – and how to confidently cook a great meal over the coals. He has braaied with thousands of South Africans almost every day since the launch of South Africa’s National Braai Day (held each year on 24 September), which he founded to bring all South Africans together through their shared love of cooking over an open fire. The day’s patron is Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town Desmond Tutu, who ‘likes a T-bone steak because it is in the shape of Africa’. This is much more than simply a recipe book – it is an indispensable instruction manual for braaing, or barbecuing the South African way – from perfect steaks, to lip-smacking braaied chicken and lamb chops, or rack of lamb …or even a lamb on a spit! In his inimitable way, Jan sets out clear rules for the basic art of braaing steak and shows how, once that’s been mastered, you can move on to perfecting your braai skills on lamb, chicken, pork, fish, bread, vegetables and even a pudding or two.

Reblogged 3 months ago from www.amazon.com

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Braai Masters of the Cape Winelands: Braai recipes and wine-pairing tips from the West Coast to the Karoo by Wines of South Africa (2011-09-01)

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