Food & Wine

Time to light the fires

Time to light the fires

It’s official… braai season is upon us. And with Heritage Day around the corner, lighting the fire is a must.

Braai etiquette 

Nothing beats the excitement of settling down next to the fire armed with a delicious drink and catching up with friends and family. Because it’s such a relaxed affair, people often forget that braai etiquette is a real thing. Let’s take a closer look at the etiquette that goes with being at a social braai.
If it is a bring and braai, make sure to buy good quality meat and enough to share
There is nothing worse than showing up to a braai with low grade meat and then helping yourself to better quality meat from the braai.
Ask what you should bring
Make sure you know what is needed, like salads or rolls. Don’t just assume the hosts will supply. Don’t bring any uninvited guests along!
Keep the Braai Master company
A braai is a social occasion and braaing is not supposed to be a chore. Also make sure you check if the Braai Master needs his drink refilled.
Don’t Interfere with the braai process
Do not pour your beer over the meat… ever. You should also not flick cigarette buts into the braai or criticise the Braai Master’s cooking skills.

Venison burgers with beer-battered onion rings

Ingredients
Patty
1 kg venison mince * ½ cup Castle Barbecue Marinade * 1 large onion, finely chopped * 1 cup breadcrumbs Salt and pepper to season

Seasoning
Hamburger rolls * Mayonnaise * Fresh pineapple slices * Emmentaler cheese
Tomato slices* Red onion slices * Lettuce leaves

Beer-battered Onion Rings
2 onions * 1 cup flour * ½ cup beer * 1 egg * Salt * Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Instructions
Burgers
In a large bowl combine the mince, marinade, onion, breadcrumbs and seasoning.
Stir together using the handle of a wooden spoon.
Wet your hands and form 6–8 meatballs, depending on the size you want your burgers.
Flatten into patties and refrigerate until needed. Brush the patties with oil on all sides.
Braai over very hot coals to seal both sides of the patty, then barbecue over lower heat until cooked, about 5–6 minutes.
Remove from the heat and immediately brush with more marinade.
Spread mayonnaise on the roll and layer the burgers first with lettuce, then tomato followed by a patty and cheese, another patty, then pineapple and finally red onions.
Open wide! Serve with more sauce and beer-battered onion rings.

Beer-Battered Onion Rings
Slice the onion into thick rings.
Place into iced water for 10 minutes.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep pot.
Dry the rings well.
Make a runny batter with the flour, beer, egg and salt.
Dip each ring into the batter and fry 4 or 5 at a time until golden brown.

Braai companion

What would a great braai be without a delicious salad and some braai broodjies? Since people are more and more focused on healthy options, here’s an ‘Add an Avo‘ salad recipe perfect for any braai.
Braai salad
Halve avocados and toss gently with cherry tomatoes, grilled sweetcorn, kidney beans, chopped chives and peppadew. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and freshly ground black pepper.

Something to drink

When you have guests coming over and the braai fires are lit, why not welcome them into your home with a great cocktail? Here are some easy-peasy drinks to try:

Rock Shandy
This drink is a pleasingly grown-up, non-alcoholic drink. You just need three dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters mixed into a mix (equal quantity) of ice-cold carbonated lemonade and soda water. Serve over ice with a slice of lemon or a Maraschino cherry.

Champagne Cocktail
Our fave … perfect for any celebration or gathering of friends.
Put a sugar cube into the chilled champagne flute and top with three dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters. Top up with well chilled champagne or MCC and garnish with a spiral of citrus peel.

Martinez Cocktail
A deliciously sweet treat! All you need is 50ml Hendrick’s Gin, 15ml Sweet Vermouth, 7.5ml Maraschino Liqueur / Cherry Flavoured Liqueur, a dash Angostura Bitters / soda dash and a dash of Orange Bitters. Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker and shake hard over ice. Strain into martini glass and garnish with orange zest.
Or try something creamy…

African Dusk Martini
Ingredients (per serving)
* 2 shots (50 ml) Amarula Cream * 1 shot (25 ml) Mainstay 54 Island Vodka * 1 cup (250 ml) chocolate mousse * Shaved or grated white and/or dark chocolate (for garnishing) * Raspberries (for garnishing) * Glass: Chilled martini (no ice) * Garnish: Shaved or grated white and/or dark chocolate, and raspberries (optional)
Method
Combine the Amarula Cream, Mainstay 54 Island Vodka and chocolate mousse in a cocktail shaker or container with a lid to seal. Shake well and strain into the chilled martini glass. Don’t add ice. Garnish with shaved or grated white and/or dark chocolate, and raspberries.

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