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Comprehensive step by step instruction and recipe on how to braai perfect steak – by Jan Braai.
What is Chisa Nyama? What is Chesa Nyama? What is Shisa Nyama?
The massaman flavour combination has been around for centuries and has truly stood the test of time. It’s traditionally and best made in a potjie on the fire, and it’s made with beef, as opposed to chicken, lamb or pork. Think of it as a combination of a Thai and Indian style of curry. Characteristically you first make the massaman paste, then fry that in coconut cream, and then you add the meat and potatoes. This is the most complex curry potjie recipe in this book but well worth the effort. The results are quite phenomenal. I like to use a cut like chuck steak for this meal as it has a lot of flavour, can stand up to cooking for a while, and the intramuscular fat means the meat does not dry out too much. For me a cut like rump becomes too dry and something like oxtail takes prohibitively long to become tender.
WHAT YOU NEED (feeds 4)
- 1 punnet fresh coriander (30 g)
- ½ cup salted cashew nuts
- 4 cardamom pods (whole)
- 4 cloves (whole)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 4 cloves garlic (peeled)
- ginger, equal in volume to garlic (peeled and sliced)
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tin coconut cream
- 1 kg chuck steak meat (deboned and cut into cubes)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 lime (juice and zest)
- 1 tot brown sugar
- 2–3 medium potatoes (500 g, cut into wedges for looks not taste)
- 2 red onions (cut into wedges for looks not taste)
WHAT TO DO
1. Wash the coriander and, without thinking about it too much or being too exact, cut it in half with a single stroke of a knife. Keep one half separate for later and finely chop the other half.
2. Put your potjie over the flames and dry-roast the cashew nuts for a minute or two. Nuts burn easily so focus solely on this task when performing it. Remove and set aside for later reintroduction to the meal.
3. In the now empty potjie, dry-roast the cardamom pods, cloves, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Again, don’t multitask. Remove from the potjie. From a practical point of view, you might need to use your leather welding or braai gloves to tip the potjie and scrape the spices out as they are too small to simply get out with your wooden spoon.
4. Crush open and peel the cardamom pods from step 3. Discard the shells and add the insides of the cardamom pods and the rest of the dryroasted spices to your pestle and mortar or food processor. Start working them over, also adding the nutmeg, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic, ginger, salt, oil and the chopped coriander from step 1. Continue grinding away until you have a thickish paste. Give yourself a pat on the back – you have now made your very own ‘massaman curry potjie paste’ (MCPP).
5. Please note that you can perform steps 1 to 4 even a day ahead of time, should you wish.
6. Get the potjie back on the flames and add about 2 tots coconut cream (not an exact science) to the potjie. Now fry the MCPP from step 4 in it for a minute or three.
7. Add all of the beef cubes and toss around, stir-frying for a few minutes to get bits of them seared. Don’t overthink this step; get some searing done and move on to the next step. We’re looking at roughly 5 minutes.
8. Now add the rest of the coconut cream and the chicken stock and stir well. Use the juices to loosen anything that might be stuck to the bottom of the potjie.
9. At this point add the bay leaves, star anise and cinnamon sticks. Bring the potjie to a gentle simmer and put the lid on. Leave it to simmer very gently for 1 hour. You want a few coals under the potjie and a few coals on the lid as well. 10. Lift the potjie lid, stir in the roasted cashew nuts from step 2, the fish sauce, lime juice and zest, and sugar. Also add the potatoes and onion and close the lid. Simmer until the potato wedges are soft, which will take about 20 minutes.
11. Remove the lid and now let the potjie simmer uncovered until you are happy with the consistency of the sauce.
12. Serve with basmati rice, naan bread, tomato&onion salad and yogurt with cucumber
- We are delighted to present you with a new concept: Tour de Braai – Travel on Gravel, the easiest and most relaxed multi-day cycling stage ride in South Africa.
- Tour de Braai aims to give cyclists a few great days of touring, holiday, braai and riding a bicycle through beautiful parts of South Africa.
- Our main goal is to have fun.
- Our intention is not to be all things to all people, or even some things to some people. We aim to be something specific.
- Below you will find an honest introspection of what it is we are selling, at cost. Decide whether this is for you.
- Entries are extremely limited and should you make the decision to enter and be awarded a spot, we look forward to sharing this unique experience with you!
- Please read the below with care, attention and a pinch of braai salt.
