Every year on 24 September we celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa. The braai has become synonymous with South Africa and its heritage and, so, Braai Day was born in 2005. But, make no mistake – South Africans don’t need a reason to light the fires.
With thousands of South Africans standing ready with their braai spice in hand every weekend, it’s only fitting to share some of our favourite braai recipes. These glamping-friendly recipes are suggested by AfriCamps camp owners from across the country and each recipe brings something special to the table, whether you enjoy them at your favourite AfriCamps or at home. From baking bread to grilling desserts – take a look, and indulge!
Share your braai day creations with us by tagging #WeAreGlamping in your social media pics! You could win a free night stay at any AfriCamps location!
AfriCamps at Doolhof co-owners Johan Fourie and Angelo Casu believe a braai can’t really go wrong if it’s served with ‘wine wine wine’! But Doolhof’s Chef, Wesley Gavin Papier believes a good marinade can make or break your braai! Try his African Cape Malay Marinade recipe with fish or meat.
Marinade is one of the most important elements of a braai. It separates caveman from the civilized man, even if I didn’t chop the wood, make the fire or slave behind the scorching flames.
- Cumin seeds, paprika, ground coriander – 2 tablespoons of each
- Robust herbs: thyme leaves and rosemary – 1 teaspoon of each
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 50g fresh coriander
- 2 teaspoons plain feta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 100ml olive oil 1
- 100ml sunflower oil
- Basting brush
- Combine all the ingredients in a jug blender and blend into a loose paste
- Pour half of the marinade over your meat 30 minutes before the braai and the other half for basting as you braai
- Do not marinate for longer than 30 minutes, the salt and lemon might overpower the meat.
- Spices like heat!
- Just before the meat is cooked, baste it one more time
- Remember to take credit for the marinade
Ryan and Michelle McKain, camp owners at AfriCamps at Mackers in Hazyview suggest baking a Potbrood (Afrikaans for pot bread) while braaiing your meat. Potbrood works especially well with the round braai pits at AfriCamps at Mackers. Just remember to bring your pot!
- 1 Packet of ready-made bread dough (from any local store – The McKains get it from Checkers)
- 2 Packets of Knorr 3-cheese sauce
- 500ml fresh cream
- Block of grated cheese
Roll the dough into balls and place them in a cast-iron pot. Mix the 2 packets of cheese sauce with the cream. Pour the mixture over the dough and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Place the pot on a stand in your braai. Place a couple of coals under the pot and a couple on top. Bake for around 40 minutes whilst braaiing your meat. You can lift the lid halfway through to check that the heat is spread equally at the bottom and the top of the pot.
You can add herbs, garlic or bacon for extra flavour.
AfriCamps at kam’Bati’s Jaco and Dene Badenhorst’s favourite by far is braaiing rump steak. Jaco suggests the well-matured and always tender rump steaks from the butchery at Swellendam’s Spar supermarket.
Make sure your coals are very hot and place your steaks on the grid.
Enjoy your steak with Braaibroodjies (Afrikaans for barbecued sandwiches)
Each braaibroodjie needs two slices of bread. Spread butter and chutney on one slice. Place sliced onions, sliced tomatoes and grated cheese on top and close your sandwich. After you have removed your steaks from the braai, place your braaibroodjies on the grid on low heat. Turn the grid often until the bread is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
Enjoy with a feta and avo green salad.
Fellow South Africans might be familiar with the legendary Braai Pie, first introduced to foodies by SuzelleDIY. Since 2014, many variations of the Braai Pie have been created – including this one suggested by AfriCamps at Oakhurst.
Camp owners Jake and Claire Crowther are treated to this delicacy when their eldest daughter, Landon, comes home from boarding school over the holidays. The braai pie is a sure crowd pleaser and makes an excellent snack to enjoy around the fire, or as a side dish with your meat.
- 2 layers of puff pastry
- Any filling you like. Landon recommends feta, mozzarella and spinach
- 1 egg
Lay your first layer of pastry out. Chop your fillings and spread them onto the puff pastry. Place the second layer of puff pastry on top of the fillings (like a sandwich). Press down the sides with a fork to seal the pastry. Beat the egg and paint it onto each side of the pastry. Place on a braai grid and grill over coals for about 15 minutes. Cut into squares and share!
Another Crowther favourite is a rump steak appetizer enjoyed around the fire – guaranteed to get your guests in the mood. While your friends and family are socialising and enjoying snacks around the fire, put a thick rump steak, that would normally have been served for dinner, straight on the grid, on the hottest coals you can produce.
Very hot, very close to the coals, very fast – scorched black on the outside, and as rare as you dare on the inside.
On a wooden board, cut the entire steak into thin 1 cm strips right there at the fireside, straight from the grid. Grind a generous amount of coarse salt on the rare strips and serve to your guests, eaten with fingers straight off the board. This taster never fails and is the best way to enjoy a good rump steak.
