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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Preparing Marinades For A Braai

Most often when we decide to braai (barbecue), it is a spur of the moment event and there is no time to marinade the meat. However, every so often, we actually plan the meal ahead of time and then we go all out on the marinades. I share three different marinades with you in today's blog, that can be made from ingredients most kitchens will have readily available. I also share a secret for cooking pumpkin on the braai. Don't miss this one, especially if you are a true braai fanatic, as I am.

Marinade 1
Start by adding roughly half a cup of soy sauce to a small mixing bowl.

Add some fresh coriander leaves (mine are frozen), a dash of wasabi, pickled ginger, Chinese 5 Spice and a little ground ginger to the soy sauce.

Now add a good spurt of honey to sweeten the mixture a little.

Mix everything well.

I used this marinade on to pork loins, but it will go well with any pork or poultry cuts.

Lather the meat in the marinade and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours.

After a few hours, turn the meat over and leave to sit for a few more hours.

I used a kettle braai to cook my loins in. I coated a deep oven dish with non-stick spray.

The meat and the marinade went into the dish.

Put the lid on and place in the kettle braai for 2-3 hours, or until juicy and tender. You can remove it from the dish once cooked, and give it a quick swizz on the open fire to add some crackle, if you like.

Not the best photo, but here is the cooked meat in a clean dish.

Marinade 2
My next marinade has a chutney base. You can use chutney of your choice, or a combination if you like. Add roughly half a cup to a small mixing bowl.

Add a dash of lemon juice, a healthy squirt of honey and some mustard seeds.

Mix well.

I used this marinade on pork chops, but it will go well with pork, poultry, or even mutton.

Lather the meat in the marinade. Leave it in the fridge to soak up the goodness for a few hours. Turn over and leave for a few more hours. These pork chops were cooked straight on the grill in the kettle braai (Weber).

Marinade 3
The third marinade recipe I want to share with you uses a balsamic vinegar base. Add roughly half a cup to a small mixing bowl. Now add a healthy dose of crushed garlic, parsley, oregano, sweet basil, and parsley. You will note this has a distinct Italian character.

Add a dash of olive oil and a good squirt of honey to sweeten it.

Mix well.

My marinade went onto rump steaks, but it will go well with just about any meat dish!

Lather the meat in the marinade. Leave it in the fridge to soak up the goodness for a few hours. Turn over and leave for a few more hours. These pork chops were cooked straight on the grill in the kettle braai (Weber).

Ideas for pumpkin on the braai
I started off with half a Crown Prince pumpkin, but you can do this with any old pumpkin you prefer.

Wash the skin and pit the pumpkin.

Soften some butter in a bowl.

Add loads of sugar, and roughly a teaspoonful each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg.

Mix into a paste.

Lather the paste onto the inside of the pumpkin.

Wrap the pumpkin in foil.

The pumkin was placed directly on the grill of the Weber, with the skin facing the fire. It was left there for roughly 2 hours with the rest of the meat (photo to follow).

When you open it, the pumpkin will be soft and moist. Discard the water and scoop the pumpkin out (or cut the skin in strips and serve as is).

A lovely side dish without any extra effort or dishes in the kitchen. In this photo you can see how tender the pumpkin has become.

Arranging the braai
I want to show you how to maximize your braai on the Weber. First off, I also had a chicken flatty that I wanted to put on the fire.

The chicken and its marinade went into an ovenproof dish. Tip: You may prefer to use discard-able aluminium dishes, as these dishes are rather tough to clean afterwards.

As always, I made a wood wire. I made sure to add some large logs. I arrange my pork loins, flattiy and pumkin to fit on the grill. The I close the lid on them. My fire is very hot at this stage.

The temperature in the Weber will range between 170 and 220 over the next two hours. That is when I finally check on my food to see if it is done. I removed the three dishes and then had enough warm coals left to cook the pork chops as well as the rum steaks. My brother heard that I had a fire going and showed up just as I was removing the last meat. He had bought two trays of meat; pork chops and stewing beef! Both these trays fitted on the fire and was cooked, and we still managed to do a string of wors (sausages) as well. Having run out of meat, not fire, we turned to the eating part of the meal.

After everyone had had their fill, and some more vultures dropped by (sic), we divided the spoils and these are the leftovers. Enough to last the three of us for the remainder of the week, including the odd guests that will inevitably show up.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy my books here:
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