A few weeks ago, our friends started something of a Sunday tradition. We get together late in the afternoon for a Braai and we make Braai pie.
Hold on a second. You’re probably saying something like “What the hell is a Braai?” or “Sounds a lot like a bra.”
Get your head out of the gutter while I back up a few steps!
Braai comes from the Afrikanns word Braaivleis, which means “grilled meat” or just Braai, which means “to grill.” It’s a South African tradition and it’s very similar to our American BBQs. But, there are a few notable differences at a Braai:
- The Braai itself is usually an open oven that’s outside. It looks similar to a shallow wood fired pizza oven. Most homes have an outdoor braai area.
- You only use wood for cooking. So, it takes a bit longer. You start the fire, then you wait for the wood to burn down into nice hot coals.
- Grill baskets are super popular, and almost a requirement.
- Traditionally, men do all of the cooking.
- Staple dishes: meat, boerwors (sausage), chips, garlic bread.
Now that you know what a Braai is, I can tell you all about Braai Pie. A great way to use leftover meat from a cookout the day before, Braai Pie is a savory meat pie that is cooked over the coals. It’s very simple to make and it tastes fantastic.
All you need is some puff pastry, grilled meat, veggies (spinach, onions, mushrooms), cheese, and some seasoning.
First, you make the meat. As mentioned above, this is man’s work. These guys look hungry!
Then, you saute the veggies and meat together.
At some point, you’ll probably stop to admire the sunset with your friends and some wine
Then, you roll out the puff pastry onto a Braii grill basket. Wine is also important in this step, as you can see.
After that, you spread all the ingredients onto the pastry, and close it up. Then, you cook it on the Braai, turning it every few minutes, naturally with a glass of wine in hand.
Finally, you can take it out, cut it up, and enjoy it. With friends, of course.
Just for fun, here’s a video that shows how it all comes together: