A Backyard Chef’s Guide

It’s that time of year again!

We’re spending more time outdoors doing something we all enjoy – braaiing. Gather around the fire with friends and family because we’ve got the recipes that are sure to set your taste buds tingling.



  • 1 free-range whole chicken
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, to drizzle
  • 10 ml lemon zest
  • lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • rosemary


  • Mix olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and chopped black olives, then carefully stuff under the skin of the chicken along with a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary.
  • Grill over hot coals for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear.

TIP: To butterfly a chicken, place the whole bird breast side down with the drumsticks pointing towards you. The backbone is now on top.Using kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone and remove it (keep it for stock).


A recipe for rump steaks on oak braai planks with mustard butter

Ingredients:Rump steaks on oak braai planks with mustard butter

  • 4 200g beef rump steaks
  • 50 g butter
  • 1-2 tsp hot English mustard
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste

  1. Combine the butter, mustard, parsley, lemon juice and sea salt and roll them into a cylinder. Cover with cling film and refrigerate.
  2. Place soaked braai planks (narrow, thin oak planks) on the open flames. When they starts to smoke, place the rump on the planks and brown on both sides.
  3. Place a knob of mustard butter on each steak and allow to melt.


Braai Bruschetta


  • 8 thinly sliced mixed marrows
  • 1 thinly sliced brinjal
  • olive oil, to drizzle
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 ciabatta bread
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto


  • Toss 8 thinly sliced mixed marrows and 1 thinly sliced brinjal in 2 T olive oil with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  • Chargrill the vegetables on a grid over hot coals.
  • Halve 1 ciabatta lengthways, brush with olive oil and chargrill, cut side down, on the grid.
  • Top with charred veggies and a generous dollop of basil pesto.

Ingredients:Braaied mushrooms

  • 250 g button mushrooms
  • extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 tbsp oregano, chopped
  • 65 ml lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • flour tortillas, to serve

Cooking Instructions

  • Heat a griddle pan over a high heat.
  • Mix the mushrooms with the olive oil, oregano, lemon juice and garlic cloves. Season to taste.
  • Thread onto kebab sticks.
  • Grill in the pan or braai over medium coals until slightly charred.
  • Serve with toasted flour tortillas and a squeeze of lemon.

Use these good-to-know braai tips to get you going.

  1. Your heat source is probably the most important. You’ve got to get the right temperature on your coals to ensure you don’t sizzle the outside and leave the inside uncooked.
  2. Always make sure your meat is properly seasoned. Besides the salt and pepper, try adding some of these favourites to the mix…
    Beef: basil, peppercorns, rosemary, sage, thyme
    Lamb: basil, cumin seed, sage, oregano, rosemary
    Pork: Anise seed (crushed), basil, caraway seed, coriander, fennel, rosemary, sage, thyme.
  3. Put the meat that’s going to cook for the longest on the heat first. And the the meats that are quicker to cook, last (that’s your boerewors and steak).
  4. I would add a corn or very creamy side dish. The braai will give you lovely caramelised flavours so you’ll want something rich, creamy and with texture to balance the meaty flavours.
  5. The best meat for me is free range beef – the aged beef is fantastic! It doesn’t matter how much of a great cook you are, if you don’t start with good ingredients then there’s going to be no flavour, it’ll be dry and might even be tough. So to me that range is the perfect product.

While your chops, ribs and boerewors sizzles, why not indulge in a glass of flavourful local wine?



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