Fuss-free Braais, by Hilary Biller
The Braai has over generations been a South African favourite, but the days of the standard chops and wors are over. A bigger variety of delicious food is braaied nowadays, as Hillary Biller, having recently compiled a recipe book for Fuss-Free Braais, shows.
The kettle braai is both a grill and an oven, and cooking can be done with or without the removable lid. Open grilling is for food less than 6 cm thick and for the rest, the food is cooked with the lid closed. There are air vents on the lid that regulate the heat; open affords more intense heat because of the air flow and closed provides a more consistent heat. The kettle braai offers two distinct methods of cooking - the direct and indirect method. The direct method is the traditional method of braaiing, where a mound of coals is used and the food is placed on the braai grid and cooked directly over the coals. This method of braaiing is used for food that takes 25 minutes or less to cook. The fire must be prepared 30-40 minutes beforehand. An average fire will require 40-50 charcoal briquettes. Start off with half a dozen briquettes on each side, adding a firelighter to each mound. Ignite and allow to burn for 3 minutes before adding and spreading the remaining coals around the braai. Leaving the lid off, allow the coals to burn until they are glowing and covered with a layer of grey ash. The indirect method is used for food that requires more than 25 minutes to cook. As the food will cook for longer, it will need a bigger fire requiring more coals. Use 60-70 briquettes, packing them on each side. Ignite the coals and burn with the lid off until they are glowing and covered with a layer of grey ash. Extra coals can be made in a chimney starter or old metal bucket and added to the fire as necessary to maintain the heat. For indirect cooking, the food to be cooked is placed in the centre of the kettle braai grid, with a metal or foil drip tray underneath to capture the juices. These juices can be used to make a gravy or sauce. [...]
KETTLE BRAAI INDIRECT
With an excellent ratio of meat to fat without the denseness of a traditional pork roast, pork belly has become a popular restaurant cut. Excellent cooked over the fire, this Chinese method of salting the meat beforehand means the rind will be perfectly crisp and the meat deliciously succulent.
1 x 2 kg pork belly with rind scored (ask your butcher to do this)
125 ml readymade sweet chilli sauce (optional)
1. Sprinkle the belly generously with the sea salt. Ideally, the meat should be set aside for a couple of hours.
2. Just before cooking, rub all over with a generous quantity of oil. Place on a metal baking tray or in a foil container, rind side up, and cook over a medium fire for 1-1 1/2 hours. Fifteen minutes before the end of the cooking time, brush the top of the pork with the sweet chilli sauce if using. Rest for 15 minutes before carving and serve with a cabbage salad.
This is an extract from the cookbook: Fuss-free Braais, by Hilary Biller.
Title: Fuss-free Braais
Author: Hilary Biller
Genre: Cookbook, Braai
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2012
ISBN 9781431700097 / ISBN 978-1-4317-0009-7
Softcover, 21 x 25 cm, 160 pages, throughout colour photos
Biller, Hilary im Namibiana-Buchangebot
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