Benefits of grilling

All weather is grilling weather!  If nothing else it is a great way to get you and the family outside for a bit.

It is not only fun, gets fresh air into your lungs but it could also be good for you here are 5 healthy reasons to break out the BBQ whenever you can:

Grilled vegetables are healthier for you as they retain more of their nutrients when grilled than they do when boiled or fried. Always grill crisp fresh vegetables rather than frozen or canned ones, wrap them in foil.

Meat cooked on the grill is leaner as the fat burns off and so grilled meat is leaner with less fat content and it retains more of its nutrients when grilled especially over an open flame these nutrients are vital for a healthy diet.

You use less butter and other condiments because both vegetables and meat naturally taste better as the grill locks in moisture.

2 Mouthwatering BBQ beef cuts, basting, spices and complementary side dishes for a delicious flavored BBQ

Here are 5 of the best cuts to BBQ, they should be cooked by searing them over hot direct heat and then placed on a warmer part of the grill to cook to the desired result.

Porterhouse Steak

To spice:  Crushed mustard seeds, black peppercorns, dash of cayenne pepper, salt and sprinkle with some brown sugar.  Dip and lightly coat the entire steak(s) with the olive oil (don’t drown them lightly coat them) and give them a dab in the mixed spice ensuring the steak is evenly spiced.
Wrap them in tinfoil, or cover in a bowl and allow them to stand as long as possible – the minimum amount of time is about 30 minutes.  For the best flavor spice the day before, cover and let the steaks stand in the fridge overnight until they are ready to be cooked.

Baste with: Mix two tsp’s of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp’s Dijon mustard, 2 tsp’s of honey, salt, pepper and mixed herbs to flavor.  Give the steaks a good coating of the sauce about 15 minutes before grilling.

To Grill: Seer the steaks at a direct heat to brown the outside then remove them to a lower heat to cook to the desired result.

Serve with: Baked potato, green salad and warm asparagus with Dijon mustard.

Flat Iron Steak

To spice:  Salt, black pepper, garlic and mixed herbs.  Rub the steak with a bit of olive oil just too lightly coat it.  Roll the stead in the spice mix then put it into a ziplock freezer/fridge bag.

Baste with: 2 x tablespoons of olive oil, 2 x tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1-2 crushed fresh cloves of garlic, 1 x teaspoons of Dijon mustard (with the peppercorns is the best one),  2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and 2 x tablespoons of brown sugar.  Mix together and pour into the ziplock bag with the steak.  Leave to baste for 30 min to 2 hours.  The longer it bastes the better the taste it is preferable, if possible, to let it stand in the basting overnight.

To Grill: Seer the steaks at a direct heat to brown the outside for about 5 minutes then remove them to a lower heat to cook to the desired result or for another 5 minutes.

Serve with: Baked potato and green salad.

Potjie – what in the beef stocks is that and what is with that big black witch pot?

Potjie – a word most of us have not really heard before!  Well unless you are from or live in South Africa that is.  An old traditional BBQ (braai as it is called over there) this stew dish is cooked in a cast iron pot much resembling a witches caldron over a roaring wood fire and is simply delicious.

Pronounced – poy (like toy with a P) – key (poykey) can be cooked with many different types of meats and or vegetables giving a different twist not only to the BBQ but to the winter family favorite – the stew!

Served with rice or home-made cornbread it is simply delicious, stew as you have not tasted it before.

Lamb Potjie Recipe – Serves 6

What you will need:

1 x Cast Iron Pot

Wood and items for the fire

Olive Oil

2 x Medium Onions peeled and chopped

4 x Cloves of fresh Garlic peeled and chopped

1.5 kg of Lamb Knuckles

9 cups of beef or lamb stock

6 x medium washed and peeled potatoes cut into halves

2 x 500g packets of frozen mixed vegetables or fresh vegetable of your choice

375 ml white / brown / wild rice

Image credit My Easy Cooking


Heat 1 and a half tablespoons of olive oil in a cast iron pot over medium to hot coals

Add the onions and garlic to the oil, stir until they are coated in the oil then place the lid on the pot for 5 minutes.  Take the lid off after 5 minutes stir and repeat until the onions and garlic are soft and translucent but not too brown.

Remove the onions and garlic to set them aside

Add a bit more oil and then add the meat to brown it

Add cooked onions and garlic back into the pot and stir together with the meat

Slowly stir in the stock, cover with the lid and let it simmer for 1 hour.  Stirring on occasion and checking to see if it needs a bit more liquid if it has started to look a bit dry.

After an hour add the halved potatoes and cook for 1 -2 hours or until the meat is tender remember to keep adding liquid if it becomes a bit dry.

Once the meat is tender add the vegetables and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables and potatoes are cooked as desired.

While the vegetables are being cooked into the potjie it is a good time to start cooking your rice or cornbread to go with your delicious meat potjie.

Some of the South African favorite side dishes served with this are:

Crispy cheesy garlic French loaf

Green salad or warm bean salad