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South African Braai

Having worked in South Africa for several years, our Head Butcher knows the key to a perfect braai…

In 1988 I travelled to South Africa on a one-way ticket. Having secured a job as a Butchery Manager for ‘Blue Ribbon Meats’, part of the Pick N Pay supermarket group, within two days I was working in Pretoria in a massive supermarket. Training with the Manager, Craig, we had 42 staff (in the butchery alone!) and would turnover a whopping £300,000 a month.

I soon learned a completely new way of butchery… Meat left on the bone for long slow cooking in a potjie pot (a bit like a witch’s cauldron!) and the making of boerewors and other items for the braai (known here as a BBQ!). The quality of the meat was very good and most customers would want all the fat left  on.

I loved it and after three months was given my own store to run halfway between Pretoria & Johannesburg in a small town called Doringkloof. I was also given the opportunity to spend several months’ relief managing across South Africa – Durban, Nelspruit & Jo’burg one month at a time.

During this time I enjoyed many a braai… a way of life for so many people living in South Africa. A braai is all about the experience and involves a whole host of delicious meats cooked on an open flame including the famous boerewors (very popular here at Macknade!) – which are a spicy sausage made from beef & pork and coiled in a circle for cooking.

Sosaties (similar to kebabs but with lots of spice!) are also really popular on a braai, as well as club steaks & monkey gland steaks… Don’t worry, no monkeys were harmed in the making of them – they are simply beef steaks smothered in a tangy sauce that is popular in South African cookery.

These South African specials are currently available from our butchery and take me back to the time I spent in South Africa. I encourage you to try all of the above (ideally outside on a BBQ – regardless of the unpredictable English weather!) and let us know what you think.

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