The best way to ring in the new year or spend the last days of your summer holidays is with friends and some shisanyama. All you need is some nice cuts of meat with lekker spices and delicious sides.
Jozi chef Tefo Mokgoro not only shares his recipes for a lamb and prawn rub, but he also gives seven tips to achieve the perfect shisanyama no matter what you are braaing.
Whether you are in the suburbs or the kasi, the tradition of braaing over New Year cuts across every divide. Summer is in full swing and you can rest assured that there are going to be braais all over your social feeds.
Those wisps of smoke from the charcoal or wood coming from your neighbour’s backyard make it impossible not to get into the braai spirit.
Light up those braais with a private chef and entrepreneur Mokgoro’s seven solid tips for the ultimate braai. “A perfect braai is how you perceive it. It is what you see in it,” he says.
How to achieve the perfect braai
A classic Mzansi braai is enjoyed in households across the nation, but as diverse as the dishes can get, there are a few braai staples every braai master needs to know.
From ins and outs on how to prep and grill, Mokgoro shares some tips on how to level up your braai skills:
- Keep it simple and keep it classic. Boerewors, chops, chicken drumsticks and thighs, and the ever-so-trendy fish are braai staples, Mokgoro suggests.
- Prep time will determine the intensity of flavour of your meat. Twenty minutes of marinating is all good and well, but try an hour or three for locked-in flavour.
- Coals made with wood hit differently. It gives it a different flavour.
- Some clarity: Basting is what you do when your meat is on the braai grill. When you marinade, you season before cooking.
- Accessorise: Silicone glove, lighter (duh!) and tongs. They are an extension of your body. You will also need a fork and knife on standby to taste.
- So, how do you know when the meat is ready to go on the grill? Hot, not scorching! A trick to note: Put your hand over the grill for ten seconds. If it burns before ten, that means the grill is perfectly fine.
- No dry steaks, please! Five minutes per side for red meat and fish medallions. A lot of people get it wrong and by the time they are done braaing, you are eating biltong. Rest, bafethu.
Try these nyamarian recipes:
Lamb braai: Wet rub (enough for 4 lamb chops)
- 3 teaspoons of dried rosemary
- 1 ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of BBQ spice
- 50ml sunflower oil
- Mix the oil and spices and rub on the lamb. Let the meat rest for 3 hours if possible. This is so that the seasoning can just get into the meat fibres. If you are in a rush, do it for at least 20 minutes.
- Once marinated, place the meat on a hot grill for about 4 minutes on each side. This should give you a medium rare to medium effect. It all depends on how hot your coals are.
Prawn braai: Wet rub marinade
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 2 teaspoons fish spice
- 60ml melted butter or margarine (depending on what you like!)
- Juice of 1 whole lemon
- Zest of 1 whole lemon (nothing goes to waste here)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Mix the ingredients and brush over the prawns.
- Place the prawns on a hot grill for about 2 minutes on each side. Then just before you take them off the heat, you do the last basting of the garlic mix we used to brush on.
Food For Mzansi’s pro tip: Make sure that the prawns have been defrosted or have thawed. Do not defrost in the microwave or hot water.
Get the Mzansi Flavour newsletter: A weekly serving of crave-able recipes and handy lifestyle tips.