Welcome to my blog, these are the ramblings and musings of an (upper) middle aged biker and if you enjoy braais, (barbeques) beers and motorbikes then hopefully you will enjoy what Janet and I do; we do lots of braais, we drink lots of beer and we tour South Africa on our motorbike, which at the moment is a BMW R1200RT. Join us, read about what we do and please leave us your comments.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

At last we braai!

Rene and Bronx came up for the weekend and the weather was fantastic so we planned a regular braai, I had been having withdrawal symptoms because it is such a long time since I have been able to burn some meat! I did provide some oysters for a starter because Rene really enjoys them so I am happy to have someone here with whom I can share them. Let me just say that they were outstanding!
Saturday morning we took them to the Blue Diamond for a beer or two and Rene and I played five games of pool which I won 3-2, some really close and enjoyable games. During the time that we were there a lot of bikers arrived because there was a day jol in Velddrif, this always seems to happen when we have visitors, after a while it was time to go home and get the braai on the go.
The first course was steak tasties and I prepared a lovely piece of rump steak in the same manner as I did a couple of weeks ago, (see a couple of posts back) the only difference was this time I sliced it up into thin portions for all to share. Rene and Bronx were very impressed with my marinade.
The next course was lamb "ribetjies" (little lamb ribs); these are individual slices of lamb ribs usually 8 pieces in a pack. Braai them over hot coals, place them bone side down first to start cooking the meat and when it is good and brown lay them on their side and braai for a few minutes, turn them over and sprinkle aromat and lemon pepper on the cooked side.
Braai again for a few minutes and then turn them and sprinkle the other side as well. Keep turning them until the meat is nice and crunchy brown, these make a lovely starter.
Then I did "pork tasties", as you can see I was making up for all of the months that I had been waiting to braai and in fact we could easily have had another four people over but I didn't know who to phone at such short notice!
Get good pork rashers which must be at least one quarter to one half of an inch thick, the rind must still be on which you must sprinkle well with salt. Place them on the braai and cook both sides until the meat just starts to turn brown then you must balance them on their rinds and I find that the easiest way to do this is to place a piece of wood on the grid and lean the rashers against it. This enables you to turn the rinds into "crackling" which is essential for the success of this particular starter.
Once the rinds have started to blister and crisp, place the slices back on their side on the grid to cook properly, turn them over once or twice and once they have turned to a golden brown take them off and chop them into pieces, sprinkle with salt and serve to your guests, these make a delicious crunchy starter.
My main course was braaied chicken thighs served with Janet's garlic butter potatoes, truly a wonderful lunch which was washed down with lots of beer, as well as red and white wine. What a great afternoon! Except that the "Sharks" beat the "Blue Bulls" which cost me a case of beer.
Sunday lunch was a de-boned leg of lamb on the braai, I had been preparing it in my mind for a while and was looking forward to cooking it. De-boning the leg took a while but it wasn't all that difficult and then I marinated it for about an hour with olive oil, aromat, garlic flakes, crushed black pepper corns and mixed herbs.
A good bed of hot coals with that big hunk of meat was a wonderful sight!

It wasn't long before we were slicing into the meat, it doesn't take very long to cook the lamb this way because it is quite thin so you have to cut into it to judge when you want to take it off. If you like your meat quite rare, as we do, then take it off quite early and let it rest in a warmer where it will continue to cook for a while. Just before serving sprinkle it with crushed feta cheese - unbelievable! We had it with Janet's creamy aromat potatoes and green beans mixed with fried onions.
Later in the afternoon after Rene and Bronx had left and Janet was having a sleep, Frank came by after a ride and we sat chatting and drinking red wine and he started slicing up the left over meat and eating it, I ended up cutting off a good sized portion for him to take home. Obviously it was a success!
My first braai of the season went well and I'm looking forward to the next one.
I didn't ride my bike this weekend but I did drink a lot of beer, and when I look back at that sentence I suppose that it's a good job that I didn't ride my bike!

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