25. Oct, 2014

Ons gaan NOU braai!

“To barbecue is more a way of life than a desirable method of cooking.” – Clement Freud.

On special occasions (like big rugby matches) Afrikaners like few things better than to braai - just ask Barry Hilton... Despite astronomical prices in recent years, lamb remains a firm favourite - particularly chops and ribs. Mutton and lamb are important in Afrikaner cuisine, probably because so many of our ancestors were sheep farmers in arid parts of the country.

Slowly barbecuing a lamb rib is a quintessential Boere treat. My mother taught me how to prepare a traditional soutribbetjie in the early 1970s. To this day it remains a firm favourite in our family. Depending on the capacity of your guests, allow about 250 – 350g per person.

Prepation time: 6 hours.

Cooking time: 1 ½  hours.

Serves 6 persons.

Tastes best accompanied by a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.


2 Small lamb flanks; about 1 kg each.

1 Tablespoon olive oil.

1 Tbsp dark soy sauce (or Worcestershire sauce).

2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt.

1 Tablespoon each of freshly ground coriander and black pepper.

1 Tablespoon each of chopped rosemary and sage.

  • Baste the ribs all over with a mixture of the olive oil and soy sauce. Sprinkle generously with a mixture of salt, herbs and spices.
  • Allow to rest in a cool place for at least 2 hours.
  • Rinse with cold water and allow to drip dry in a cool, airy place for 4 hours.
  • Start a charcoal fire about 40 minutes before you intend cooking the meat.
  • When the coals are ready, spread them evenly across the bottom of the barbecue. Allow to settle down.
  • Set the braai grid about 30 cm above the coals, and allow to heat up.
  • Cook the ribs on the bony side for about 2/3 of the time. 1 ½ Hours should suffice.
  • When done, allow to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.
  • Serve with a starch (we like pap en sous, Dauphinoise potatoes or garlic bread) and a tangy side dish like beetroot or curry bean salad.

“We mostly eat meat. When we feel like vegetables, we slaughter a chicken.” – Namibian farmer of the author’s acquaintance.