Friday, September 13, 2013

Helpful Hints on How to Treat your Meat

• Steaks aren’t just a summertime meal idea.  Try marinating a round sirloin or blade steak and pop on the grill or in the broiler or frying pan for a tender and tasty meal.  For portion control slice before placing on platter on the table.
• Making stews is a great way to manage time effectively by cooking more than one meal at a time and freezing extra for a later dinner.   Just add your vegetables when you reheat and then you can vary the types of vegetables to offer your family more choices.
• Try marinating in a re-sealable plastic bag with ingredients as simple as a bottle of beer.   Or get creative with the beer and add balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, Dijon mustard, chilli powder, ketchup and garlic.
• Pre-browning the meat before adding liquid improves flavour and colour
• Lightly coating stew cubes with flour before cooking is optional but it helps increase browning and thickens the broth
• After browning be sure to scrape up all the bits in the pan as they are filled with flavour.
• Use enough liquid to just cover the meat – that’s about four cups of liquid for every kilogram of meat
• For instant beef stock use canned broth, consommĂ© or bouillon cubes dissolved in water.
• Adding tomato juice, paste or stewed tomatoes helps to tenderise the meat and gives the stock a rich colour and tangy taste.   Red wine, sherry or beer are upscale alternatives
• Once the liquid reaches a boil, reduce the heat so the stew simmers, not boils for about 1½ hours.  To maintain a constant temperature try oven stewing in a 180ÂșC oven for about 1½ hours
• Firm vegetables such as carrot and potatoes should be added in the last half hour of cooking.   Softer vegetables such as peas should be added in the last 5 to 10 minutes.

Top 10 Braai Tips

  1. Nothing beats a real wood fire.
  2. Gas is Afrikaans for a guest at your braai, not something you braai with.
  3. Braaing is the only fat-negative way of cooking food. Even when you steam it, the fat in the food stays behind. When you braai, the fat drips out.
  4. Never braai with indigenous wood. Alien vegetation like Rooikrantz and Blackwattle drink lots of ground water and besides, it’s good burning Australian rubbish.
  5. Braaing is a direct form of energy use, from the coals, to your meat. With conventional electricity there is a lot spillage between the power plant, power lines, electricity box, wires, stove and pan. If you love the earth, braai.
  6. Have enough ice at your braai. To put in Klipdrift & Coke, to keep Castles cold, and to treat burn wounds with.
  7. Smoke flies to pretty people, so send them to the kitchen to go and make salad.
  8. Animals eat grass, leaves and vegetables all their lives and convert it to meat. Eating meat is like eating vitamin pills.
  9. A cow must only be killed once. Do not braai you steak until the flavour is dead.
A braaibroodjie is your chance in life to have you bread buttered on both sides.”

Home-made Fire Lighters

Dry old tea bags. Pack into a glass jar and cover with metholated spirits or parrafin, allowing it to soak in. A few of these between your brickettes will give you instant flames.

Also soaking brikets in paraffin for a few days works very well
Sekelbos - Sickle Bush – Braaiwood
Best-selling braai wood in South Africa!  – allows you ample enough time to socialize with your family and friends.
The smoke from a Sekelbos braai, enhances the flavour of meat with the wood’s uniquely scented natural oils, normally only found in a bottle of BBQ sauce. TRY IT!
Bosveld Mix - Braai and Firewood
For quick braaiers, or best for your fireplace with a clean smell.
Burns quickly, but lasts long enough for a braai.
Black Wattle - Firewood & Pizza Ovens
Acacia mearnsii de Wild or Australian black wattle was introduced into South Africa as a source of firewood, charcoal and cheap building materials.
Excellent for pizza ovens and closed fireplaces and a winner for potjie.
Big Firewood Bags - Fire places and Boma’s
Big logs from sekelbos and other hard and soft bosveld wood.
Ideal for boma’s and big fireplaces.
Remember, firewood you light from the bottom and anthracite from the top.
Firstly pack the anthracite into the grate.
Then you build your wood fire (Best results use Black Wattle) on top ofthe anthracite.
Add anthracite and wood as needed.
Shonnah Charcoal 5kg
Product of Namibian hardwood and invader bush.
Quick lighting and long burning.          
Ideal for steak, tjops and boerewors.
For a long lasting and memorable braai.
Shonnah Briquettes 4kg
Product of Namibian hardwood and invader bush.
Quick lighting and long burning.
Ideal for webers and potjies.
For a long lasting and memorable braai.
Fox Firelighters
Each pack contains 4 individually metalized film wrapped firelighters for longer lasting efficiency.
Burns for approximately 20 minutes per piece.
Recycle or burn outer wrapping. No need to contaminate hands, simply light special metalized film!!
Lighterballs for an exceptional fire
Waterproof, No unpleasant odour, No kerosene smell that permeates the food, non-toxic, all packing is completely bio-degradable.
Burns for approximately 20 minutes per ball and use 1 ball per fire.

Axes and various sizes of braai grids, tongs and brushes.
Kameeldoring and Mopani
Very hard and heavy (density is about 1200 kg per cubic meter making it one of the hardest wood in the world). It is so hard that sparks have been known to fly when it is struck with an axe. A log left on the fire in the evening may still be burning the next morning. A person cannot be short with the fire lighters and kindling. Don’t be shy to pile them on!

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Thursday, September 12, 2013


The fire is your most important part of a good braai. You need lots of hot coals so make sure you have enough wood!! To start the fire use the driest wood you can find. I find thornwood and wattle are the best to braai on but that is all relative to your area. Big is always better so stack your fire properly before you light it and even add some more once it is lit.
Depending on when you want to braai and how much meat you have to tan, will tell you how much wood to use. If you are making a fire for a bit of ambiance first don't make it to big. Just get a good size fire going and keep adding wood to it when it starts burning down. If you just making fire to braai straight away, I suggest stacking the with all the wood you are going to use. Then still add a few logs after it's lit.

This is a good sized fire to start with