In South Africa we have the birthright of the braai and what better way to support our Boks than to chill around the fire with family and friends. Having travelled across Southern Africa I have put together some of the best braai recipes the East Coast has to offer and they go a little like this.
Bourbon BBQ wings
There’s not a lot in life to beat the taste of sticky, sweet and smoky chicken wings. The only rules are that when you eat them you have to end up with a sticky mess all around your mouth, on your hands and on your beer glass and your only option is to clean your fingers on your jeans (even though you and I both know you lick them first). That’s right, because ice-cold beer and a basket full of barbeque flavoured wings are the best combination EVER.
What you will need
2 onions finely chopped
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1 cup of bourbon whiskey (#GoJackDaniels)
2 cups of tomato sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
½ cup brown sugar
a splash of Tabasco
Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Almost certainly you will need chicken wings.
With this recipe I normally use 12. No no, I'm not trying to take your money, so use the full wing and not the half you get from those places that call a drummet a chicken wing. Season them with salt and pepper.
You can get on with the sauce now - and this is what makes the wings worth it. Sweat off the onion and garlic (there I go again with these fancy words, it just means fry the onions and garlic until they go slightly see-through), add the bourbon and cook until you’re not going to pass out if you had to drink it – in other words, until all the alcohol is cooked out. So if you're worried about getting drunk off the wings, sorry.
When cooking with liquor we burn off all the alcohol leaving behind all the flavours of smoky oakiness.
Combine the boozy onions with the rest of the ingredients, taste and adjust the seasoning if you need to. Pour the sauce over your chicken wings and let them marinate for as long as you can wait. Place the wings on a grid and braai them on medium hot coals, turning and basting with the sauce as you go along. Make sure you cook them thoroughly – it should take about 15 minutes. If you are not in the mood to slave over a fire pop them in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes on 180° C and enjoy a beer while you wait.
Take a couple of cold beers out of the cooler bag, put them on the table next to the basket of hot wings, call your friends and dig in.
Poor man fish braai
Now with the game on we got to keep life simple, so this fish allows you to walk away and watch Bryan Habana make #RWC2015 history.
Why do I call it this? Because its wrapped in newspaper. First up is a fish, yes we all love meat but fresh fish over the fire is nothing but amazing. My favourite is the cheeks and I managed to convince Rory Bam from Peugeot whilst on set for The Gourmet Bushie television series. He was left with sticky fingers and that lip-smacking goodness.
So without further waiting, here is what you will need:
1 whole fish, scaled and gutted (get the guy at the counter to do it for you, it saves you time for that chilled beverage).
1 onion, cut into slices
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt to taste. Newspaper for wrapping.
What you need to do
Seriously, we are living on the edge and with this recipe it's simple: throw it on the fire and walk away.Score the flesh on both sides of the fish with slits about half a cm deep and four cms apart. Season the fish with salt to taste, make sure to aggressively season and then stuff the belly with the tomatoes, garlic and onion.
Wrap the fish in about 10 sheets of newspaper, wetting each layer completely with salted water before adding the next layer.
Put the whole parcel directly on the coals and cover with more coals. Walk away for 20 to 25 minutes. When you come back, take the parcel out of the fire, remove all the layers of newspaper, and eat the fish with your hands.
Amarula and dark chocolate cremé brulee
We use Amarula for this recipes and what better way to enjoy a baked custard with nothing but that creamy taste and a kick to go with it.
What you will need
2 cups cream
1 vanilla pod
8 egg yolks
1 cup white sugar
2 tots Amarula
3-4 tablespoons good quality dark chocolate, grated extra sugar for the caramelised tops.
What you need to do
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Toss the cream and vanilla pod in a pot and heat through but remove from the heat before it boils and put to one side. You want a gentle simmer. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Now slowly blend in one cup of the warm cream vanilla mixture while whisking. Add this mixture it to the rest of the hot cream and whisk well – don’t forget to remove the vanilla pod. This would be like biting on an elachi pod when eating. #NotWinning
Now here comes the tricky part. Pay attention.
Divide the mixture between two separate bowls and mix the chocolate into the one and the Amarula liqueur in to the other. Enlist the services of a good mate to help you fill the ramekins. You each take the same size ladle and from either side, simultaneously drizzle equal quantities of the two mixtures into the ramekins – and you are a legend. A two-tone cup of custard!
Place the ramekins in a large pan filled with 3-6 cm of hot water and bake until set around the edges, but still soft in the centre, for between 30 and 60 minutes. Take them out of oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove ramekins from water and chill for at least 2 hours. You could also pop these puppies in a baking tray and cover the baking tray creating your own oven.
When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard, using a small blowtorch, heat the sugar until it caramelises and gets nice and golden. For the braai fundis add your sugar and hold the ramekin underneath the braai bottom against the base and watch that sugar caramelise.
If you don’t have a torch, place the ramekins underneath a very hot grill until the sugar melts and then re-chill the custards for a few minutes before serving. Very simple, very impressive and it’s oh-so-smooth and just downright filled with lip-smacking goodness.
#FUNFACT Amarula is indigenous to South Africa and sold around the world sharing the taste of Africa.
You can find out more at www.facebook.com/thegourmetbushie and feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or need any tips. A recipe is not meant to be a secret. If you keep it locked up how can you expect others to experience the world through your taste buds.
Follow Sherwyn on Twitter @weaichy