- With its trademark slogan Travel on Gravel, the Tour aims to take participants on gravel as much as possible. Where necessary or more scenic, we travel on something else, for example tar. Our first choice is to stick to publicly accessible gravel roads. We might occasionally deviate from this rule to braai, to have a casual drink, take a photo or to reach our overnight destinations. If during the Tour you find yourself on single track, you are either lost or walking from dinner to your cabin.
- Tour de Braai and its participants will adhere to many cycling traditions but wearing a race number is not one of them. Nor is it a race in the sense that you will you wear a timing chip. Riders are encouraged to use Strava as that is how you will be timed on each stage. Way more importantly, you need to use Strava to log segments and hunt KOMs on the big climbs and on obscure and remote platteland stretches of gravel. If you’re not on Strava you are still quite welcome to enter but if you’ve never heard of Strava and have no idea what Strava is you might want to reconsider entering Tour de Braai.
- In essence, the function of the Tour de Braai organisers will be to facilitate your guest house and hotel accommodation; transport your luggage between venues; catering three meals a day; catering on the route; and various ad hoc enjoyable and entertaining perks during each day.
- To get yourself in the correct frame of mind you should view the organisers more as facilitators of you having fun on your bicycle holiday tour than thinking of us as cycling event operators. In the latter case you will be bitterly disappointed as there will be no medal at the finish.
More specific itinerary details
- Firstly, please keep in mind that this is the first Tour de Braai open to the public entries, so think of it as a beta version. Some finer details might change for reasons unknown to us now.
- On the whole your experience will be as described below but if you don’t like small and unexpected changes, please do not enter Tour de Braai.
- Until now, Tour de Braai has been a fun and incredible cycling holiday with mates. Everyone loved it and nobody complained. If you like to complain or last minute changes to an itinerary irk you, perhaps reconsider entering the Tour de Braai.
- Registration and rider briefing for the 2017 Tour de Braai will take place in George during the late afternoon of Sunday 7 May 2017. This will probably involve a braai. Any serious stuff you actually need to know will be emailed to you beforehand and whether you choose to read it is entirely up to you. We will operate the Tour assuming you read it. Stupid questions on the Tour will be dealt with severly.
- The daily routine will probably follow a pattern like this: Breakfast at hotel or guesthouse and then get into your cycling kit (no cycling kit allowed at breakfast, we are not savages).
- The ride starts at leisure after the sun is up. At roughly the point on the route where two water bottles should be empty there will be a water refill point and later on a braai and drinks. Once we reach our destination, an afternoon of leisure, including a sports massage, a swimming pool if weather is good or fireplace if weather is bad – possibly both. After that, it’s sundowners, dinner, being social and then off to bed.
- Stage 1 of Tour de Braai 2017 on Monday 8 May will start with a lap around the traffic circle at the top of York Street, George. We got this idea from Tour de France riders going around Arc de Triomphe in Paris. From there we will go up Montagu Pass, braai in Herold, traverse Perdekloof and marvel at the changing landscape before a casual stop in Oudtshoorn. A few easy kilometres gets us to the overnight stop at Surval Lodge on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn.
- Stage 2 starts where Stage 1 finished and from there we take the R328 via the entrance to the Cango Caves, past the bottom of the Swartberg Pass (we don’t go up the pass but if you are a pro on holiday with us you are welcome to). Next follows a true champagne part of the Tour as we ride through Kruisrivier, via Groenfontein and the banks of the Calitzdorp Dam into Calitzdorp. The stage finishes at Boplaas in Calitzdorp with a braai and port tasting. We overnight at the Queens Hotel in Calitzdorp, walking distance from Boplaas.
- Stage 3 starts in Calitzdorp with the route going through ostrich farms with – for our international entrants – real live ostriches! The ascent of Rooiberg Pass promises to be a highlight for every rider on Tour and the braai at the top of Rooiberg Pass will be one of the most scenic braais of your life. Remember that the Rooiberg Pass Strava segment ends at the very top of the pass, a few metres further up the road than our braai stop so go there before you open your first drink. This will make an hour difference to your Strava segment time of the climb. The descent is probably the most technical part of the Tour (especially on a gravel bike) and after that it’s easy sailing to Rooiberg Lodge outside Van Wyksdorp, our oasis for the night.
- Stage 4 rolls gently through Van Wyksdorp and then a changing Klein Karoo landscape all the way to the bottom of the Garcia Pass, where we hit tar. Lock and load for a serious Strava segment. Once over the summit and on the way down, we stop at the very scenic lookout point on the descent and enjoy a magnificent view of the Overberg. We then continue down past the outskirts of Riversdal to Kweekkraal, our lodgings for the night.
