Tuesday 24th September was a public holiday here in South Africa; Heritage Day when we are all supposed to celebrate our heritage. A few years ago the then Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who loves a braai (Barbeque) himself declared that there was no better way for a South African to celebrate his or her heritage than with a braai and so National Braai Day was born.
So it is that all over the country, in every City and town the smoke from countless braai fires can be seen and the delightful aroma of sizzling boerewors fills the air. Friends and family gather for a day in the sun and a delicious meal prepared by a braai aficionado, nowadays the results can be seen on the social media sites the next day when we compare our results.
It was no exception in our backyard where I braaied a sumptuous lunch for my lady and myself, having just the previous day returned from a visit to Johannesburg I had not had the time to arrange for a large group of friends to attend the braai as is my wont, nor were we invited anywhere else so it was a small private affair.
As it was just the two of us I prepared my vegetables; a potato each, cut "hassleback" style with butter, Aromat spice and garlic flakes wrapped in tinfoil, a gemsquash cut in half with butter and black pepper and an onion, also cut in half and sprinkled with Balsamic vinegar, both also wrapped in tinfoil. (I think this would be aluminum foil in America.) These then all went underneath my firebox when I first lit it so that the resultant hot coals drop down on them.
Once I have enough hot coals to start cooking my meat, the vegetables will be pretty much ready. This time I had some lovely thick cut Pork loin chops and some good "Spek and onion" boerewors from the butchery in Hopefield.
The chops go onto the grid sprinkled with Aromat, garlic and herbs and I brown each side on high heat, after a couple of minutes when the chops have a nice colour I "paint" some cooking oil onto the rinds and sprinkle with salt,
Once the rinds are nice and crisp I lay them down again and build the coals up for the boerwors, which does not take long but needs good hot coals. The meat then rests for a few minutes in my braai dish while I refill the wine glasses and then we eat!