Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Ben's Boerewors Braai

This is the South African version of good old bangers and mash.

A few weeks ago my South African friend Ben gave me a proper boerewors made to his Mum's recipe by our local butcher and mutual friend Clint.

A blustery, wet autumn Saturday with the (false) promise of a dry evening was enough to inspire me to fire up the brazier. My Mum was with us from Australia, and all of the kids were away except for our youngest, and I know how he loves a fire.

The boerewors had been in the freezer for a couple of weeks, and once I decided it was to be our meal for the night, I rang Ben for some advice on accompaniments. I had forgotten that he was on holiday in Croatia, so the rest of the afternoon involved much texting. Including suggesting I go to Waitrose for some Mrs Ball's South African Chutney. Which I did.

Our brazier has recently been enshrined in a circle of slate, and this was the first time a meal has been prepared there since I laid the paving. The fire was started with paper, twigs and kindling, and once established, charcoal was piled on top. Luca couldn't leave it alone despite my reminders that this was a 'cooking fire', and not to mess with it. My trusty braai tool was deployed and the sausage grilled nicely as the evening set in. Luca experimented with toasting some stale baggettes which had to be relocated each time the brai tool was turned over. Once cooked, I kept the boerwors warm in the oven so I could finish off the vegies and red onion sauce.

On the hob, the red onions had been cooked slowly in red wine and butter for a good hour, and the potatoes prepared for the mash. Some frozen petit pois added some nice colour and Mrs Ball's chutney was a super-sweet experience. Made only from fruit, spices and loads of sugar, you can see how most of South Africa is addicted to it. In Ben's words, 'the only thing it doesn't go with is ice cream!'

So thanks Ben, the boerewors was delicious.
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