As the wife and I are firm traditionalists ( 😀 ) we also had our own braai. By the way, living in a flat is by no means an impediment to having a braai. Braais come in all shapes and sizes and many are portable and/or small enough for a balcony, so there’s always a way. As I said earlier: ‘n Boer maak ‘n plan.
You’re probably wondering about the chain. While this braai resembles a Weber, it is in fact a cheap knock-off made from much thinner metal and subsequently much lighter. During a fierce windstorm earlier in the year the lid decided to make a break for it (in the process obtaining the dents and scrapes visible in the photo) but luckily could not achieve enough lift to reach escape velocity. Instead it fell in my neighbour’s garden three floors down…
So, now I keep it chained up lest it attempts another escape.
I prefer building fires with wood because I like to sit staring into the flames, but the cost of wood and the size of my braai makes that a bit impractical, so I use charcoal (which works better for actually cooking the meat anyway). At least I managed some small flames.
Today we opted to braai one of the snoeks we brought back from our vacation. The object wrapped in foil on the far side of the grill is a garlic bread and the objects on the near side are sweet potatoes. Actually something amazing happened during today’s braai…a Braai Day Miracle if you will. I managed to get everything just right, with the fire not so hot that the fish burns or dries out, but hot enough that the apricot jam in the sauce I used started turning to syrup as the fish cooked in it. You might not think garlic-and-apricot syrup sounds appetising, but I can assure you it tastes wonderful.
(Incidentally, the Cape Snoek is unrelated to the freshwater fish of the same name found in the Netherlands. Dutch settlers in the Cape gave this fish its name because it looked very similar to the fish they knew from back home, but it actually belongs to the snake mackerel family and is only found along the coastlines of Southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand.)
And here you can see my lunch. Cover the sweet potatoes in some butter and sugar and we’re ready to go. And while wine is traditional with fish and beer with braais, we opted for the middle ground and had a cider (especially as neither of us like beer in any case).
All too soon, though, it looked like this:
The one drawback of snoek is that it’s an extremely bony fish, so you have to chew and swallow very carefully. Doesn’t detract from the taste, though.
We rounded off the meal with this wonderful frozen banana-and-chocolate dessert. Only containing a banana and some cocoa powder it tastes almost as good as ice cream but is much more friendly on the waste line. Thanks again, Gigi, for telling me about this.
Now that I’ve mastered the snoekbraai I need a new challenge, so this weekend I’m going to attempt making a roast on the braai. It can be done. I’ll let you know how it went.