5 Rules to Braai

SAVEUR - - Season To Taste -

1SEEK OUT WOOD “Braais use wood or char­coal to gen­er­ate heat,” says Andy Fen­ner in his re­cent book, Meat Man­i­festo. “Gas braais ex­ist, but they’re a cop-out.” In South Africa, a local va­ri­ety of bush wil­low called hard­ekool is the top choice. If you can’t get that past Cus­toms, look for sea­soned hard­wood or lump char­coal (not bri­quettes, which con­tain chem­i­cals).

2THINK ABOUT YOUR MEAT At Fen­ner’s shop, whole an­i­mals are sourced eth­i­cally from farm­ers he trusts. Like­wise, do the re­search to lo­cate a butcher shop that car­ries high­qual­ity, hu­manely raised meat, and can an­swer ques­tions about its provenance.

3CON­SIDER LAMB In the Cape, Ka­roo lamb is the cham­pagne of sheep. “In the [Ka­roo] scrub­land, the first thing you’ll no­tice is the smell,” writes Fen­ner. “It’s an in­tense, herba­ceous aroma. Wild mint, wild rose­mary, and other plants with glo­ri­ous Afrikaans nick­names like skap­bossie and sil­verka­roo—this unique, in­dige­nous veg­e­ta­tion is what our sheep eat.”

4TAKE THE HEAT Braai heat should be var­ied ac­cord­ing to in­gre­di­ents. Boerewors, lamb rump, or thick steaks can be grilled over high heat; push coals aside, and cook fish and more del­i­cate cuts of meat over in­di­rect heat.

5BRING WINE At Amer­i­can BBQS, beer may pre­vail, but in Cape Town—a city sur­rounded by vine­yards— wine is a braai sta­ple. Look for chenin blanc from Mullineux & Leeu or A.A. Baden­horst, both from Swart­land, a re­gion north of the city.

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