AfriCamps at Gowan Valley’s recipe comes a long way. Brett Bouwer, camp owner at Gowan Valley, and Jake Crowther, camp owner at Oakhurst have been great friends since their varsity days. Many years ago the two young friends were touring through Africa. On arrival at a farmer’s house, Brett and Jake wanted to impress the farmer’s three beautiful daughters by adding something to the braai. So they chose to add… a cabbage! And this simple recipe was born! (Tip: The kids will love this veggie especially if it’s followed by braaied marshmallows!)
- 1 whole cabbage
- Brown onion soup
Cut the cabbage into large slices but not the whole way through. Sprinkle brown onion soup and butter between the slices. Cover the cabbage in tin foil and pop on the braai for 45-60mins. Keep rolling the cabbage for even cooking.
Apparently the daughters loved the cabbage and all-in-all, a very successful visit!
Most of AfriCamps at Stanford Hills’ favourite dishes contain at least a dash of red or white wine – for obvious reasons!
Camp owners Jami and Peter Kastner suggest a braaied ribeye steak served with rocket, roasted pepper, lemon and baby potato salad and a Jackson’s Pinotage red wine sauce.
- 250g Ribeye steak
- Sea Salt Flakes
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper
- Lemon zest + juice
- Olive Oil
- Cayenne Pepper
- Baby Potatoes
- 1 bottle Jackson’s Pinotage
- Beef Stock
Season 250g ribeye steak with sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper, bring to room temperature. Season the red pepper and toss it in olive oil. Roast the red pepper on the braai until soft and slightly charred. Roast the Baby Potatoes with the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, seasoning and cayenne pepper until cooked through.
Place your meat on the braai, turning over only twice until medium rare. Let the meat rest while you toss the potatoes, peppers and rocket together.
Plate the steak with the salad and drink the wine, (no need for sauce). Or, if you prefer to use the Jackson’s Pinotage for a sauce, reduce 1 Bottle Jackson’s Pinotage with 5 liters of beef stock and a sprig of rosemary until reduced.
Enjoy over a view of the dam at Stanford Hills!
According to Stephan and Lindi Busch camp owners at AfriCamps at Pat Busch in Robertson, “you really can’t beat a simple lamb chop on the braai”.
- Good quality lamb loin chops, Karoo lamb if possible, not too much fat, not too little either, not cut too thin, maybe as thick as your thumb.
- Coriander, dried (seeds or ground coriander)
- Crushed garlic (2-3 cloves)
- Red wine vinegar
- Fresh rosemary
- Splash of olive oil
- Salt & pepper
First, light your fire. Pour a glass of wine, or open a beer, relax & enjoy… Watch the fire, marvel over our mountain views and take that jaw-dropping Instagram pic.
Just before the coals are ready and the fire has died down slightly, you can prepare the chops. Place the raw chops in a braaibak and sprinkle the coriander on both sides. Crush garlic over the chops and spread it out. Drizzle just a dash of olive oil (not too much) and then splash with about 3-4 table spoons of red wine vinegar to coat the chops. Destalk some rosemary and sprinkle the leaves over the chops. (Save some rosemary sprigs to place in the grid when you start to braai.)
In the braaibak, toss the chops and mix it up a bit to get the vinegar, olive oil, coriander, garlic and rosemary to cover them. Let the chops marinate for about 10-15 minutes, and you can give them one more toss at half time. Don’t add salt at this stage, but you can add pepper if you like.
When the coals are ready, arrange the chops on the braai grid with a sprig of rosemary here and there touching the chops, but so that the sprigs don’t fall out of the grid. Now braai them over a moderate heat as you prefer, but first grind some salt & pepper to taste on each side of the grid as you are braaiing the meat. You can now either braai the chops juicy & tender (medium) over a moderate heat, or you can cook them until the fat renders out and the chops are crispier.
Stephan prefers cooking the chops over a moderate heat until they are done, and then lowering the grid and increasing the heat to crisp them up at the end.
Esti-Mari, your gracious host at AfriCamps Klein Karoo has a personal favourite that every glamper can try when booking a braai pack from AfriCamps Klein Karoo. Your pre-booked braai pack comes with roosterkoek.
Roosterkoek is a proudly South African bread prepared on the braai. This is a MUST.
AfriCamps Klein Karoo mixes butter, garlic and herbs and then spreads it onto the Roosterkoek. It is then wrapped in foil and placed next to the coals when braaing.
If you want to create your own feast on the fire, try these two recipes as suggested by AfriCamps Klein Karoo.
Stuffed ostrich fillet Ingredients
- 1,5 kg Ostrich fillet, sliced lengthways to make 2 pieces
- 2 rashers bacon, diced
- 1/4 cup onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup green pepper, sliced
- 1/2 bunch spinach chopped
- 2 tablespoons sweet wine
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 packets of streaky bacon
Rub salt onto the meat. Fry the bacon, onion, green pepper and tomato over low heat for 10 minutes then remove from heat. Add in the spinach and mix well together. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and mix together.
Place one slice of fillet on a flat surface, place the filling onto the slice of fillet and place the other slice on top of the filling. Wrap with bacon. Secure with string. Braai over medium coals until done. Cut into slices and serve.
- Butter one side very lightly (not both sides).
- Cut the onion into large but thin rounds – keep the rounds whole and pack them onto the buttered side.
