Grilled rump steak on the menu for Sunday lunch together with traditional South African Pap with spicy tomato sauce. What could be nicer.
I decided to rather grill the steak in a pan than braai outside due to the rainy weather we have been having lately. Not fun having your braai interrupted by a shower.
We purchased a pack of 6 matured rump steaks from Pick n Pay Oakfields, where I buy most of my meat from.
Ingredients for the Pan Grilled Rump Steak
6 thick rump steaks
Himalayan salt or any coarse salt
Ground black pepper
Like always I prefer not to change the flavor of the meat with spices or marinades. That you can do with cheap cuts of meat but not the juicy flavor of rump.
Take the meat out of the fridge and packaging at least half an hour before you plan to cook so that it can reach room temperature.
Season the meat with the coarse salt and pepper on both sides, gently pressing it into the meat. Let it stand for at least 15 minutes before grilling.
Heat up the grilling pan to a relatively high temperature. The temperature is good when you add a small piece of meat to the pan and it instantly starts to sizzle.
Add a little olive oil to the pan and let it heat up.
Pan grilling the Rump Steak
Gently place the meat into the hot grilling pan together with a table spoon of butter.
Do not turn the steak for about 5 minutes, let it just do its thing. After 5 minutes turn the meat around. It should have quite a nice sear. After another 5 minutes turn the steak again and check, it should be about medium rare. If you prefer your meat a bit more well done, leave it for another 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Add the meat to your plate together with the pap and tomato sauceand enjoy!
Today’s lunch will be a lovely spicy Homemade Chicken Curry with soft fluffy potatoes. The nice thing about making curry dishes at home is that you can control the amount of heat that comes from the curry.
There are quite a few varieties of curries you can use ranging from mild to fire hot. My family enjoys mild but spicy curry dishes. I use the Flavourful and Mild Curry Powder made by Rajah.
A lesson that I have learnt over the years making various dishes is not to drown the taste using too many spices. For the curry I will use the Curry Powder, Salt, Pepper and a little garlic.
For the home-style chicken curry I will be using chicken fillets. This eliminates the skin which turns soggy in the curry and the bones.
First some tips on handling raw chicken
Do not allow raw chicken or its juices to touch other foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Immediately dispose of any pieces into plastic bags.
Do not rinse raw chicken; splashing water can cause cross-contamination.
Before and after handling raw chicken, use hot, soapy water for 20 seconds to wash hands, cutting boards, utensils and he working surface.
Always serve cooked chicken using a clean platter and utensils; never ones touched by raw meat.
There are a few ways to cook the chicken ahead of creating the curry. I prefer boiling the chicken fillets in a slight bit of water mixed with Lemon Juice until they are cooked through.
Homemade chicken curry ingredients
6 Chicken fillets
2 Red chili peppers
3 Potatoes (Optional)
4 Ripe red tomatoes
1 Large onion
If you want to have the chicken curry with potatoes – peel three potatoes and boil in water with a little salt until they are soft. Test with a sharp knife. If the knife point penetrates the potatoes easily then they are ready!
Homemade chicken curry Preparation
Cut the chicken fillets into bite size pieces and place into a medium size pot with water covering about 2 cm from the bottom.
Cut up the onion into coarse pieces and add to the chicken in the pot.
Add Salt and pepper an place on the stove over medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the onions are translucent.
Adding the ingredients
Once you are happy that the chicken is cooked through add the tomatoes (Roughly cut) to the pot together with the garlic flakes and the red chili peppers (Cut into small pieces). You can add more chilies if you prefer the dish hotter.
Add about 5 to 6 teaspoons of the Flavourful and Mild Curry Powder and place back on the stove set to low/medium heat. Cover the pot and let it slowly cook for about 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes add the cooked potatoes to the pot, stir in well and let simmer for another 15 minutes. There should be enough liquid in the pot, if not add a little water.
Serve the home-style chicken curry over rice and enjoy 🙂
One thing I have noticed is that some people complicate everything related to a braai. It should be fun where family and friends can gather around a fire and just enjoy themselves.
Keeping things simple
Lets think what we need to turn that meat into something juicy and tender that can only be enjoyed.
