No winter can last forever. As spring looms in the near future, Capetonians are looking forward to some well-deserved fun in the sun.
As any South African knows, a balmy spring day in the Cape just calls for a braai, but will you be dishing up the same salty old T-bone as last year?
More than just a “chop and dop”
Like many other culinary pursuits, the field of outdoor cuisine has advanced far beyond its elementary beginnings. Excellent publicity like the Pick n Pay Ultimate Braai Master Series has elevated the humble craft of preparing meat on the fire to a new level of sophistication.
Yes, long gone are the days of “extra effort” amounting to marinating your steak. The braaier of today must have some serious tricks up his or her sleeve. So how can you become a samurai of sizzle?
Bearing the new-found elegance of the braai in mind, prospective learners are in for a real treat. Overture Restaurant at Hidden Valley, just outside Stellenbosch, has started a brilliant initiative called Gourmet Braai and Wine Days. These events include demonstrations by the highly acclaimed South African chef, Bertus Basson, exquisite food and wine pairings. No doubt, after attending these superb occasions, you’ll be wielding the tongs like an expert.
Where to go from there?
So your braai repertoire has reached previously unforeseen levels of deliciousness. How can life get any better? The answer you’re looking for lies in the destination. Cape Town boasts an array of perfect braai spots. Or, for a meaty quest, find your own perfect location to tan a choppie.
Either way, the key to a truly legendary destination braai lies in the preparation. Modern portable braais come in a variety of shapes and sizes perfect for wood, charcoal or gas ignition. Think about the capacity of your trusty rusty before finalising your menu.
Transportation is also an important factor. For a true destination braaier, nothing beats a bakkie. With 4×4 capabilities and a sense of adventure, the venue for your next braai is limited only by your imagination. Some well-chosen bakkie canopy accessories like floodlights or a fridge make all the difference, plus the back flab doubles as a “kitchen counter”.
A few essential for your quest
Once your portable braai is loaded and you’ve invested in some prime cut meat, you’re basically ready to hit the road. Nonetheless, never go on a braai adventure without packing some core essentials.
Consider the environment and take refuse bags with you. Not all your braai destinations will be equipped with bins. A bucket and spade are also must haves for covering hot coals with sand when you leave.
Never underestimate the power of fire. You might only want your sosaties cooked, but accidents happen often. Pack a first aid kit and make sure you have plenty of burn cream in case disaster strikes. Speaking of burns, throw some sunscreen and plenty of water in your bag.
Let’s face it, braaing, no matter how sophisticated, is not for the meek minded. So get your act together, be responsible, pack your tongs and enjoy some outstanding destination braais this spring.