How not to mess up your braaibroodjie this weekend

Everyone loves a braaibroodjie. Here are some tips to make the perfect one.

 
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Everyone loves a braai, and we can’t help but highlight that some of the most crucial elements of a braai are actually the side dishes. Do you agree?

Big leafy salads, creamy potato bakes and giant, foiled-wrapped garlic loaves. But the quintessential carby braai accompaniment that deserves true
praise has to be the braaibroodjie (a grilled sandwich cooked on an open fire).

The braai-time staple is the easiest thing to make, and also one of the easiest to mess up! So we’ve come up with a few tips to help you create the perfect braaibroodjie on Heritage Day.

The Bread
Don’t bother too much about spending a fortune on fancy artisan loaves. You don't want a bread that crumbles easily and is too thick. Fresh regular government white loaf will do just fine and holds the filling nicely while on the braai grid.

Filling ingredients – the trifecta
Unless you’re making the braaibroodjies exclusively for yourself, avoid veering off the beaten track and stick to the 3 ingredients that make braaibroodjies so darn delicious – tomato, onion and cheese. Some like the addition of Mrs. Balls chutney (and this results in a slightly sweeter broodjie), but that’s as far as one should go! Keep your truffle oil and pesto for fancy dinner parties. Lastly! Don't forget to season the filling. A light sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper is all you need.

Grate the cheese
Instead of using sliced cheese, rather grate the cheese before preparing your broodjie. This ensures that the cheese is melted evenly when it cooks. There’s nothing like the disappointment of biting into a freshly made broodjie to find that only half the cheese has melted.

Butter on the outside
Buttering the outside of the bread results in the sought-after outer crisp texture and a golden colour. Many people butter the inside as well – to act as an adhesive for the filling, but this is up to your discretion.

Toast on slow burning wood coals (not charcoal)
The temperature of the coals should not be exceedingly hot as the bread toasts rather quickly, so it is best to make your braaibroodjies only after the meat has been cooked. Wood coals generally give a better flavour (than charcoal) to the toasting process.

Eat as soon as possible
2 reasons for this - a) nobody likes a cold braaibroodjie and b) after some time the broodjie begins to soften and become soggy from the tomato slices.

To see our go-to braaibroodjie recipe, click here.

- Tessa Purdon

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