Seared steak – Steak prepared the South African way – Braai
Soft, juicy steak prepared the South African way. Meaning… roasted over an open fire, pretty much a barbeque, but we name it braai in Afrikaans and take note, braai is a verb (said tongue in cheek). If this is a strange or foreign concept for you, you will find a basic recipe in this post. It is extremely easy, quick and of course delicious.
A braai creates the perfect setting when entertaining friends. It is quick an pretty much fail-proof, usually my husband will do the braai work and I will have my hands free to tend to the rest of the meal, which splits the work and make it less of a ‘fuss’ to entertain. There also is something about staring into the flames of a braai and talking nonsense, with a glass of red wine in the hand. I guess as a flame draws a moth to it, the fire captures your attention and can mesmerise you, you can sit and stare at it for hours. Not only does the braai/fire cook your meat delicious, it creates a wonderful warm atmosphere and cosy environment. I like to think of it as something very primitive bringing people together around it, almost back to earth in a sense.
People have different opinions of what they prefer to braai, certain meats take longer than other and the combination of some may just be a pain. Steaks however are one of the best choices you can make, easy, quick and plainly delicious.
BRAAI / BARBECUE STEAKS
– marinade (If you wish. Some meats tend to develop better flavours or go softer if the cut is not too great left in a marinade such as red wine and herbs, you can decide)
– braai salt (a mixture of salt and pepper and herbs, you can buy a mixture at your butcher or make your own)
– steak sauce (you can have a white pepper sauce, cheese sauce, red wine and thyme, etc, will do posts on these at a later stage)
1. make a fire (the size of it depends on how much food you need to prepare or on how much time you want your guests to mingle before food will be served.)
2. when coals are ready (hold your hand at the height at which you will place the braai grid, if you can keep your hand there for less than 4 counts your coals are too warm, if you are able to keep your hand there for longer than 5 counts it is too cold.
3. place steak on the grid over the coals, turn often until it is perfectly seared. Shake some of the braai salt mix on both sides as you turn your meat. You want to give the meat a ‘heat shock’ to nicely sear and seal the meat, the above mentioned temperature at step 2 will ensure this.
4. you will know your meat is ready by the softness of the meat. This site gives a good visual: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/the_finger_test_to_check_the_doneness_of_meat/
Serve immediately, steak pairs well with braaibroodjies (wood fired toasted sandwiches), salad, potatoes (any veg for that matter, but in South Africa it is quite synonymous with roasted potatoes or a creamy potato bake or salad.)