This Sunday, September 24th, we celebrate Heritage Day, which has also become a popular day to invite a few friends over to have a braai (with is being coined National Braai Day ‘n all) and cook up some braaivleis.
Americans do it in style with their state-of-the-art gas barbeques; the Australians, on the other hand, like to throw some ‘shrimp on the barbie’ but we South Africans know how to make the perfect braai – well, most of us do.
What is a South African braai without its best supporting acts: first up is the braai broodjie. This South African braai staple is usually served on white or brown bread; spread with lashings of butter on the outside, and filled with thick, juicy slices of tomato, onion and cheese on the inside. Yum!
No South African braai is complete without the original South African toasties, otherwise known as “braai broodjies”.
The standard braai broodjie recipe incorporates the following steps:
- Butter the bread,
- Place lots of grated cheese on the bread, with sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, salt, pepper and,
- Be sure to braai slowly.
Apart from the standard option, food lovers are opting to try many different version of this delicious sandwich.
For a gourmet version, renowned Durban caterers Blue Strawberry have some gourmet variations for you to try.
- Brie and fig Jam – add preserved fig and some crushed nuts for texture
- Chip ‘n Cheese -slap chips, curry gravy and oozy cheese
- S’more Variation – Nuttella, sliced banana and marshmallows
- Peanut butter and Bacon – crunchy peanut butter in lashings with crisp bacon and some salted peanuts for crunch
- Black mushroom and Haloumi – sliced and fried black mushrooms well drained with sliced haloumi and a little mozzarella for the stretch
- Croque Monsieur – good quality ham, Dijon mustard, emmentale cheese and a lathering of béchamel sauce
- Bacon with a bite – crisp bacon, tomato sambal- tomato, onion and chilli diced with a dash of vinegar, cheddar and mozzarella
- Cheese and sweet chilli – combine three cheeses and a good splash of sweet chilli with chopped coriander
Now, one of my favourite SA side dishes at a braai – is Pap.
FYI: The word pap in Dutch translates to “porridge”. In KZN it’s also called phuthu in Zulu and ipapa in Xhosa.
It’s easily cooked on a stove in a pot or over a fire and is best to cook in a black cast iron pot.
I like my pap with a twist. Throw in onion, mushrooms, bacon, and green pepper (all chopped finely) to add flavour to the pap. This is the gourmet slant on the standard pap and tomato gravy dish and Goodersons Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort, Executive Chef Francis Hegarty gives us his take on this Creamy Cheesy Pap recipe dish:
Cook pap and set aside, chop 1 onion, packet of mushrooms and 250g bacon. Fry it all up in a pan and add clove of garlic and salt and pepper seasoning. Add a tub of 250ml cream to make a sauce, take the pap and put it in an oven dish, pour the sauce over the top and add lots of cheese, bake for 30 minutes. If you have a vegetarian in your midst then just replace the bacon with sautéed butternut or baby marrows. Easy peasy!
The image above shows another, slightly different, option to the above with a Biltong, Mushroom and feta pap tert… Oh. Em. Gee! See Food24.com for the full recipe.
So, will you be celebrating your Heritage day the braai way?