This holiday season, don’t spend hours upon hours sweating and slaving away cooking, baking, frying and boiling. We cannot fritter away our precious holiday hours and have nothing to show for it. This festive season, resuscitate your love for feeding the masses by abandoning the kitchen and taking the party outside. That’s right, this year Christmas will be done on the braai. Kitchen slaving must fall! So bring out the Weber, Cadac or even that old braai bak – just get those coals going.
For your not-so classic turkey, use a kettle braai such as a Weber to slowly cook the bird over indirect, medium coals for 2–3 hours, depending on its size. I would opt for two smaller turkeys, that way more people get the cuts they like.
For a little extra flavour, add a few chunks of completely dry oak, apple or even guava wood to the fire. They’ll add delicious smokiness to your turkey. Watch your fellow diners lose all sense of reason when you reveal this champion bird!
Beef roast on the braai
Prepare a beast of a beef roast this year by asking your butcher to trim a beef rib-eye roast on the bone.
Blend 10, yes I said 10, garlic cloves, a handful of rosemary, 1 cup olive oil, 10 anchovy fillets, salt to taste and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Cover every inch of the meat in the garlicky goodness and marinate overnight.
Come braai day, seal the meat over hot coals, making sure to brown it evenly all over. Move some of the coals aside and place the meat over enough to create a medium heat. Place a large sheet of foil over the meat while one side is cooking – this helps the meat cook faster. Turn regularly and after about 3 hours you’ll have the most beautifully cooked rib-eye roast, making you look like the ultimate cook. Plus, you get to socialise and chill while it’s cooking.
Roast potatoes become something otherworldly when done in this jaw-dropping way.
Parboil your potatoes as you normally would for roast potatoes. Let them steam after boiling to help remove any excess moisture.
Heat oil for deep-frying in your trusted potjie pot. Add the potatoes and deep-fry until golden and crisp. In the last few minutes of cooking, add 4–6 crushed garlic cloves and a few sprigs of rosemary; this will add extra flavour to the potatoes as they crisp up. Serve the potatoes with the crispy garlic and rosemary seasoned well with sea salt.
There isn’t anything you can’t cook on the braai that you can prepare in the kitchen, so you really have no reason not to take your Christmas outside this year.