- Add the thinly sliced tomato rounds – sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes in the centre of the sandwich filling (not directly on the bread – this prevents the broodjie from becoming soggy.
- Grate strong cheddar and generously sprinkle over the tomato and cover with the other slice of bread. Make sure you cover all of the tomato slices with cheese.
- After everyone has braaied and the coals are low – pop them onto a braai grid and allow to toast until they are browned on both sides! Depending on how hot your fire or coals are you will need to watch these carefully as they can toast quickly.
Co-founder of AfriCamps, Manou Bleumink suggests a (somewhat) healthy dessert option – banana boats with chocolate. An alternative to braaiing marshmallows, try this banana, marshmallow and chocolate treat!
- Bananas (1 per peson)
- Chocolate chips
Cut a slit in the concave side of the bananas and open up a pocket. Fill the pocket with chocolate chips and top with marshmallows. Place the bananas on the braai grid, marshmallow side up and let it cook for about six minutes or until the marshmallows start to brown. Serve warm and enjoy!
The grand finale. AfriCamps co-founder, Jeroen van Rootselaar takes on the brave task of the Tarzan Roast. Warning: The Tarzan Roast, as introduced by Justin Bonello, is for the more experienced braaiers out there. This is an excellent Christmas dish, with rosemary sprigs sticking out of the leg of lamb, resembling a Christmas tree.
- 3 ½ kg fatty leg of lamb, with the shank intact
- Rosemary sprigs
- Couple of whole chillies (as hot as you can handle)
- 10-15 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
- 3-4 bunches of spring onions
- ¼ cup oyster sauce
- Handful of dried oregano
- 2 onions, sliced
- Juice of 2 to 3 lemons
- Juice of 1 orange
Serves 10 – 12
- Baking tray
- Half a metre of galvanised wire
- 2-3 metres of rope
- Forked stick
- Basting brush
- Sharp knife
- Small stool
- Wheelbarrow – useful for both braaiing and gardening
- Orange wood – any hard fruit wood will do, but do not use ordinary firewood
- Pita bread, lettuce, tomato, basil, Greek yoghurt
- Lay the leg of lamb on its side in the baking tray and, using a small sharp knife, cut slits 3-5 cm deep at a 45-degree angle all over the lamb. Push rosemary sprigs, chilli and garlic slivers into the slits, then dip the spring onions in the oyster sauce and push them in as well. The green leaves will jut out, a bit like a porcupine!
- Mix together the oregano, the balance of the oyster sauce, the onions and the juice from the lemons and orange, and pour this all over the leg of lamb. Leave to marinate while you make the fire.
- The meat cooks by radiated heat and is gently smoked at the same time. Use orange or apple wood because of their aromatic properties. The original recipe uses a wheelbarrow to make the fire in because the cooking time is somewhere between 4 and 6 hours, and during that time Mother Nature could blow hot and cold and change her tune a number of times. With a wheelbarrow you can adjust the position of the fire and take full advantage of the prevailing wind.
- First, slip the wire through the shank and twist it so there’s no chance of the meat falling into the fire. Attach the wire to the rope with a slipknot. Once the leg is attached to the wire and the rope, you need to find a nice strong branch in a tall tree from which to hang your meat. Again using a slipknot attach the rope to the branch and then, between the wire and the tree, make a sheepshank knot in the rope – this way, you can adjust the height of the lamb as required.
- Balance the baking tray with the left over marinade on a stool and position this directly under the joint. Wheel the fire in next to the stool and place it so that the prevailing wind is blowing towards the lamb. You should be able to hold your hand between the fire and meat for just a few seconds without burning it. If it’s not hot enough add a couple of extra logs on the fire to really get the heat going. You can use the forked stick to push the leg closer or further from the heat. And that’s it.
- For the next 4 to 6 hours, you need to keep basting the lamb with marinade and the fatty juices that drip into the tray. Every 10 to 15 minutes turn the meat about 45 degrees and secure its position with the forked stick. Keep testing the heat and add a log when necessary. Otherwise, your early evening meal could turn into a midnight feast.
- After 4 hours or so, poke a skewer into the thickest section of the joint to see if it’s cooked. If the juices ooze out red, it’s still raw and needs more cooking; pink juices mean the meat is perfectly medium rare. When it is cooked, raise the leg or remove the heat and let it rest for ten minutes.
- Carve the meat while it is still hanging up – that way, if it’s a bit too rare closer to the bone, you can just drop the roast back near the heat and cook it for a bit longer.
- Slice open the pita bread to make a pocket. Stuff with shredded lettuce, roughly chopped tomato, fresh basil, medium rare lamb and a good dollop of Greek yoghurt.
For gravy, make a sauce by pouring all the drippings and scraps of lamb in the baking tray into a pan, mix a teaspoon of cornflour in a cup of milk and add this to the pan. Keep stirring on low heat for between 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Enjoy your well-earned feast!
Photo by Justin Bonello
Whatever you choose to throw on the grill, we hope you enjoy Braai Day with your loved ones. And remember, these recipes are great throughout the year!
Happy Braaiing, AfriCampers!