We need a fire for heat and a grill to place the meat on. There are fancy units available that costs thousands of Rands but do you need to spend a fortune on a Braai – I think not.
I have braai’d on cheap braais that cost less than a R100 and expensive gas braais but in essence its not really the tools that do the trick but rather the guy with the tongs in his hand.
Making the fire
This is the easiest thing to do and not to made overly complicated.
If you are using charcoal or briquettes stack the in a heap resembling a pyramid. Light a firelighter and stick it under the “pyramid” and leave it to light the charcoal. I have many times made my own firelighter by soaking some crunched up newspaper soaked in paraffin.
If you use wood the pack the wood in a pile and set alight with either a firelighter or my newspaper and paraffin method. If you are using wood you will need use quite a lot of wood for enough long lasting coals.
Leave the fire to burn until all your coals are lit and turn grey, spread them out evenly and you are ready to braai!
Different Heat for Different Meat
Initially the heat from the charcoal or coals will be extremely hot and not suitable for meat like chicken, pork chop, lamb chops etc. but perfect for those steaks.
I love my steak medium rare and the initial heat is ideal for the perfect sear on the outside and juicy tender meat inside. Leave it a few minutes longer and its well done.
For pork and lamb chops you need medium heat and chicken medium to low heat. I usually build the fire on one side of the braaier and spread enough lit charcoal to the area under the grill for the chicken. If the heat starts dying down I just move more of the lit charcoal under the chicken.
Preparing the meat and how to braai
Just like with my recipes in the kitchen I never use excessive spices or marinades on the meat. When I eat meat, I want to taste the meat and not something else. I love the salty taste of meat and have no desire to change the taste or make it sweet.
If we are braaing steak I normally purchase good quality rump, T-bone or similar. Matured meat is a bonus. On steak I just use salt and pepper. Use coarse salt to sprinkle over the one side together with ground pepper and press into the meat. Turn over and repeat and that’s it. I don’t use any further spices.
Place the steak on the grill over a hot fire and about 7 minutes later you have a medium rare steak. The time taken depends on the thickness of the meat but just cut a corner off to test … that is my braaiers privilege – to taste the meat for perfection. 🙂
To spice pork chops I use coarse salt and ground pepper pressed into the meat together with a braai or barbecue spice.
Once on the fire and after the first turn I drop a few drops of Worcester sauce on the chops. Not too much though, just want to enhance the flavor of the meat not change it.
How to braai Chicken and Chicken Wings
Chicken is also a meat that has to be eaten well done and not bloody or slimy against the bones. When cooking big pieces of chicken or a “Flatty” I normally precook it in the kitchen. Place the chicken in a pot with a small amount of water and lemon juice. Place the pot on the stove at a low to medium heat and leave for approximately an hour.
Once you are satisfied that it has cooked through, take out and spice with salt, pepper, chicken spice and in my case Cayenne pepper. Place on the braai over medium to low heat and let it do its thing.
I love my chicken wings hot so I will marinade them in a chilli or such like marinade for a few hours and place on the braai – no need to precook. Turn often to prevent the marinade from burning. Once the fat runs clear and is not bloody, they are normally done.
How to braai conclusion
There you have it! having a braai is a favorite way to prepare food in South Africa. There is no much that can be done on a braai like potato’s, onions and the famous “Braaibroodtjies”. Just have fun and keep it simple.
What is more South African than a typical Braai with Wors, Chops, Steak and Pap with Homemade Tomato Sauce? It is just a way of life and there are few things nicer.
This homemade tomato sauce recipe is my own that came from years of trial and error. I am not one that follows recipes from books but rather from my own mind as I go along.
I do quite a bit of tasting at the different stages of any meal or sauce I make. Makes the experimenting just so much more fun really.
My homemade Tomato Sauce is good for:
Pap at the braai
Good on Mash potatoes
Just spread thickly on a piece of fresh bread.
There are a few variations on the standard recipe, some more spicy and others with a hint of chilli for some warmth. All depends on the mood and the guests preferences.
Tomato Sauce Ingredients
6 ripe tomatoes
1 large onion – red or white
Vinegar – white, brown or apple cider
Garlic and Herb spice
Sunflower or Olive Oil
Tomato Sauce Method
Heat the oil in a small pot and add the onion that has been cut into small pieces. Fry the onions until they are soft, do not overdo.
