Braai time (not Brie time!)

Today’s recipe: Marinade for meat or chicken.
Springbok kebabs.

A braai is similar to a barbeque in that bit involves cooking meat over flames outside. But that is where the similarity ends. A PROPER South African braai involves real wood, no charcoal or (heaven forbid) (gasp) gas. We want flames and carcinogenic black bits on our meat. The word can be difficult for foreigners to pronounce and it has been referred to as a Brie, which is just plain wrong!!!

Vincent, Joerg, Mornay at the braai.

How can you get any atmosphere standing around a gas grill, I ask you. We want smoke in our hair and alcohol firmly in our hand (a bottle of whiskey, a couple of cases of beer and several bottles of wine - and that’s just for me). We tell stories about years past, some more true than others, tell jokes and take photos no man should lay eyes on…

Christopher in a wig.

Should I introduce you to the sweet young man (here with a friend) and family? Sigh, okay then. On the left there is Christopher, darling son of (wonderful) Rene and Vincent, and brother to the equally darling Jessica. I met Vincent 20 years ago (I was a mere babe in arms) when he was in the Police force and no, I had done no evil, so wipe that smirk off your face. He had decided to take his puppy with him in the police car (not exactly allowed…) and the puppy had decided to christen Vincent and the car. Oops. I was managing a restaurant at the time and Vincent came in very shyly to ask to use the bathroom – the dog had already done so!

And we have been friends ever since. Nothing like a little dog pee to bring one together. At first the neighbors would call my parents to find out if everything was okay as the continued police presence at our house was noted, but soon they realized that it was just Vincent a visitin’. And there was definitely no crime in the neighborhood, that’s for sure. Fortunately, the divine Rene came into our lives as that boy did need some taming. I shan’t mention a police party that I obviously wasn’t at, where the police came (!) to ask to lower the volume and they landed in the pool sans bathing suit…

But enough about the olden days, Vincent is a Braai Master of note. He cooked our 21 days lazy aged steaks to perfection (be still my beating heart). Pity you weren’t there as it was soooo good I can’t actually find any words to describe the fork tender, melt-in-your-mouth, flavorsome, thick and still juicy, pink in the middle, piece of beef we had. (Or thank goodness you weren’t there as you would have been another person I would have had to hurt for even thinking about touching my meat.)

Warthog and apple wors or sausage.

We also had warthog and apple sausage (photo above) (I would give you the recipe but it is quite hard apples in the northern hemisphere at the moment), kudu sausage and kudu kebabs, springbok in sweet chili sauce (photo up top), chicken filets in a red wine marinade and so many other delicious things that the other guests didn’t recognize me on the street the next day without my hand at my face and food in my mouth. What can I say, it was all deevine. And then the “piece de resistance” – Rene made Samp with bacon, mushrooms and cheese. (See the end for a description of what Samp is.) (Rene and Jessica in the photo below.)

Rene and Jessica.

The photo does it no justice what-so-ever, but it is fantastic. Once you have looked at the photo, you should go and weigh yourself, as you will have gained 2kg. I shall completely ignore Joerg who is currently pointing out that the problem might well be that all the other guests together had the same amount as I had. Well, boo hoo to you.

Renes samp or hominy dish.

I hid the leftover samp as I didn’t want to have to share it. Not that I really needed to – it’s not as though my husband would have found it in the fridge. I don’t know what your husband is like, but have you ever heard this: “Honey I can’t find the milk in the fridge.”

Milk boxes in the fridge.

When we left Port Elizabeth for Cape Town, Vincent and the kids got up at 5.30am to come and say bye at the bus station. Shit, I hope they don’t expect me to do the same, I mean, by all the love in the world, 5.30am!! And they brought juice, chips and a chocolate for each of us (sorry Jess and Christopher, I told Joerg you said they were all for me…). Rene owns a creche which has almost 100 children - the woman deserves a gold medal - and was already on her way to work so here's another big kiss from us and see you in France!

Dad, Vincent, Jessica and Christopher.

Today’s recipe is a Vincent recipe that I can highly recommend.


2 cups chutney
¼ cup tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp crushed garlic

1. Mix all ingredients together and marinade the meat or chicken overnight (in the fridge).

2. Don’t put the meat on the braai / grill when the fire is too hot as you burn the outside without cooking it. Vincent has a 6 second rule: Hold your hand over the coals at grill height and if you can hold it there for 6 seconds (before you have to pull it away due to the heat) then the coals are just right to start braaiing / grilling.


Samp is dried corn kernels that have been stamped and chopped until broken but not as fine as Mielie-meal or mielie rice. The coating around the kernel loosens and is removed during the pounding and stamping process. It is used in the Xhosa variant of Umngqusho and sometimes eaten with Chakalaka. It can also be served with beef, lamb, poultry and in stuffings.
According to the American Heritage dictionary (4th edition), "samp" is of Native American origin, coming from the Narragansett word "nasàump." New Englanders since early colonial times have referred to cornmeal mush or cereal as "samp."
Like hominy, samp is prepared from groats (dehulled kernels) of maize, but the two are produced by different processes.
Unbroken and unhusked maize (corn) kernels can also be cooked (boiled) until tender. This food is called kaboemielies in Afrikaans.
Samp is often served with beans, as in "samp and beans".
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Nothing like a proper S'Effrikan braai! Love that samp too - yum!

I've got to experience a

I've got to experience a braai for myself, it sounds absolutely wonderful! Love the stories about the friends. Really its moments like those that are meant for bonding not that I'd ever seek out a puppy to facilitate.

Cannot wait to try the marinade.

Reply to comment | A Cook on the Funny Side

“Reply to comment | A Cook on the Funny Side” was a terrific post and also I personally was in
fact pretty glad to find the article. Thank you-Jerry

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