There’s no denying that we are a meat-loving nation. But as much as we adore our chops and wors, every hero needs a sidekick.
Bring on the braai sides, specifically those carb-rich, coma-inducing, starchy sides featuring potatoes, pasta and pap.
This braai day, take your potato salad to the next level with this simple recipe.
Place 2 large onions, wrapped in foil, directly into the coals. Cook for about 30 minutes, turning every few minutes to ensure they don’t burn. While the onions are cooking, crisp up a few rashers of bacon in a pan.
Remove the cooked onions from the foil and gently peel away the outer skin and any bits that are too charred (in other words, burnt!). The remaining onion should be soft and sweet.
Combine ½ cup apple cider vinegar, 3 T Dijon mustard, 2 T brown sugar, 4 T finely chopped chives, salt to taste and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Mix until the sugar has dissolved. Roughly chop the onions and place in a mixing bowl with the chopped bacon. Drizzle over ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil.
Cook 1.5 kg potatoes in salted water, then cut into large chunks. Toss with the dressing and season to taste before serving.
Use your noodle
Noodle salads are amazing as a braai side because they can be made today and served tomorrow, especially if you’re using spices!
Mix 3 T Woolworths Easy to Cook Cape Malay-inspired spice paste with ½ cup Mrs Ball’s Hot Chutney and 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise. Toss the sauce through 500 g cooked fusilli pasta, then cover and place in the fridge.
On braai day, place 4 mielies on the grid and cook for approximately 7 minutes, turning often. When cool enough to handle, remove the kernels from the cobs and add them to the noodle salad with 4 T roughly chopped coriander and season with salt to taste.
I was never into pap, it was just this bland porridge that I didn’t understand. But when I changed my thinking and saw it as a blank canvas, it opened a whole new world!
Create a rich, tangy tomato sauce by cooking 1 large roughly chopped onion in a pan with 3 T canola oil until completely caramelised, about 10 minutes.
Add 2 T ground cumin and 1 T ground coriander. Toast for 30 seconds, then add 6 finely chopped garlic cloves and 1 finely chopped red chilli. Cook for 2 minutes, then add 1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes and 2 x 25 g sachets Woolworths demi-glace concentrate beef stock.
Sweeten the sauce with ¼ cup sweet chilli sauce (or 2 T brown sugar), then add ½ cup water. Simmer gently over a low heat until it reaches a gravy-like consistency. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook the pap until almost stiff, then place in a large serving bowl. Cover with the tomato sauce, then top with grated mozzarella. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Serve with all that vleis.
For more great braai recipes, click here.