Festive Braai Menu
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, making the festive meal can feel a bit overwhelming. That’s why, when it comes to Christmas day, my motto has always been ‘divide and conquer’. Don’t be shy to ask your guests to chip in with a dish or two, or to help out with the décor and dishes. It will make your life easier and they will feel useful, too.
The other lesson I have learned through the years is to move the cooking out of the kitchen and onto the braai. We live in the southern hemisphere after all, and it just gets too darn hot inside with the oven cranked all the way up! Another bonus is that there’s less washing up at the end.
Below are some of my favourite festive braai recipes which I have tried, tested, and enjoyed through the years. Pick one or two that take your fancy and add them to your repertoire, or use the whole menu. There’s plenty you can prepare in advance, leaving you more time to relax around the fire with your guests.
BOEREWORS FESTIVE WREATH
This adds a delightful centrepiece to any festive braai. Serve it as a snacky starter with a selection of condiments for dipping, like sweet chilli sauce, tomato sauce, Mrs Ball’s Chutney or Spur Salad and French Fry Dressing. It can just as happily be the main event, too.
3 coils of Cape to Cairo Thick Boerewors (flavours of your choice)
Selection of condiments for dipping, like All Gold Tomato Sauce, Wellington’s Sweet Chilli Sauce and Mrs Ball’s Chutney.
- Unroll the boerewors on a board. Secure the three pieces together at one end using a toothpick, then loosely plait the three pieces together (the meat will contract slightly as it cooks).
- Bring the two ends together and secure them into a round wreath shape with more toothpicks.
- Tuck a few sprigs of herbs into the wreath.
- Carefully lift the sausage wreath onto your braai grid and gently close the sandwich grid.
- Cook over medium-hot coals until done to your liking.
- Serve on a platter garnished with more herbs and small bowls of dipping sauces.
You can also cook your wreath in a pan or under a hot grill. Be careful when turning it as the fat and juices can be hot.
PORK STUFFING BRAAI PIE
Braai pie is all the rage lately, so why not try a pie that combines all the classic Christmas stuffing flavours? Or, ring the changes and try one of our flavoured boerewors options instead. You can also stuff the pie using festive leftovers like turkey and gammon with a good saucing of Mrs Ball’s Chutney.
Serves 4 as a main dish and 6 to 8 as a side
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig rosemary finely chopped
1 bay leaf, finely chopped
Salt and milled pepper
Pinch of Robertsons ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground All Spice
1 Pack (about 400g) Cape to Cairo Traditional Pork Sausages, casings removed
100g Montague dried pears, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (125ml) fresh breadcrumbs
6 Bakers Ginger Nuts biscuits, crumbled
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
Fat Hippo Tomato Chutney or Mrs Ball’s Chutney
- Sauté the onions, garlic and rosemary in a glug of oil until soft. Allow to cool.
- Mix the cinnamon, pork sausage meat, pears, breadcrumbs, biscuits and seasoning in a bowl until well combined. Refrigerate until needed.
- Roll out both sheets of pastry to a size of about 35cm x 35cm each.
- Place the filling in the centre of one sheet and shape it into a flat, square slab, leaving a 4cm border around the meat. Brush the exposed pastry with egg.
- Lay the other pastry over the meat and fold over the bottom bits of pastry to enclose and seal the pie. You could crimp the edges with a fork if you like.
- Spray your braai grid well with non-stick spray and carefully lay your pie in the centre.
- Cook the pie over medium-low coals for about 15 to 20 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your pie, until golden and cooked through.
- Serve as a braai snack, festive side or main meal with a crunchy salad.
More fillings to try:
Bobotie: replace the pork sausages with a roll of Cape to Cairo Sosatie Flavoured Boerewors, another half a cup of breadcrumbs and a handful of chopped coriander. Leave out the Ginger Nuts, spices and herbs.
Smoor snoek and apricot jam: layer cooked and flaked Cape to Cairo Snoek, fried onions, seeded and diced fresh tomato, a handful of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lemon between the pastry. Serve with a dollop of Koo Apricot Jam.
RUMP STEAK WITH BRANDY AND BILTONG BUTTER
This is our version of classic roast beef, because who needs to stand in a hot kitchen when you can lounge around the braai instead?
Serves 4 (double the recipe for more)
150g salted butter
80g Cape to Cairo Shredded Biltong
6 anchovy fillets, chopped (optional)
Grated peel of 1 lemon
¼ cup (60ml) brandy (optional)
2 tsp (10ml) Worcestershire sauce
Generous pinch of Funky Ouma Braai Salt
¼ cup (60ml) chopped chives
Milled black pepper
1 to 1.5kg Blou Bull Rump Steak
Crisp green salad of rocket and watercress or grilled Brussels sprouts
- For the butter, place all the ingredients in a mixer and beat until well combined.
- Place on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, securing the ends with a good twist. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Cook your steak over very hot coals until done to your liking, then rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
- Remove the plastic from the butter and slice into rounds.
- Top steaks with butter and serve with roast potatoes and greens.
Try dusting your potatoes with Ina Paarman’s Potato Spice for even more flavour!
These trifles are pretty much my South African childhood in a glass! You can mix up the jelly and biscuit flavours any which way you like and top them with your favourite chocolate, too.
3 Tbsp (30ml) Moir’s Custard Powder
¼ (60ml) sugar
1 ½ (375ml) cream or milk
1 tsp (5ml) Moir’s Vanilla Essence
1 can (410g) Koo Apricot Halves in Syrup, drained
1 packet (80g) Moir’s Cherry Jelly
1/2 cup (250ml) fresh cream, beaten
1 packet (40g each) Bakers Mini Eet-Sum-Mor, Ginger Nuts and Tennis biscuits
1 bar Mr Sweet Peanut Brittle, crushed
Mint sprigs, for serving
- Make the custard according to the instructions on the packet, then cover the surface of the custard with a layer of plastic wrap (this prevents a skin from forming) and allow to cool.
- Divide the apricot halves between 6 glasses.
- Make the jelly according to the packet instructions and divide between the glasses. Allow to set in the fridge.
- Once everything is chilled, top jelly with a layer of custard.
- Divide the assorted biscuits between the glasses.
- Finally, top each glass with a dollop of lightly whipped cream and a scattering of peanut brittle.
Thank you for reading and cooking along with us all year! Whether you are one of our regular followers or new to the Cape to Cairo family, we’re grateful that you’re here. Here’s to a wonderful festive season, hot coals, full glasses, stuffed stockings and loved ones!