- Stage 5 on Friday 12 May is the last stage of the tour and we ride on the foothills of the Langeberg mountains. This section includes one fake serious and one very serious hill. Thereafter it’s the beautiful Duiwenhoks river crossing and a braai on the banks of the Buffeljags River in Suurbraak. Once in Swellendam it’s typical post stage activities, followed by prize giving and a farewell braai on the Friday night.
- On Saturday morning we all depart (or you stay in Swellendam for a few extra days of holiday at your own leisure).
Entry fee for Tour de Braai 2017 is R20 000 per person and includes:
- Shuttle from George Airport to registration on Sunday 7 May
- Shuttle from Swellendam to Cape Town airport on Saturday 13 May
- 2 Tour de Braai cycling shirts
- All event photographs
- 30 minutes sports massage for each of the 5 days of riding
- All hotel and guesthouse accommodation (6 nights) on a shared room basis from Sunday 7 May up to and including the night of Friday 12 May
- Transport of 1 suitcase or bag weighing no more than 23kg per person from one overnight stop to the next
- All food – breakfast, lunch, dinner – including wine, beer and cider. If you have any special dietary requirements, firstly, reconsider entering Tour de Braai. Secondly, if you do enter, please tell us beforehand and we will quote you a reasonable surcharge for the additional ingredient and personal cost we will incur to look after your special needs.
- All catering on route during the rides. Please note that there will not be extensive sugar and carb fuelled stops every few kilometres on route. Every hour or two there will be the opportunity to fill your water bottles and perhaps eat an apple. Ride at a pace you can handle and stay in your fat burning zone and you will be fine until the braai stop. As circumstances dictate, the braai stop can feature any combination of food, water, coffee, beer, cider & wine.
Non rider / supporter packages
- There are a limited number of non-rider entries available for non riding spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends or friends at R15 000 each. Non rider package include everything except the daily sports massages, cycling shirts and shuttle services. Non riders are expected to have their own transport and are welcome to join us for the en route scenic stops and braais. An SUV/bakkie type of vehicle with some gravel road credentials is advisable but not compulsory.
Bicycles that would work for Tour de Braai
- In short, gravel bikes with at least a 32mm tyre or mountain bikes. During the December 2016 Tour de Braai there were three participants (friends). Two of us used Cervelo C5s with 32mm Continental Gatorskin Tyres. The other used a Cannondale Flash (a 29er hardtail). All three of us had a fantastic week and all three of us thought we made the right call on our choice of bike.
- On the flat sections of gravel the Cervelo C5s were much faster. On the downhills the mountain bike was much faster. On the uphills our speed matched our relative abilities and fitness. On Tour de Braai there are no technical sections and no single track whatsoever but if you are technically challenged or worried about running out of gears on the hills, bring a mountain bike and you can grind it out in the granny gear on the uphills, freewheel on the downhills and focus all your energy on enjoying the scenery.
- Going up Montagu Pass on Stage 1 as well as up and down Rooiberg Pass on Stage 3 are incredible experiences and will be highlights of the Tour for everyone. On a gravel bike these will be the moments where you will be tested, in a good way. You will need to focus on managing your cadence, body position, weight distribution on the bike and choosing the right line. It is physically challenging and mentally engaging but one of the better and most pure experiences you will ever have on a bike.
- If you are a fit and able cyclist and own a gravel, cross or adventure bike or you’re looking for the perfect excuse to buy one, Tour de Braai is your opportunity.
- “Any mountainbike or gravel bike will work. For the 2017 Tour de Braai I will use a Cervelo C5 or something similar but will investigate options of fitting it with tubeless rims and tyres before then. Having said that, 32mm Continental Gatorskin Tyres served me just perfectly in December 2016.” – Jan Braai
How fit do you need to be?
- Tour de Braai – Travel on Gravel is not designed to be the toughest challenge of your life. It’s designed to be the most fun week of holiday on a bicycle of your life. Arriving reasonably fit is not only a good excuse to get in shape but means that you will enjoy the week as it’s designed to be enjoyed.