While the onions are frying in the pot, put the tomatoes in a holder and pour boiling water over them and let them stand submerged for about 5 minutes. Take the tomatoes out and put them into cold water, now it is super easy to peel the skin off the tomatoes.
Cut the tomatoes into smallish pieces and add to the pot. Turn the heat down to low. Add a table spoon of the vinegar to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste and close the lid.
I normally add a 1/4 teaspoon of mild curry after the sauce has been cooking for about 15 minutes to add some spiciness and I do love the taste of curry. You could also add a cut up chilli to the sauce if you want it hot.
Leave it for 30 minutes on the low heat until the tomatoes are soft. Use a masher, the same as you use for making mashed potatoes, to mince the mixture to the constituency you would like. I prefer mine rather chunky.
You can use a thickening agent like Corn Flower to thicken the sauce if it is too watery for your taste or just let it carry on cooking with the lid off to evaporate the water.
Now serve it up or mix it with your pasta and enjoy!
Getting tired of braaing lamb ribs on the braai? I was. Got this recipe from my Mother for delicious lamb ribs, rice and a lovely tomato sauce with potatoes. I remember eating this growing up and we fondly called it “Tamatie Kos”.
Doing ribs on the braai has always been a bit of a battle for me. The marinade and outside always seems to burn black before the meat under the fat layer is done. This method of cooking the lamb ribs solves the problem.
Add some water to a rather large cooking pot. The water should cover the bottom to about 10 mm. Cut the ribs into rather large pieces and place in the pot. Cut up two large onions and place the pieces between the ribs.
Add salt and any other spice you like, set the stove on slow heat (In my case setting 1). Put on the lid and let the ribs slowly cook for about 2 hours. After the 2 hours check on the lamb ribs. The meat should be tender and almost falling from the bones, if not leave for another 30 minutes and check again.
The ribs will be a rather white colour which is normal but the pot will contain quite a bit of the fat that has come out from the meat – keep it!
Braai the ribs over the coals or in the oven
Now the Lamb Ribs recipe calls for the meat to be grilled to perfection. You can do this over the coals or placed in a tray in the oven. Braai or grill the meat until you have the traditional golden brown colour. You will know when they are done 🙂
The tomato sauce
Take the pot that contains the fat that had cooked out of the ribs and the onions and slowly bring to a boil. Peel about 6 tomato’s, cut them up and add them to the pot. Lower the heat somewhat and put on the lid.
After about 30 minutes the tomato’s should be soft. If you like curry add about 2 teaspoons of mild curry to the sauce. Add some pre-cooked potatoes to the pot and let cook for another couple of minutes. If it is very thin and watery add some corn flower, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. Taste and if necessary add some salt or any other spice you like.
Finally ready to eat old fashioned Lamb Ribs Recipe
Dish up a good portion of rice and pour the tomato sauce and potatoes over the rice. Grab the lamb rib and enjoy a really old style lamb ribs recipe like your Grand Mom would have made.
Homemade fried chicken liver recipe that is real quick and easy to make. I love the rich taste of chicken livers and this method stays the nicest.
If you have purchased the chicken livers frozen the first step is to defrost them. Once defrosted wash the chicken livers under cold water and remove any green or black bits. You can cut off the fatty bits but I prefer not to.
Place the cleaned livers in a plate and coat them with a mixture of salt, flour and Cayenne Pepper.
Fried Chicken Liver Method
Heat some olive or vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. The oil should be hot enough to sizzle when you place the livers in the pan.
Add the flour coated livers to the pan and let the magic begin. Don’t turn them to often – rather wait until they have turned a golden brown on the underside before turning.
Before they are cooked through add some onion to the pan and fry the livers and the onions together.
Add more salt and black pepper to taste – Grab a plate and enjoy 🙂
Just like all things in my life I like to keep my recipes simple and uncomplicated. This is my latest Homemade Oxtail Recipe that was prepared over the weekend of 19 and 20 October 2020 for my Mothers 82nd Birthday. This is an improvement on my previous attempt.
History of Oxtail
In years past the meat was used from the tail of an ox but these days the tail of the cow is used. Be it male or female. It used to be meat that was extremely cheap and sometimes even given away until it was discovered to be of the finest tasting meat from the cow and the price was increased.
