The delightful Jeanne over at Cooksister blog has an annual event that she invites anyone to attend via the blogs. Called Braai the Beloved Country it is in celebration of National Heritage Day/National Braai Day in South Africa. Now we all know that everyone loves a barbecue in the summer but we South Africans enjoy our braais all year round….I know some people who stand under an umbrella (mostly to protect the fire and the meat or braaibroodjies from becoming soaked and not actually the one brandishing the tongs :) ) in the pouring rain and cold in the middle of winter just so that they can have their beloved braai and beer!! Well, today we needed no excuse at all to fire up the braais. We have a national holiday celebrating our wonderful South African heritage and all over the country fires were lit and the smell of delicious meat being grilled over an open fire filled the air. Happy laughter and music wafted over on the breeze to tickle the ears…including much of ours….because you see…..the brownie family also had a big braai party to celebrate our heritage and partake in a bit of braaied meat, salads, breads and of course some beers for the boys and chilled wine for us girls and a yummy South African pudding to round off the party. Delightful fun for all……here is a brilliant video that I found on youtube to celebrate braai day and I share it with you all….
Right then, so on with the braai!
On our fire we had some of the ever present boerewors (loosely translated as farmers sausage), some wonderfully tender, aged rump steaks that we bought from Woolworths and a few little lamb chops for the grandsons who just love them. Unfortunately lamb is so expensive in this country now that we don’t buy it too often anymore, but today was a special occasion. For myself of course there was some lovely oak smoked rainbow trout because, although I have progressed slightly from a liquid diet, I am still unable to get my jaws around a good piece of steak. We treat our braai meat simply before putting it on the coals, just a good rubbing of olive oil with my hands and a massage of good quality spice rub. The newly launched NoMU Jan Braai spice eluded me so I had to make do with NoMU’s delicious Barbecue Rub instead. These are then braaied to perfection over hot coals and served with some country bread (or pre baked Portuguese rolls that I drizzle with a fruity extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt flakes and then finish off in the oven while the meat is cooking, giving you delicious warm fresh rolls), a salad or two and a carb dish….today’s one was one of my very favourite ones that I inherited from a fellow blogger over at 24.com about 2 years ago……sweet potatoes baked in their skins and then given a special treatment under the hot grill….. so so delicious!
To make this delightful dish you will need:
6 Medium sized Sweet Potatoes – scrubbed well under running water
1 ClemenGold (or other mandarin/naartjie) - zest and juice
2 Lemons – zest and juice
Dark Brown Sugar – about 15mls per sweet potato
Freshly ground Black Peppercorns
Wrap the washed sweet potatoes in a double layer of foil then bake in the coals or on top of the fire until they are soft enough for a knife to go through them easily.
Remove from fire and allow to cool slightly until you can handle them. Place them in a heat proof dish, cut a cross in each one then push them fairly wide open as you would for a baked potato
Grate the zest from the lemons and ClemenGold over each sweet potato then squeeze all the juice over
Place 10g butter into each open potato then sprinkle a good bit of dark brown sugar over each one.
Grind a decent amount (and I mean a lot!) of black pepper over the dish then place under the hot grill until they are caramelized and bubbling.
Serve hot with your meats and salads!
For the rainbow trout I use a recipe that I got from my sister a long time ago. It is another firm favourite of mine…works well with salmon as well…I usually do this dish in the oven but today it was done over the coals and it was also really delicious
MO STYLE BAKED RAINBOW TROUT
1 side of Oak Smoked Rainbow Trout
5ml Thick Soy Sauce
5ml Runny Honey
Juice of 1/2 a ClemenGold and 1/2 a lemon
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 ClemenGold
5ml Grated Ginger
1 small Red Chilli – deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 Garlic Clove – finely chopped or grated
5ml Finely chopped Coriander leaves (Cilantro)
Place the trout onto a greased sheet of tin foil and fold it up around the fish to make a bowl for the marinade
Mix all the other ingredients in a small just then pour it over the fish
Bring the sides of the foil together and seal up as a loosely wrapped parcel.
Place over medium coals right at the end of the braai time for the other meat. You only need about 7-10 minutes to cook this.
Open up the foil parcel, place briefly under a hot grill to lightly brown the top if you want to, and serve immediately
All the meat was served with a colourful garden salad and then for dessert I made a wonderful milk tart that I have not made in a looooong time. I took out my very first recipe book that I wrote for myself as a young bride and was paging through it last night when I came across this very easy no bake milk tart recipe that I used to make and then forget about it along the way. Such a pity really as it is another winner. Here is a teaser…….
I will give you the recipe next time…..very soon because I have a few friends baying for it over on facebook
This is my entry into Cooksister’s event Braai, The Beloved Country. You have until tomorrow to put up your braai day posts if you would like to participate! Thank you Jeanne, such a lovely event!