- To put it in the most South African context possible, if you can ride a sub-3 hour Cape Town Cycle Tour (Argus) you are 100% there. If you can ride a 3:30 Cape Town Cycle Tour you are definitely there. If you can ride a sub-4 hour Cape Town Cycle Tour you will be absolutely fine. If a sub-4 sounds challenging to you, you will find Tour de Braai doable, but challenging. Not to worry, that is why a daily sports massage and the healing qualities of free wine and beer are included in your entry fee.
Dress code off the bike
Dress code on the bike
- For many participants of a classy, prestigious and bespoke event like Tour de Braai part of the fun is the fantastic photos you will have real time access to, free of charge; photos to use for memories, but also to make your friends and family jealous by posting them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. A poorly dressed rider spoils the photo and the fun for everyone. As such, there are certain style guidelines that you are expected to adhere to out of respect for your fellow riders:
- Cycling shorts – Under no circumstances are you allowed to wear branded cycling shorts that clash with your shirt of the day in colour, design or any other visual quality. It is advisable to stick with plain black cycling shorts and you may only deviate from this if your non plain black shorts are part of a sponsor, club or tribe kit and is part of a set that matches the shirt you are wearing on the day.
- Socks – No long, knee-length socks of any colour and similarly no long ‘compression’ socks. Socks may reach no higher than the bottom of the calf muscle and can be any colour or colours that fits, accentuates or compliments the overall look of your kit on the day. Irrespective of length or any other criteria above or below, absolutely no red socks are allowed on Tour de Braai. It spoils the saturation of photos.
- Buffs – Absolutely no ‘Buffs’ or similar neck or headscarf cloths. If you want to accessorise, wear a casquette.
- Should you have any doubt regarding the suitability of the clothing you intend wearing on any particular day, simply tweet a photo of yourself wearing that kit to @njclelland who will advise whether it’s acceptable and whose decision is final and binding.
- It is entirely acceptable, in fact advisable to settle on one look for the week. You do not need to look different every day. Two of the three riders on Tour de Braai 2016 managed the whole week with one set of kit by acting like professional tour riders of the 70s. Straight after each stage you take a complete shower with soap and shampoo whilst still wearing your kit. Then rinse your kit and then rinse yourself. It worked for the legends of the 70s and it will work for you. You will receive 2 pro cut very high quality Tour de Braai cycling jerseys at registration so you will be fine, really.
- Due to capacity constraints all accommodation is on a shared room basis. On the entry form you are very welcome to tell us which other participant (whether that participant is on the rider or supporter package) you would like to share a room with.
- Firstly complete the entry from below. We will review it and give you feedback on your successful entry within hours (or days, but probably hours as we know you are excited).
- Please note that space is extremely limited and your spot on the 2017 Tour de Braai is not guaranteed until we’ve notified you of your successful entry.
- Next you will be sent banking details via email and will have to pay the entry fee.
- Once that is done you’re officially in. It’s time to dust of the bike or buy a bike, braai often to make sure you are braai fit and we will see you at Tour de Braai registration in George on 7 May!
Pizza fans will appreciate that this burger is quite clearly inspired by the SMOG pizza; Salami, Mushroom, Onion and Green Pepper. It’s a globally popular flavour combination for wood-fired pizzas and here we’re adapting it for the South African braai fire. Combine the four with some braaied chicken breasts and fresh fire-toasted rolls and you have yourself a winner!
WHAT YOU NEED: (feeds 4)
- 4 chicken breast fillets
- 4 hamburger rolls
- 1 tot olive oil
- 1 tot butter
- 1 onion (sliced)
- 2 green peppers (sliced)
- 1 punnet mushrooms (250g, sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
- salt and pepper (freshly ground)
- 8–12 slices of your favourite salami
- 1 cup cheese (aged Cheddar, sliced or grated
WHAT TO DO:
- Make the sauce by heating the oil and butter in a potjie or fireproof pan, then add the onion and green pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until it starts to get a nice colour and then add the mushrooms and garlic. Now toss and fry the whole lot until you like the look of it. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place each chicken breast fillet flat on a chopping board and lightly pound the thick side with a meat mallet, wine bottle, rolling pin, side of a meat cleaver or any other item of sufficient weight and size. You want the whole fillet to be uniform in thickness and this step will make the meat easier to braai, better looking on your burger and softer to bite. Season each chicken fillet with salt and pepper or your favourite braai salt. Either brush each one with oil or simply pour a bit of oil into a bowl and toss the fillets around in it until all are coated. Braai the meat for about 8 minutes over hot coals until it is done. The nice thing about chicken breast fillets is that you can actually see the meat colour changing from raw to ready on the braai.
