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Braai, the beloved Burger

Posted by anina on September 17, 2012

This is my heritage.  A pure and proudly South African girl, born and raised, always reminded of my culture through great memories of summer, sun and braais.  Whether it’s delicious crispy braaid lamb chops, a tender piece of steak, a chicken flatty or the ever popular boerewors – this is what my childhood weekends where all about. I can get quite nostalgic thinking about those lazy summer weekends, under the lapa, in the pool – the smell of chalky fire filling the air, simmering away to produce burning red coals that sizzles for eternity when that piece of meat hits the grill. The beloved Braai.

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For my tribute to heritage day and as a contestant for the multi-talented and inspirational Foodie behind cooksister.com, Jeanne’s event - Braai, the beloved Country – I decided to do a Burger braai.

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There is just something festive about a bunch of awesome friends getting together, a few ice cold beers, a sizzling grill and the great combination of ingredients and toppings to create the ultimate homemade burger. 

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For the home made burger patties, any fresh herbs and spices can be used.  Try and refrigerate the patties the day before the braai, to ensure it keeps it shape when braaing on a hot grill.

INGREDIENTS FOR HOME MADE BURGER PATTIES:

  • 2 kg lean beef mince
  • 1 large onion
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Lots of fresh thyme
  • One egg
  • Black pepper
  • Sunflower oil

METHOD FOR HOME MADE BURGER PATTIES:

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, incorporating the ingredients with your hands.
 
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  • Use a little sunflower oil on your hands, roll palm size balls with the mince and flatten it on an oily surface.  Arrange in an oily pan and refrigerate before use.
 
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For homemade burgers, there is no right or wrong for your choice of condiment or toppings.  I decided to go all out and make every topping myself – if I could. Here is my list of toppings for my burger braai:

MY TOPPINGS FOR THE BURGER BRAAI:

  • Lettuce – any type of your choice
  • Sprouts
  • Garnish – chives, fresh basil, chopped spring onion
  • Sliced cheddar cheese
  • Homemade pecorino cheese sauce
  • Homemade mushroom and thyme relish
  • Homemade onion marmalade
  • Homemade smokey tomato and rosemary relish
  • Freshly grilled pineapple
  • Fresh avocado
  • Burger sauce – tomato sauce, chutney and mayonnaise mix.

 

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I chose to use freshly baked pao rolls – a Brazilian bread roll - to use as burger bun.  You just have to cut them open, butter them and braai them on the grill as well until it turns golden and crispy! This really gives the burger a delicious crunchy texture as you bite through the scrumptiousness.  Don’t forget to add the fresh slices of pineapple on the grill as well, this ingredients really sweetens up a delicious burger in no time!

 

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INGREDIENTS FOR PECORINO CHEESE SAUCE:

  • 125 gr of butter
  • ½ cup of flour
  • 1 liter milk
  • 100 gr of pecorino cheese
  • Salt and black pepper

 

METHOD FOR PECORINO CHEESE SAUCE:

  • Heat the butter in a saucepan, remove from heat, add the flour and whisk through.
  • Add the milk, return to heat and whisk until sauce becomes thick.
  • Add the cheese, mix and add salt and black pepper to taste.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR MUSHROOM AND THYME RELISH:

  • 1 punnet of button mushrooms
  • A clove of garlic, chopped finely
  • 15ml olive oil
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

 

METHOD FOR MUSHROOM AND THYME RELISH:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan, sauté the garlic.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook until soft and moist
  • Add the thyme, season with salt and black pepper.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR ONION MARMELADE:

  • 1 Brown onion, chopped in rings
  • 1 red onion, chopped in rings
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • ½ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper

 

METHOD FOR ONION MARMELADE:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onions.
  • Sauté the onions until they become translucent.
  • Add the brown sugar and cook for 10 minutes to ensure the onions caramelize.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar, cook for another 10 minutes or until the vinegar reduces by half, season with lots of black pepper.

 

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INGREDIENTS FOR TOMATO AND ROSEMARY RELISH:

  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes halved / or 4 large ripe tomatoes blanched and chopped
  • 15 ml olive oil
  • 10 ml paprika
  • 1 chilli, chopped finely
  • 80 grams sundried tomatoes in sauce
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • A few sprigs fresh rosemary

 

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METHOD FOR TOMATO AND ROSEMARY RELISH:

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the chilli and paprika.  Add the tomatoes and sauté.  You can add a little bit of water to ensure the tomatoes are cooked soft.
  • Add the sundried tomatoes, season with salt and black pepper, add the chopped rosemary and cook for 10 – 15 minutes.

 

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I really hope you guys enjoy a Burger Braai like we have this weekend.  With such a huge variety of different toppings, there is no way that your guests will be left empty handed or with empty tummies for that matter! I truly hope all will participate in South Africa’s heritage day on 24 September – National Braai Day.  Get those grills cleaned, charcoal ready and beers cold for a festive day and feast away on your favorite Braai recipes.  Most of all enjoy and VIVA SA!

 

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