Today you can expect to pay in the region of between R99 to R110 per kilo.
Preparing the Oxtail
We purchased 5 packets of Oxtail from our local Pick & Pay. It was in the region of 5 and a half kilograms, enough to feed the guests.
Each section was first washed, brushed with salt and put aside. The secret to getting the meat extremely tender is cooking at slow heat for quite a few hours.
I put above 5 mm of water in each of the two pots that were going to be used and placed half of the meat in each pot. Added a few generous squirts of lemon juice and a finely chopped onion to each pot with some spices.
Homemade Oxtail In the Pot and onto the Stove
Now through trial and error on the Oxtail recipe I have discovered that using a low heat works best to get the meat really tender. On our stove which ranges from the setting 1 through 6, I selected “2” for each plate that contained a pot.
For the first 45 minutes nothing seems to happen but eventually you will see life in the pots. We left it for 2 hours to slowly cook. I then carefully turned all the meat around and placed what was on top at the bottom. The meat at this stage was still quite tough and stuck on the bones.
Leaving it for a further 3 hours undisturbed did the trick. The meat was falling off the bones and already tasted lovely – but the best was still to come.
Adding potatoes to the Recipe
We boiled about 8 large potatoes in water with salt until they were soft and fluffy. I drained the potatoes and added a substantial amount of the juices and oil from the meat to the potatoes and let them simmer.
The final step was adding the curry. I added three heaped teaspoons of Raja’s Mild and Spicy curry to a mixing glass with just enough brown grape vinegar to form a paste. This was added to one pot and repeated for the other pot of Oxtail and also the potatoes.
We let them simmer in the curry for about 30 minutes. You can add some corn flour if needed to thicken the sauce.
One of the problems I seem to have is never adding enough salt to any dish I prepare, so at this stage I taste and add salt if needed – which always happens.
Homemade Oxtail In the plate
We had also prepared some vegetables to add some colour to the plate but I never got to them. So there we have it – my simple and easy Oxtail Recipe with minimum spices, just the lovely flavor of the meat with the potatoes and rice.
If you have anything to add or how to improve on this lovely dish please leave a comment.
A very simple recipe to make Homemade Pickled Onions without much fuss. The hardest job is peeling the small pickling or pearl onions.
Here is a simple way of removing the skin from the onions.
Cut the root ends off the onions
Place the onions in boiling water for about 30 seconds
After the 30 seconds transfer the onions to a bowl of ice water
Step 1 Preparing the pickling onions
Soak the peeled onions in clean fresh water with a tablespoon of salt added. I was adding a few chillies to each jar so they soaked with the onions. Leave them to soak while you prepare the brine or pickling liquid.
Step 2 Sterilize the jars for the homemade pickled onions
Wash the jars and lids thoroughly with hot soapy water, rinse and place in a large pot with almost boiling water. Leave them in the hot water for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Take them out and place on a rack to dry. Avoid touching the mouth of the jars and the inside of the lids.
Step 3 Preparing the pickling liquid or brine
What you will need
Vinegar – White or Brown. Experiment
Optional chilli or two
The amount of vinegar depends on how many jars you will be filling. I normally make 2 jars. Fill the jar with vinegar and pour it in a pot and then fill again halfway with vinegar and the rest with water and pour into the pot.
Gently heat the vinegar and water mixture to a point where its almost boiling. Add two tablespoons of salt and two tablespoons of sugar. You can cut down on the sugar if you find the end result to sweet. Stir well until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Step 4 Adding the onions and Brine to the Jar
Now start filling the jars with the peeled onions and add a few chillies (Optional). Pack them into the jars quite tightly together with 2 or 3 bay leaves.
Now slowly pour the hot brine or pickling liquid into the jars. Fill it right to the top and leave it for a few minutes to allow the bubbles to escape from the onions. Now top up making sure it covers all the contents.
Seal the jars with the lids and place back into the large pot with the hot water that you used to sterilize the jars. Leave them in the hot water for about 10 minutes.
Carefully take the jars out the hot water and let cool. After an hour or so place them in the refrigerator and forget about them for about 2 weeks.