- Cut the rolls in half and toast on the braai, watching them carefully so they don’t burn.
- Assemble the burger in this order: Toasted roll, slices of salami, braaied chicken fillets, cheese topped with a generous helping of the onion, peppers and mushroom sauce. Positioning the cheese between the warm chicken breast and sauce will cause it to melt, which is exactly what we want.
- Place the lid on the burger and eat with both of your recently washed hands.
This flavour combination also works very well when you replace the chicken
breast fillets with homemade 100% beef patties.
This is a great recipe to prepare a day before when you are going on a road trip. Remember to pack your jaffle maker, extra fire wood and your tongs on top so you have easy access to it, to stop next to the road at a picnic area and braai your jaffles.
WHAT YOU NEED: (makes 6 jaffles)
- Olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 500 g lean beef mince
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tot ground coriander
- 1 tot ground cumin
- 2 tots medium curry powder
- 1 tot turmeric
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tot tomato paste
- 1 bread (you will need 12 slices)
- butter to spread on the bread slices
WHAT TO DO:
- Use your potjie, place it on the fire, add the olive oil and onions to the pot and fry for a few minutes. Add the beef mince and garlic, season with salt and pepper and fry until cooked and golden brown.
- Add the coriander, cumin, curry powder, and turmeric and fry for a few minutes to release all the flavours.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and let the potjie simmer for about 30 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off and you are happy with the consistency.
- Remove the potjie from the heat and let it cool down before you pack it into your travelling dish. Keep it in the fridge until you hit the road.
- Light your fire and while you wait for the coals to be ready, spread the slices of bread with butter on the outside and fill with the curry mince mixture. Cover with another slice of buttered bread, place the mince sandwich into you jaffle maker and place the jaffle maker directly onto the coals for optimum heat.
- Toast the bread on both sides for about 8 – 10 minutes, checking in between your progress to make sure the bread does not burn, but gets a nice toasted colour and serve as is.
You can add grated cheddar cheese to the jaffles for extra points.
During a day-long braai session with members of the Swartland Revolution, I was introduced to this style of chicken wing eating. Although their cause is actually about wine, you will agree that this is a revolutionary way of preparing and eating chicken wings. Some caution though: this is a hot and spicy meal. We make the chicken super spicy and serve it with a sauce that both complements and cools down that spiciness. So the spice and the sauce are both essential to the meal; you can’t have one without the other. If you don’t like a bit of burn, rather leave out the cayenne pepper.
WHAT YOU NEED: (feeds about 12 as a starter snack)
- 36 chicken wings
FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 cups buttermilk (1 bottle)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tots chives (freshly chopped)
- 1 tot Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon (juice and zest)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
FOR THE SPICE RUB
- 1 tot dry garlic powder
- 1 tot paprika
- 1 tot mustard powder
- 1 tot cumin
- 1 tot salt
- 1 tot dried thyme
- 1 tot brown sugar
- ½ tot cinnamon
- ½ tot ground black pepper
- ½ tot chilli powder or cayenne pepper
WHAT TO DO:
- Shake the bottle of buttermilk before opening. Pour it into a bowl and throw in all the other sauce ingredients. Mix well, cover the bowl and put it in your fridge.
- Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a glass jar and shake well.
- Braai the chicken wings for about 20 minutes over medium-hot coals, turning often until cooked through. Do not add any spice or sauce to the chicken wings before the braai. Just braai them as is. The spice mixture of this meal turns brown and looks burnt very quickly so we can’t have it on the chicken the whole time it is braaing otherwise it will burn way before the chicken is cooked.
- Take the chicken off the grid and place in a braai bowl. Dust the chicken wings generously with half the spice mixture, making sure everything is properly covered. Please note, you need to use only half of the spice mixture to accomplish this so keep the other half of the mix for next time Use a wooden spoon to toss the wings around and make sure there is spice in all the corners and crevices of all the chicken wings.
- Once done, get the wings back onto the grid and braai them for a few more minutes until the spice gets a nice colour on both sides. Although the spices will not actually burn, be vigilant as they will very easily get the appearance of having been burnt. Don’t overbraai: remember, the meat is already cooked through; we just want to toast the spices at this point. As soon as the spices are all toasted and looking good on the chicken, proceed to the next step.
- Move the chicken wings from the grid onto a platter and artfully pour some of the dressing over them. You might prefer to also have extra sauce on the side so that guests may help themselves to some addition