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Winning recipes for Heritage Day

There’s comfort in a warm fire and a flame-grilled feast! Become a best-loved braai master with our editor, Chad January’s smokin’ twists on classic braai favourites   

T-bone and rib-eye steak with smoky charred leek butter 

Serves 2 // Total time 30 minutes


For the leek butter  

3-4 baby leeks, trimmed and washed
Glug olive oil
1/2 block (250g) butter, softened
2 cloves garlic
1 red chilli, seeded and chopped
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander

2 (250-300g each) T-bone or rib-eye steaks, at room temperature
Salt and milled black pepper


  1. Prepare hot coals. 
  2. Drizzle leeks with oil and char on the braai grid for 5-10 minutes or until well-charred. Set aside to cool. 
  3. Blitz together leeks, butter, garlic, chilli and coriander until smooth. Season. 
  4. Season steaks well and grill over coals for about 3-4 minutes per side, brushing with smoked leek butter every minute. 
  5. Allow steak to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. 
  6. Serve steaks sliced with dollops of smoked butter and fresh herbs.


Smoked braai breakfast 

Serves 4 // Total time 30 minutes


4 thick-cut pork rashers
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp regular paprika
1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Salt and milled black pepper

For the beans  

Glug olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 can (410g) baked beans in tomato sauce
Pinch chilli flakes
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 brown mushrooms
1/4 cup melted butter

For serving  

4 fried eggs
4 roosterkoek


  1. Prepare medium-hot coals. 
  2. Toss together pork, honey, paprika and coriander. Season and set aside. 
  3. For the beans, place a skillet over coals and add oil. 
  4. Sauté onion, pepper and garlic for 3-5 minutes or until golden. 
  5. Add baked beans, stir and move skillet to the cooler side of the grill to gently simmer for another 3-5 minutes. 
  6. Place pork rashers and mushrooms over hot side of grill and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, brushing with melted butter. 
  7. Add soaked smoking chips to coals. Once they start smoking, cover grill with a lid. Smoke for about 6-8 minutes. 
  8. Brush pork and mushrooms with remaining butter, replace lid and smoke for 3-5 minutes. 
  9. Remove beans and stir through lemon and season well. 
  10. Serve rashers, beans and mushrooms with crispy fried eggs and fluffy roosterkoek.


Smoked tomato and onion relish 

Makes 2 cups // Total time 1 hour


2kg plum or salad tomatoes, halved 
2 red onions, quartered
1 bulb garlic, halved
2 red chillies, halved and seeded
Glug olive oil
Salt and milled black pepper
Handful fresh herbs (basil or coriander work well)
2 Tbsp brown sugar

For serving  

Creamy polenta or pap
Braaied boerewors
Crispy garlic bread


  1. Prepare medium coals.
  2. Place tomatoes, onion, garlic and chilli into a large cast iron skillet or baking tray. 
  3. Drizzle with oil, season well, scatter with herbs and sprinkle with sugar. 
  4. Add soaked smoking chips to medium coals. Once smoking, place skillet or tray onto the grill. 
  5. Cover with the lid and cook for about 35-40 minutes or until well-charred and softened. 
  6. Cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blitz for a few seconds -not too smooth; it must still have texture. Add an extra glug of oil if needed. 
  7. Season to taste. 
  8. Serve with polenta or pap, boerewors and garlic bread.

Spatchcock butter chicken 

Serves 4-6 // Total time 1 hour, plus marinating time


1 (about 1.2kg) chicken, spatchcocked
Salt and milled black pepper

For the marinade  

1 cup double-cream plain yoghurt
3 Tbsp butter chicken 6-spice blend
1/4 cup melted butter
1 sachet (50g) tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Handful fresh curry leaves, stems discarded (optional)

For basting  

1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander

For the pineapple salsa 

1 pineapple, peeled and cubed
1/2 red onion, diced
Handful cocktail tomatoes, quartered
1 green pepper, diced
Glug olive oil
1 lime, zested and juiced
Salt and milled black pepper


  1. Season chicken and place in a deep dish. 
  2. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over chicken, coating evenly. Marinate for at least 4 hours (but preferably overnight). 
  3. Combine basting ingredients. 
  4. Remove chicken from dish and braai over medium coals for about 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with coriander butter. Remove and place in a deep dish. 
  5. Cover with a lid until ready to serve. This gently steams the chicken in its own heat, cooking it a little more without drying out. 
  6. Toss salsa ingredients together in a serving bowl. 
  7. Serve chicken with pineapple salsa. 

Brined wings with smoked dry rub 

Serves 4-6 // Total time 40 minutes, plus brining time



For the brine  

1l water
1/2 cup coarse salt
1/4 cup white sugar
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp black or mixed peppercorns
Handful fresh herbs (thyme, parsley and coriander work well)
1/2 bulb garlic
2 cups ice
2 packs (about 8 wings each) chicken wings

For the rub  

1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
3 Tbsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked salt flakes
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp black or mixed peppercorns


  1. Bring water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, herbs and garlic to a boil in a large pot. 
  2. Pour in 2 cups ice and allow brine to cool completely. 
  3. Pour cool brine over wings (taking care to submerge) and leave to brine for at least 1 hour, or overnight if possible.
  4. When ready to cook, prepare medium-hot coals.  
  5. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with kitchen towel. 
  6. Add rub ingredients into a blender and blitz until fine. 
  7. Toss chicken with dry rub, coating evenly. 
  8. Cook chicken over coals for about 15-20 minutes, turning regularly until cooked through and well-charred. 
  9. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce (we chose a zingy herb sauce).

Also read: The ultimate braai hack cheat sheet 

Words: Chad January

Photography: Fresh Living Magazine, Zhann Solomons

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